Sam Shah Technology for Marketing
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:14] Hello and welcome to day one for Technology for Marketing Live. We are right here at Olympia. I am Nayoka Oware hosting for disruptive Live and I’m joined by Sam Shah who is the director of digital development at the NHS. Sam, how are you?
SAM SHAH [00:00:31] Hello, Im great.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:31] I’m very well, thank you. How are you doing?
SAM SHAH [00:00:33] Great thanks.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:33] Wonderful. Tell me more about your role and how much you enjoy it because I know you do.
SAM SHAH [00:00:36] I am director of digital development for NHSX and I’m really lucky. I have a great role and I get to do lots around digital development of the ecosystem in the NHS as well as run some national transformation programs and alongside that im still a practicing clinician so it’s a great mix that I have.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:57] and how long have you worked for NHSX for?
SAM SHAH [00:00:57] I’ve worked for NHSX since it started and it’s very new. NHSX only came into existence in July this year. Prior to that, I was in NHS England doing a similar role.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:01:12] Incredible, can you tell us a bit about the challenges you’ve faced in your role.
SAM SHAH [00:01:12] Yeah, I mean, the NHS is a large organisation and NHS England and NHSX are very much involved in setting the policy, the direction and the way commissioning works across the system. But that’s not the end of it because of course the NHS is made up of thousands of organisations, all of whom have their local procedures, operating mechanisms and the way in which they interact with patients. So to make transformation happen at scale is quite challenging and to make digital transformation happen, the scale when we’re dealing with legacy technology is particularly difficult.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:01:50] Thank you for that, tell us more about Tech for citizens and what that intails.
SAM SHAH [00:01:50] So at the moment, technology is used by citizens in so many different ways. People live their lives in a digital first way more and more every day. Twenty five percent of the population bank online, they shop online. They do lots of things online. When we think about health service. We need to make sure we provide system facing technology for those people that want to use it. So apps where individuals, types of devices people might have in their own homes. These are all things that are emerging. People out there are buying and using. And we have to work out how do we make sure that they get the best interaction possible. And the data where it matters connects in to the clinician thats treating them. So good examples of those things, very early things, apps for citizens. When, for example, a citizen can use the NHS app to book a point with their GP. They can triage their symptoms. These are all things that are starting to happen.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:02:49] I’m always concerned about the elderly and looking for new ways to engage them with technology because sometimes they shy away from it, do you have any ideas or could recommend anything that would be great for them.
SAM SHAH [00:02:51] Well I think this is often a question that comes up not just in healthcare, but in other settings. So when we think about what technology provide is very much based on needs and what we’ve certainly seen from the projects that we’ve had out there right now, we have a whole spectrum in the population that use technology to engage. In fact, age isn’t the biggest barrier. It happens to be other factors like deprivation and social circumstances and other things that people do. So in fact, age is one component, but more importantly, it’s what need are we fulfilling. And how do you make it as frictionless as possible to meet that need for that particular group? Whether it happens to be a language barrier. Age, frailty. Any of those things? Some things that are happening out there already. And it’s not just the NHS doing it. Other parts of society are also involved in this, providing mechanisms to make technology more accessible for those people going out into communities and showing people how to do these things. Now, the real interesting things are providing IoT type technology and using Internet of Things. People can use technology in their own homes to connect to their clinicians. So we have some people that might be much older or living in rural settings that are using a smart device to connect to their clinician.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:04:07] Very cool, thankyou for that, was a great response, can you tell us about any exciting projects that you’re currently working on or that you have previously worked on.
SAM SHAH [00:04:07] Well, there’s lots of things that we do that are exciting. We’re really lucky about the number of projects we have but two inparticular that are quite important to me relate to urgent care in the NHS. Urgent care is very important because when people need urgent care they want to see a GP or another clinician and they want to do it quickly. So how do you try and make that the best we can? So a couple of things. Over the last few years, we’ve created an urgent care platform called 111 online. This allows individuals to go online, check their symptoms and then connect to a clinical service to be seen and you might not think this is very revolutionary. We managed roll out across the country and connect all the underlying services to this platform. So that’s been quite interesting. We’re seeing channel shift happening. We’re seeing people move from using the phone to start using online to get to these clinicians. The interesting one coming on the rise now is how we can use natural language processing to improve the experience individuals have when they do phone an urgent care service such as 111. This is really interesting because this will help cut down the amount of time someone needs to spend on the phone. It also will improve the efficiency of these services, but most importantly, get a patient to a clinician in the shortest time possible when they most need it.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:05:23] Of course, thank you so much for that Sam, I have one more kind of general question for you, obvioulsy you want to provide an amazing service and other clinicians do as well. Sometimes you can become really overwhelmed by your workload, sometimes you are only given like 10 or 15 minutes slots to speak to your patients. Is there anything or any advice you can give to other clinicians about trying to be less overwhelmed and relaxed a bit more, is that even possible?
SAM SHAH [00:05:40] I think it is. Everyone needs to take time out and say for everyone. First thing first important thing is to talk to other people. Talk to other clinicians who have been around, often experienced colleague. Often other colleagues. And that’s very important because we can all be overwhelmed by the burden that we face in any part of society so that that ensuring that people have psychological safety, whoever they are, is so important. The other thing is, is making sure that you take time out to go and talk to people outside of healthcare and do things that are not necessarily work related because reducing burnout is an important part of working in the system as well to provide the best care for those two important things. And for me, the most important thing is, is jumping on the trampoline with my 2 year old. That definitely is a form of relaxation.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:06:23] That sounds like a lot of fun I might try it with my 4 year old why not? Thank you so much for your time Its been an absolute pleasure, Sam speaking to, its been an absoloute pleasure.
SAM SHAH [00:06:35] You’re welcome, thank you.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:06:35] Thank you once again, that’s all we have time for. Thank you for joining, thank you for watching us. Don’t go away, because we will be back shortly. You can join the conversation with the hashtag Disruptive Live or hashtag TFM live 2019 we look forward to seeing you shortly.