Entrepreneur Dawson King, who founded Cambridge Healthcare and the health informatics dotcom howareyou.com, has created a new health and care startup which has generated early buy-in from NHS Trusts and GPs in the UK.
King says HealthBerry has signed up 18 NHS hospitals in just a week after launching its beta.
King’s startup has developed a mobile and web application that enables NHS, third sector and private health and care organisations to measure patient feedback to inform improvements to health services, promote self-care and listen and engage with patients to improve patient experience – all using social media.
King said the enterprise was in response to the recent announcement by NHS England of new guidance aimed at increasing the use of social media in healthcare to improve transparency, health service delivery and patient experience.
Putting Patients First, the NHS England business plan for 2014/15, makes it a priority for NHS organisations to obtain direct feedback from patients, their families and NHS staff; supporting the cultural change needed to put people at the centre of their care, by making sure that patients’ voices are heard and used to deliver better services.
King said: “Social media platforms are critical to giving patients a say in how services are designed and reformed, as well as giving NHS organisations the chance to celebrate their successes and the great work of their staff, which will help build staff engagement.”
Managing and responding to social media is another challenge to be added to the list of competing priorities in healthcare organsiations. HealthBerry makes it easy to collate patient views and truly respond to local healthcare agendas publicised on social media.
“Digital by Default” is a mantra for many public sector organisations, and rightly so. They must use social and digital media to hear views from all sections of society and understand what people are saying about the services they want to receive.