A survey involving more than 1000 healthcare professionals across the UK has revealed more than a half believe the cost of the technology is holding back their organisation.

The survey forms part of Deloitte’s Shaping the future of digital healthcare report which looked into the current challenges facing the NHS as it tries to adopt a digital first policy.

It revealed 56% of those questioned said they believed the cost of the technology is holding back their organisation.

A further 35% of healthcare professionals said they believed it will take at least 10 years before their organisation is paperless and fully. The figure rises to two-thirds among senior healthcare leaders, who cite funding, leadership and interoperability as the three key challenges.

Sara Siegel, partner and head of healthcare at Deloitte, said: “Digital healthcare will make it easier for people to access services more quickly, while providing staff greater visibility of the information they need to treat patients efficiently and effectively. This will help to bridge the gap between the challenge of increasing demand for healthcare and the growing level of staff shortages.

“In 2019, digital transformation lags well behind where it needs to be if healthcare is to remain sustainable and affordable. Accelerating digital transformation will require a radical shift in the culture and mind-set of healthcare leaders. The variable state of IT infrastructure and difference in rates of adoption of technologies requires more sustained management and investment to accelerate and improve the uptake of technologies.”

Overall, just 38% of survey respondents say they feel informed about their organisations digital strategy.

Karen Taylor, research director of Deloitte’s centre for health solutions, added: “Effective digital transformation in healthcare has the potential to enhance the experience of patients and staff, improving outcomes and ultimately saving lives.

“In order to do so, it’s imperative that steps are taken now to ensure healthcare leaders have a clear vision about the use of digital technology and clinical staff feel consulted, empowered and well trained in the its use.”