Delivering Efficiency

Improving efficiency is at the very core of the Department of Health's ambition to reduce expenditure within the NHS while maintaining the quality of service offered.

The challenge from the top is to utilise finances and resources in a lean manner, to improve patient outcomes and experience while at the same time helping to reduce the national deficit.

The target of £20billion in productivity gains is dubbed the "Nicholson Challenge"

One strategy for achieving these gains is the further shifting of responsibility for managing NHS resources to clinical staff on the front-line. Clinical Commissioning Groups will in the near future decide which services are commissioned and importantly how they are run in order to maximise the benefit to patients and value to the taxpayer.

Commissioning services from a company such as Echotech is one way efficiency savings can be made over traditional supplier models (Acute Trusts, for example).

By using Echotech, Clinical Commissioning Groups can purchase diagnostic tests on a per patient basis, exactly matched to local demand, with the ability to flex volumes up and down in a way that is financially predictable. 

There are none of the capital expenditure costs traditionally associated with rolling out new services (ultrasound equipment, for example). Indeed, the fact Echotech uses staff and equipment across multiple locations means that we can offer the echo on a lower unit cost as our fixed assets are working harder.

Echotech operates a business model which avoids being top heavy, with 95% of staff employed in direct clinical delivery and back office functions outsourced where appropriate.

Finally Echotech uses UltraLinq, a web based echo PACS system across all contracts. Being web based, it is accessible from just about any PC, with no software or licence costs for end users (the NHS).

All of these efficiency measures remain secondary to those cost savings delivered by a community echo service which sees patients diagnosed sooner, with a marked acute trust sparing effect.