The Digital Clinical Safety Strategy is a joint publication between NHSX, NHS Digital and NHS England and NHS Improvement. It is an addendum to the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, outlining the case for improved digital clinical safety across health and social care.
The aim of the strategy is twofold:
- To improve the safety of digital technologies in health and care, now and in the future.
- To identify, and promote the use of, digital technologies as solutions to patient safety challenges.
In other words, digital clinical safety is about making sure the technologies used in health and care are safe, and then using those technologies to improve patient safety.
Part 1 of the Digital Clinical Safety Strategy provides an introduction to patient safety and defines digital clinical safety. It summarises the evidence base behind this strategy and it explains the regulatory and policy context for the strategy.
Part 2 sets out the Digital Clinical Safety Strategy. It directly links to the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, mirroring its structure, which highlights ‘Insight, Involvement and Improvement’, as three strategic priorities for safer systems and safer cultures. Actions are outlined for each of these three areas. The strategy specifies 23 actions, which can be summarised as five national commitments.
National commitments for digital clinical safety
- Collect information about digital clinical safety, including from the Learn from patient safety events (LFPSE) service and use it to improve system-wide learning.
- Develop new digital clinical safety training materials and expand access to training across the health and care workforce.
- Create a centralised source of digital clinical safety information, including optimised standards, guidelines and best practice blueprints.
- Accelerate the adoption of digital technologies to record and track implanted medical devices through the Medical Devices Safety Programme.
- Generate evidence for how digital technologies can be best applied to patient safety challenges.
Part 3 explains how this strategy will be delivered and updated, with a focus on patient safety and digital health networks.
This strategy establishes what is needed for digital technologies to enable safety across health and care and how that can be prioritised nationally and delivered with a range of stakeholders. This strategy’s objectives support the wider NHS Patient Safety Strategy’s aim to build safer systems and safer cultures.