Amy Freeman, Associate Director of IT at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust, shows why the healthcare sector remains a vibrant one for innovation.

Her deployment last year of Office 365 (including Skype, SharePoint, Teams and One Drive) not only mitigated the need for an increasingly essential hardware and software refresh, but also improved security, communication and collaboration.

O365 allowed her to introduce a virtual fracture clinic that has halved the number of face-to-face follow-up clinics required, and ensured that any follow-up visit actually required is undertaken by the right specialist, giving better clinical outcomes. Likewise, the community heart failure service can now conduct weekly caseload review meetings by Skype with colleagues from other disciplines.

A cloud-based virtual desktop solution for mobile community nursing staff, available on any device anywhere, has enhanced mobility. And a home bed management system means care homes can record bed occupancy rates, giving the trust visibility of capacity in the community to aid discharge planning.

As for what's to come, Freeman has plenty of ideas on the go. She has proposed a move to a new purpose-built data warehouse in the public cloud to deliver greater insights and flexible reporting. The provision of Skype video services into care homes will allow nursing staff to gain medical support in the triage decision of whether to admit a patient to hospital. And she is looking to replace legacy clinical systems with a single mega-suite clinical system, including new sepsis, acute kidney injury and pressure ulcer algorithms to reduce avoidable injury.