Ellie Hood joins our ‘Igniting Change’ episode 10 to chat with Rich and Gabby about the NHS foundation trust, where she heads up an innovation team. Her team works on the frontlines to help NHS hospitals and GP surgeries become more efficient and innovative.
The NHS Foundation Trust
The NHS is a massive organisation, with many different components and operations within it. One such area is that of the foundation trust, a more autonomous organisation that can operate across various hospitals. By working with various hospitals across the UK, Ellie and her team can effectively implement new solutions and work across different systems.
Ellie began her career in engineering, working with the Royal Academy of Engineering in the innovation space. This then led to social innovation work, which created an opportunity within the NHS foundation, work that she had desired to do for a long while.
Ellie started out working within London and learning what was possible within the role and within the innovation space in these hospitals. By bringing both a focus on data-driven decisions and a whole host of skill sets from prior industries and working experience, Ellie was able to build a team over 5 years that allowed her to truly innovate and grow her vision.
Innovating through innovation
By coming from outside of the healthcare sector and working her way inwards, Ellie has a well-rounded perspective, which has allowed her to lead the team with a variety of technological specialties. By working in a social enterprise way, the team can work in other areas of public service, raising money for their work within the NHS, as well as improving other areas and learning a wider range of technological advancements. By innovating in other fields, these learnings, as well as the money can be brought back into the NHS and GP surgeries.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence
Ellie and the team often work with incredible bits of technology that allow them to streamline jobs and the service that hospitals can provide. Examples of this can be seen through the use of robotics processing automation, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence.
One of the largest problems in the NHS is the large number of systems in place that work together in a complex way to support one another. Many of these systems and software are very dated, resulting in a mismatch of support between systems, or APIs not being supported. This has led to amazing workarounds, such as the ‘virtual worker’ which can work on human-centric tasks overnight to assist the workload that admin workers have during the day and is able to process up to 2000 referrals per night!
This also frees up human workers to process more complicated tasks, such as referrals that may have been lost or are more complicated. This blend of computer power and human expertise and reasoning allows for an automation system that works with people, rather than looking to replace them.
Looking at other areas for innovation
Ellie shared with us some examples of innovation that she is massively excited about when it comes to healthcare. The use of augmented reality to train for surgeries allows for surgeons to practise operating under various circumstances, and the future of this will mean more immersive training and better learning opportunities for medical professionals. This can also be combined with machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence to further analyse how to improve the quality of operations and situational training.
Listen now for the full discussion
To hear more of the conversation with Ellie, listen now using the links below!
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