What’s Your Digital Literacy Level

Posted by: NHS Horizons - Posted on:

Originally published by Leigh Kendall – 25th March 2018

What digital capabilities does the future workforce need? And how do we equip our workforce for the future?

These were questions posed during the Edge Talk on 20 March: Change Agents 2.0 – Digital Capabilities, presented by Susan Kennedy, Richard Price, and Dominic Cushnan.

‘Digital’ is something that is no longer the preserve of the IT department. We all use, and are affected by digital elements in our personal and our professional lives – whether we are using smartphones, computers, or technology to do our work. Work processes, and medical tools, for example, are becoming digitalised. 

The Person-Centred Digital Literacy Framework above looks at the attitudes and behaviours we need to successfully embrace digital technologies in the future – as well as the competencies. We need to be able to accept the rapid pace of change that is happening all around us.

Our breakout discussions involved participants thinking about our own roles, and what capabilities we might need. Key themes included:

  • Getting staff to training for new technologies can prove challenging – we need to look at our approaches. 
  • In a healthcare context, we need to frame new technologies as tools to help staff help their patients. Personalise it, for example rather than ‘Shiny new technology will save £x or reduce bed days by x%’ create a narrative, for example say ‘This new technology will help Jane the patient get her results quicker, and be treated more quickly, saving her lots of unnecessary stress and anxiety’ – after all, that’s what we healthcare staff are here for!
  • Remember change is inevitable! Change is happening all the time – life and the world is constantly evolving. We need to be find a way to be part of it.
  • Beware ‘technology fatigue’ – make sure new technology adds value, rather than it being the latest new fad.

These challenges and mindsets will, of course, be familiar to anyone who has completed The School for Change Agents. Change Agents are brilliant digital ambassadors – and projects looking at how to best and implement digital improvements would undoubtedly benefit from your skills.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to join the session for your insights, and for sharing your experiences. 

Further reading:

School for Change Agents

The Agile Manifesto and How It Could Save Health and Care Organisations