Digital Maturity Assessment 2023 – Section Three

Digital practices do not yet fully permeate the Scottish healthcare and social care landscape

Analysis of those parts of the assessment concerned with adoption for certain key metrics (e.g., Digital health records, structured data, medicines administration logs, digital care handovers, adoption of digital channels, use of service user IDs and Wi-Fi availability, amongst others) shows that the nation is currently ‘mid-journey’ towards digital maturity.

Topics around providers’ ability to offer digital access to services and information where applicable   scored particularly low; further investigation into causes may be warranted to ensure digital skills/confidence amongst citizens is appropriately supported.

The exception is Mental Health, where remote ways of working and digital remedies have been more widely accepted than the national average.

This image shows a spider chart representing aggregated 2023 scores for 'reach' questions concerning the degree or proliferation of digital practices.

Integrated care systems remain digitally disintegrated

The digital integration of healthcare and social care systems is an ongoing process, with most participating organisations receiving only a share of referrals digitally, and only a share of those digital referrals entering the workflow without manual intervention, thereby potentially undoing any benefits that may otherwise have been gained from digitising referrals.

Moreover, most organisations manage handovers of care (E.g., referrals, discharges, and transfers) to other organisations only partly using a digital process.

A bar chart depicting average scores in 5 questions which assess digital integration of care systems. The bars are coloured in shades of blue to reflect homogeneity of the data.

The conclusion that more needs to be done to integrate healthcare and social care systems digitally is illustrated by responses to assessment questions about access to digital records across organisational boundaries; Organisations reported being at best partially able to grant external healthcare and social care professional access to their digital records. Similarly, no participating organisations reported that their own staff was able to fully access the digital records of other, external healthcare and social care providers.

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