Coronavirus: the NHS’s digital frontier
When the Coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, there were a multitude of reactions. Some panicked, voiding entire supermarkets of their loo roll, canned goods and hand sanitiser. Some became sceptical, continuing about their daily business, hoping for the best. But for the overwhelming majority, their only instinct was to help, in whichever way they could – particularly in the clinical world.
The response from the healthcare IT sector was no exception. Companies or suppliers with a solution that could aid in the COVID-19 efforts came in their droves, offering crisis management software, online consultations facilities and patient administration systems to the NHS and other care teams – completely free of charge during the pandemic. For hospitals whose resources were becoming increasingly over-stretched as cases grew, digitising much of their administrative workflow was vital in managing the load.
Some of our clients and partners were among those desperate to help out, including:
- Siilo messenger, a clinical messaging app, who offered free access to their Crisis Management Software
- Healthcare Communications, a patient communications software provider, who offered free access to their eClinic software to care teams worldwide.
- PatientSource, an EPR supplier, who offered a ‘lite’ version of their EPR software.
- Silverlink Software, a PAS supplier who provided their solution to the Harrogate Nightingale Hospital.
- Agfa Healthcare, an enterprise imaging provider who enabled radiologists and their teams to work remotely whilst providing life saving services.
Silver Buck was immediately put to work, capitalising on our connections in both trade and national press to get the word as far and wide as possible, of the offerings being made by our clients. We also reached out to the Tech4Covid19 Community to assist them in getting their members’ offerings more widely known to ensure they got in front of the right people – and fast. We drafted press releases and pitched to the press swiftly, to ensure a speedy turnaround, getting coverage in Digital Health, The HTN, Building Better Healthcare, Journal of mHealth – among many other trade press publications.
It wasn’t just Coronavirus-specific offerings that came to the fore. Several of our clients had developed software that was suitable for continuing vital clinical work, even whilst the sanctions imposed by social and physical distancing measures were in place.
These were explored in perhaps the most exciting piece of coverage that Silver Buck secured; a feature for Agfa, Zesty and Siilo on BBC Click – the broadcasting company’s technology programme, which was also aired on BBC World News and BBC Breakfast during its prime time. This included interviews with the Technical Deployment Manager at Agfa, a consultant radiologist at Harrogate District Hospital and Clinical Lead at the Yorkshire Imaging Collaborative, as well as app demonstrations for the Siilo and Zesty solutions.
Following this, we launched a campaign, encouraging any digital health supplier that was involved in efforts to fight COVID-19, to contact us and get the word out about their hard work.
In a time when it was difficult not to feel powerless in the face of such a pervasive disease, it felt rewarding to promote the great work that our clients were doing, to aid in the heroic efforts of the NHS during the pandemic.