Ep 32. What digital actually means for the NHS | James Freed

In episode 32 of National Health Executive’s (NHE) Finger on the Pulse podcast, I was joined by Health Education England’s Chief Digital and Information Officer, James Freed, to discuss how he got into the healthcare industry, what the word ‘digital’ actually means for the NHS and why most digital initiatives fail.

During the podcast, James said: “The biggest reason why digital projects fail – and 70% of them do – is [because of] cultural issues. And the biggest cultural issue is the breakdown between different siloes and this most often manifests when you give someone a really nice piece of kit and they do their job they’ve always done [but] just using a digital tool instead. Which often adds more time, creates more harm and doesn’t realise in adding more value.”

In addition to more commentary on the topic of digital, James notes how the NHS has created a governance process where it is not ok to fail, meaning everything assumes success. James believes a change of direction is needed on this front and that we need to establish governance routes that assume and allow for failure as long as it is caught quickly.

Listen to full episode of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast with James Freed above.

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