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Ep 22. Improving care through interoperable data-driven systems, Piyush Mahapatra

What leads to a digital healthcare solution being adopted?

Every situation is unique across the healthcare service, but often these innovations span out of some of the simplest of circumstances. For Open Medical’s Innovation Director, Piyush Mahapatra, he remembers the instance of a cleaner accidentally wiping down a whiteboard which had been used to track orthopaedic patients. A momentary lapse in the system, which presented a sudden challenge and an opportunity for a digital alternative.

“I’m a practising orthopaedic surgeon in London, and an NHS clinical entrepreneur.

“Most patients who have surgery for broken bones within the NHS are often managed on systems such as Excel sheets, Word documents or physical whiteboards.

“In our particular organisation, it was a physical whiteboard and, we came in one weekend and the cleaner had rubbed the whiteboard off.

“After that, version one [of our trauma digital solution] was created. It was a fairly simple database system at that point, designed to help manage those lists of patients in a better way.

“Since then, things have really moved on [at Open Medical]. We became a cloud native platform in 2017, and things really escalated. Now, we’re helping about 70 NHS trusts around the country manage their patients.

“We’ve got over a million patients on our systems today.

Through Open Medical, Piyush and the team have been able to leverage their own personal clinical experiences to develop a solution which addresses a significant need felt in the NHS, with patient management, pathways, and efficiencies. It has been built to address a need Piyush and his colleagues themselves feel in their regular NHS roles, and allows the team to talk clinically with partners, as well as technologically.

“One of the things that I tell everyone is that I use [our Open Medical system] when I’m working clinically. We all use our systems quite a lot.

“We get a real understanding of what it is like to utilise the platform, so if things are not user-friendly or don’t work as well as they should, we can adapt and change them.

“We can get that feeling if something doesn’t provide the functionality clinicians need, because we see it from that perspective too.”

Listen to the full Episode 22 of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast with Piyush here:

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