How does recycling devices solve key NHS challenges?
The NHS and wider health and social care sector in the UK is under severe pressure for a multitude of different reasons, and that is having a knock-on effect on vital healthcare digitisation.
According to TechUK, 45% of people working in the sector feel that the current ‘crisis mode’ is the biggest challenge from a digital health and care standpoint. Shortages in staffing, a backlog in elective care, an expanding and ageing populations, and pressures in funding are all making it much more difficult for trusts to implement the technology they need.
However, trusts have to find a way to make it happen, not least because of a Government target that 90% of NHS organisations will have digitised health records by the end of 2023, and all of them by March 2025. Technology can also be transformative in making care delivery faster, more efficient, better coordinated and more effective, ultimately helping the NHS do more with less, and save more lives.
The role of sustainability
And on top of all of that, sustainability also comes into play when procuring new technologies. The NHS represents more than 7% of the economy and around 4% of the UK’s emissions, and so has a major part to play in the Government’s drive to create a net zero Britain by 2050. For its part, the NHS is world-leading in its commitment to reach net zero by 2040, and reduce its direct carbon footprint by 80% no later than 2032.
Because of that, any new technology has to help in reducing emissions and enabling sustainable operations, as well as delivering positive care outcomes. This is key to the NHS delivering on its social obligations to the British public in every area.
Keeping sensitive data safe
With digitisation of health records and care delivery comes a pressing need to keep patient data and other sensitive information safe, especially as the volume of data involved continues to expand. The penalties for a data breach, accidental data loss or being the subject of a cyber-attack can be severe. The Information Commissioner has the right to fine bodies for breaches of data protection regulations, up to a maximum of £17 million or 4% of overall turnover.
The existing methods of hardware disposal represent a particularly vulnerable area. Many trusts still rely on the ease of hiring a firm to collect old hardware and dispose of it without any data wiping processes being undertaken. Not only does that leave trusts open to the risk of data being obtained by unauthorised parties in the future, but it also means they’re missing out on resale value that can make a meaningful contribution to their budgets.
Meeting targets with a technology refresh
All of the challenges above point towards recycling forming a key part of the technology refresh strategies for every trust.
For example, SCC can take in older devices, repair and restore them including certified data destruction, and make them fit for resale to generate vital funds. Alternatively, the refurbishment process can be used to give devices a second life for different users and new hires, extending their lifespan, saving money, and sidestepping the carbon footprint implications of buying a new replacement.
In either of these scenarios, and in the event that a device has reached the end of its viable use (easily done in a busy hospital environment), comprehensive device and data destruction is absolutely essential for both patient safety and compliance. This not only ensures that information cannot fall into the wrong hands – with a certificate given to the trust to legally confirm that is the case – but also helps devices be recycled sustainably with as little matter as possible going to landfill.
When looking for a partner that can support device recycling, it’s important to make sure they have comprehensive, robust internal processes in place. Only that way can you be sure that your trust is getting maximum financial value from the arrangement, as well as the best outcomes across resale value, care efficiency, sustainability and data protection. At a time when the NHS is under unprecedented pressure to meet demanding targets, these services can make a real difference.
The smarter way to refresh your IT
SCC Recyclea is the best way to transform the assets and hardware within your NHS trust or healthcare organisation, and relieve the budgetary, operational and sustainability pressures you may be facing.
Last year SCC generated over 2 million pounds of revenue back to its clients, including NHS Trusts like Guys St Thomas, Royal Wolverhampton Hospital, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital, and the Coventry and Warwickshire partnership to name but a few.