Navigating the Digital Journey: Expert Insights With Steven Hipwell

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In the heart of the ever-evolving healthcare landscape lies a crucial topic between digital innovation and estate management. Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with Steven Hipwell. You might remember his talk at Rewired 2024, where he stressed the importance of connecting digital technologies with estate management.

As our conversation unfolded, Steven explained his perspective on the priority to closely intertwine digital initiatives with estate management strategies. He emphasised the significance of this relationship expressing more than ever, now is the moment to embark on the digital journey.

Furthermore, Steven pointed out the alignment between digitalisation and overarching sustainability goals, including the pursuit of net-zero targets. Within NHS estates, these themes resonate deeply, underscoring the need for a joined-up approach that addresses both digital transformation and sustainability needs.

Central to our discussion was the crucial role of comprehensive project planning. Steven stressed the importance of establishing a well-defined scope collectively, ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned in their vision for transformation. Drawing from his experience, he highlighted the pitfalls of uncertainty, explaining the example of door access systems. Without a clearly defined scope, the number of options can impede progress, whereas a defined roadmap enables swift and effective implementation.

A poignant insight shared by Steven related to the integration of younger generations into digital actions. Recognising the demographic shift within the workforce, he underscored the value of engaging with students and young professionals to get fresh perspectives and insights. Steven's proactive approach, which involves collaborating with medical students in universities, reflects a forward-thinking mindset aimed at nurturing a digitally adept workforce for the future.

Indeed, the journey towards digital transformation within healthcare estates forces not only technological prowess but also a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation. Steven's emphasis on embracing challenges and seeking feedback shows the forward-thinking nature of innovation. By instilling the principles early on, particularly among the upcoming generation of healthcare professionals, we can ensure that digitalisation remains a hot topic with progress and efficiency.

In conclusion, my conversation with Steven Hipwell served as a great reminder of the multifaceted nature of healthcare transformation. As we navigate the complexities of digitalisation and estate management, it's important that we embrace collaboration, insight, and a commitment to driving positive change. By doing so, we can create a path towards a digitally empowered healthcare ecosystem.