TIP ONE: Be prepared: Before beginning the integration process, you will need to formulate a realistic project plan and understand if this is something your customers are happy to pay for. This process can take several months to a year or more, so the investment is high and the thresholds for sign-off are tough, understandably so. Make sure your project team is heavy in good communicators, technical knowledge (ideally with health expertise), and those who are adaptable and can pivot if needed.
TIP TWO: Nailing the paperwork is key: While it cannot be underestimated the importance of the technical side, ultimately the speed through which you can navigate this process will be down to how you can get everything you need down on paper. To succeed you need to be very clear in everything you submit. You are the expert in what you do, but you need to be able to convey that to those who are not experts in your area, the better you can do this the faster you will proceed. Areas that will be most important are, technical testing information, clinical safety, and last but not least data protection and information governance. Make sure you have people on your team with these skills.
TIP THREE: Communicate effectively: Onboarding will NHS digital will require dealing with multiple teams. Effective communication is crucial throughout all stages or the project. We suggest that you keep all messaging simple, and establish who the ‘go to ‘ people are at both the suppliers and in the NHS, they are your friends, look after them. Sometimes using visual aids can help with the understanding of processes (they deal with so many companies connecting and don’t know your software like you do) and information and can save time for everyone. Make sure that you are responsive to any requests and transparent about the project’s progress, be ready to describe your product in just a few sentences.
TIP FOUR: Embrace complexity: Suppliers may need to integrate their systems with multiple GP Practice systems, such as EMIS, TPP, and Vision’s APIs making it difficult to ensure seamless and effective integration. This can lead to compatibility issues and difficulties in exchanging data between systems. You will need to make sure that you have the right resource to manage, plan up front, or work with a company that is able to help with technical expertise and compliance.
TIP FIVE: Test, test, test: When planning testing, make sure you have your methodologies, test cases, data and schedule all planned out before you start. Make sure you have a method of documenting the results, how the results will be reported and a process for any changes. This will produce dividends later on when it comes to witness testing with the supplier. The sum outcome of a good testing strategy is:
Testing is faster, saving time and any issues found are less costly to deal with
Improved user experience
We hope you have found these 5 tips helpful for starting your journey with the IM1 framework. Quicksilva have a long history in the NHS, so If you feel you need additional technical, compliance, or development support for your project, we are here to guide you. For over two decades, Quicksilva have been the go-to solution for connecting individuals to NHS services.
If you would like to speak to one of our specialist team to ask any questions or discuss any digital project requirements, you can get in touch for for more information, visit our professional services page.