NHS Providers has published its latest guide as part of the Digital Boards Programme which is focused on how to make the right technology decisions, Digital Health News can exclusively reveal.

The guide is designed to provide trust boards with the understanding and confidence they need to make informed decisions on technology, so that it is less intimidating and more accessible.

It forms part of NHS Providers’ Digital Boards Programme, which has been commissioned by Health Education England and is supported by NHSX. The aim of the programme is to support boards in leading the digital transformation agenda.

The newest guide, ‘‘Making the Right Technology Decisions’, has been jointly produced by NHS Providers and Public Digital.

The deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said: “The pandemic has put digital in the spotlight, with an abundance of innovations and many services adapting the way they are delivered.

“Consequently, boards are having to make decisions on technology on a more regular basis. This involves managing risk, making choices and ultimately avoiding bad decisions.

“This guide supports all board leaders, equipping them with the questions and considerations to reflect on during the decision-making process.

“We look forward to continuing to work with trusts as part of our wider Digital Boards programme, supported by HEE and NHSX, and continuing to offer free development sessions for individual trust boards to support them in these conversations.”

The latest guide is aimed at helping boards to understand some of the strategic issues which are facing the sector and helping them to navigate topics such as interoperability and electronic patient record procurement.

Sonia Patel, chief information officer at NHSX, added: “Boards should be comfortable making decisions on technology, in the same way they discuss finance, quality and operations.

“This will enable trusts to identify digital technologies that can improve care and transform services for frontline users and citizens. The Digital Boards guide helps demystify the technology agenda for board leaders and will better equip them to lead digital from the board room.”

The guide is the fourth part of the Digital Boards Programme, following ‘a new era of digital leadership’, ‘building and enabling digital teams’ and most recently, ‘building a digital strategy’.

Patrick Mitchell, director of innovation, digital and transformation at Health Education England, said: “We welcome the publication of this latest guide which will help health leaders ask the right questions when making decisions around the implementation of technological solutions within their trusts.

“It is crucial that these choices not only positively benefit their own organisation and patients but, with the establishment of integrated care systems, that they also consider the wider context and consider the importance of digital and data strategy integration of their wider local system.”