The UK continues to reduce the backlog of patients awaiting routine medical care through the National Health Service, a stack that has been hugely exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and could be further exacerbated by the coming season colds and flu.
About 1.5 billion diagnostic tests are performed in England each year, according to the NHS, which hopes the digitization of the process will improve the efficiency of all health services. According to The data released in October, NHS wait times continue to set new records, with 5.72 million on the wait list in August. Almost 300,000 patients have been waiting for more than a year for care, a 236-fold increase from August 2019.
The agency’s latest efforts are supported by an investment of £ 248million, or around $ 337million, from the government. This funding has been earmarked specifically for technological improvements in NHS diagnostic services, with the aim of streamlining the entire process of ordering, running and reviewing tests to detect and start treating the most common health conditions. early as possible.
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Among the new investments will be the installation of a new software tool that analyzes a patient’s individual symptoms and medical history to help their healthcare providers order only the most appropriate tests or scans.
Another NHS upgrade will introduce new technology that will give radiologists remote access to imaging data around the clock, allowing them to review x-rays and other scans and make diagnoses without the need to go in the imaging lab, speeding up the time between when a test is ordered and treatment can begin.
“Today’s multimillion-pound investment will play an important role in upgrading diagnostic services across the country so patients can get results faster and healthcare professionals can do their jobs more easily, thus reducing unnecessary administrative burden and ensuring that every pound counts from every taxpayer, ”Sajid Javid, UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Affairs, said in a declaration.
“Getting a faster diagnosis for a health problem is the first step in getting more people the treatment they need, sooner, and our funding will help ensure our NHS has access to the latest digital technology to increase its efficiency, ”continued Javid.
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The investment of almost £ 250million follows the government’s previous pledge of a whopping £ 2.3bn, or around $ 3.1bn, to be spent on the creation of new ‘one-stop’ diagnostic centers across England over the next three years.
At least 100 of these centers will be open during this period. With a referral from their doctor, patients can visit diagnostic centers seven days a week for easy access to potentially life-saving checks, scans and tests.
“The NHS faces a winter like no other with an increase in COVID and influenza cases as well as record demand for emergency services, while continuing to deliver the largest vaccination program in the history of health services, including the deployment of booster vaccines for the most vulnerable. “said Stephen Powis, NHS medical director.
“However, NHS staff are making effective use of the additional funds and following the recent deployment of new diagnostic centers, the number of patients waiting for diagnostic testing is declining for the first time in a year, which means more people are getting the checks they need and, if necessary, can start treatment sooner, ”said Powis.