Are digital services putting patient safety at risk?

With all of our CQC regulated members rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ and Livi becoming the first online GP provider to be rated ‘Outstanding’ overall, we’re working to demonstrate our members’ commitment to patient safety and set the standard for digital healthcare.

This was a key topic in last week’s member session when we discussed the new Learn From Patient Safety Events service (LFPSE) which NHS England is due to launch in the coming weeks. It’s a positive step that the new system has been designed for all health and social care providers and that anyone will be able report safety events. We’re encouraging all digital providers, both within the DHC and more widely, to engage with the new system and to ensure the sector demonstrates it meets current safety mechanisms.

However, it’s not only that the digital health organisations can align with traditional providers. They can also enhance safety of care. With more opportunities to collect data across patient pathways, together with the potential to improve access to healthcare, digital health could play a significant role in improving safety. For example, availability of video recordings of consultations and end-to-end records means patient interactions can be scrutinised for safety. Through sharing learning between providers, we can promote excellence and innovation.

Since the CQC’s new strategy launch in April, we’ve been working closely with the CQC as they develop their plans for regulating digital provision. Establishing that digital providers can meet, and even exceed, the safety standards of traditional providers has been a key part of this and we’re looking forward to continuing our engagement as changes are made over the coming months.