What does this mean for libraries?
The interim report specifically talks about the need for evidence to support the introduction of new healthcare technologies, and library staff can support the accessing and use of the evidence-base, as well as providing support to healthcare staff that wish to publish evidence.
There will be an increasing demand for knowledge resources on the topics covered by the review, to support the education of new as well as existing healthcare staff.
Some of the technologies are some years away, but there are some such as wearable technologies (for example Fitbits) that are becoming commonplace and there may be an argument for library staff to become familiar with them, or to provide loanable devices so healthcare staff can try them out. Although in most NHS organisations the IT infrastructure is not always conducive to new technologies, where it is, library staff could argue the need to support initiatives such as Skype or other video communications (such as is being done at the Mid-Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust), or other digital technologies.
At the moment, the interim review is seeking evidence to inform the final review, and once this is published the implications for libraries may become clearer but the overall thrust of the review is that new technologies will become more dominant in the NHS, and there is a case for library staff to be given the support to become more tech-savvy so they can support the wider workforce.
Source: Health Education England (HEE)
Date of publication: June 2018
Summary of driver: This is an interim report of a review commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to look at technological developments and how they impact on the future workforce.
In particular, the review will be looking three themes: genomics, digital medicine, and artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. These are likely to change the roles of healthcare staff, and the report is concerned with the skills required to use these technologies, and which professions will be most impacted by the changes. It is also concerned with the education and training needs of current and future NHS staff.
The review proposes three key principles to govern the future workforce strategy. Firstly, patients should be empowered to use new technologies to be more actively involved and engaged in their care. Secondly, the introduction of any new technology needs to be supported by robust evidence. Thirdly, new technologies should free up more time for care and enhance the patient-clinician relationship.
Evidence and comments are being sought from those interested in workforce education and development, with a view to informing the Final Report which is planned to be presented in December 2018.