Seize the day
What’s the secret of comedy? Hang on, it’ll come to me. Have you noticed how fed up Alan Johnson always looks in photos? That’s because… Timing. That’s it.
Timing is the secret of healthcare as well. The one thing no budget increase can give the NHS is time. And timing is the secret of business. We hear a lot about the difference between being efficient
and being effective
. The real distinction is: being efficient is saving time, being effective is using time well.
As the days begin to lengthen and the work schedules begin to bite, this issue of On Target
is about making the best possible use of time.
In our lead article, Thoreya Swage discusses the Government’s 18-week target for patient pathways. This major challenge for the NHS is a golden opportunity for the medtech industry to provide new solutions. Swage examines the steps along the patient pathway, showing how innovative products and services can help the NHS to save time and thereby improve the patient experience.
Following this, we present two short articles on the future of telehealth – a new healthcare model driven by technological innovation. By reducing the frequency of hospital visits and the length of hospital stays for elderly patients, telehealth not only saves the NHS time but gives patients more quality time – in their own homes, in control of their own health.
In the second of our interview series ‘The Burning Question’, we ask healthcare logistics expert Akin Sawyerr whether NHS Supply Chain and its ten-year contract to drive down costs in NHS purchasing and distribution means that time has run out for medtech SMEs. His answer – that NHS Supply Chain looks for best value
in terms of an effective system, not necessarily best price
– is an important message for the industry.
The same message of using resources to best effect is underlined in two further articles. In an article on corporate social responsibility, Nick Tolhurst shows that voluntary action to help meet global healthcare needs can reap rewards in terms of training and contacts as well as reputation. And in ‘Remote Control’, Helen Stockill looks at strategies for harmonising the work of a sales team who are spread over a wide area. In both cases, the goal is not to get the most
to achieve the best
Time can’t be manufactured: it has to be used. Efficiency is about not wasting time. Effectiveness is about not wasting anything else. When you put these two principles together, the result is more successful business, better health outcomes and better patient experience.
Nobody’s going to wait for you to get it right.Chris Ross