Maternity services showing digital progress, says report

By Hollie Ewers on 10 December 2018 Report Maternity Services

The majority of maternity providers in England are making a good start at using digital technology, the Maternity digital maturity assessment report by NHS Digital reveals.

All 135 maternity providers completed an assessment of their progress in adopting digital technology, such as providing electronic health records, sharing information digitally and giving patients access to online resources. 

Providers were assessed according to their level of digital maturity with the results helping organisations to identify their strengths and gaps in the use of digital services. 

The results also help to highlight common challenges faced by maternity providers and potential solutions that could improve their digital maturity.

The assessment looked at how much investment was being made in software, equipment and infrastructure too.

Recommendations from the report include encouraging greater collaboration, so that the more digitally mature maternity providers share their expertise with the handful that had low maturity levels. 

The report also reinforces important messages around the need to identify and support digital leaders at all levels throughout maternity services.

Digital midwife, clinical advisor for the Digital Maternity Programme at NHS Digital, and one of the authors of the report, Julia Gudgeon said: ‘This report marks an important step forward in explaining the role technology and data can play in driving up safety, quality and efficiency within maternity services.

‘We have listened to clinicians working in the field and women themselves, both of whom are key to developing the use of digital tools to improve the experience of service users. This insight helps us to understand what to do and what not to do.

‘Our hope is that the findings of this report will inspire further collaboration so that women, technology and maternity services can work together to provide better health, better care and better value.

‘We live in a world where digital technology is transforming our lives and we need to bring these benefits into maternity care.’

The Maternity digital maturity assessment report is available here.