Why payments in the cloud are key to NHS trust transformation

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Written by Andrew Davies

Published November 2018

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When we envision the hospitals of the future, most of us turn our thoughts to ground-breaking advancements in medical care, and how technologies such as artificial intelligence can help take some of the workload pressure off clinicians. 

Yet there’s another, often overlooked, area which can help support the transformation of NHS hospital trusts – that of accepting payments where due. The latest payments technologies used in the cloud not only make it easier for patients and visitors to pay, but also increase the opportunities for hospitals to take those payments and thereby increase the opportunities to collect vital income.

Ensuring you can offer convenient and secure ways of payment which don’t require cash, whether for prescriptions, car parking, the canteen or medical care for those not eligible for free treatment, is now essential to meet current payment preferences, as evidenced by the recent news that the value of purchases made by plastic now accounts for more than three-quarters of retail sales.

Future-proof payments

There’s been much discussion recently of transformation in the NHS and at the UK Health Show this year, the agenda focused on healthcare innovation and digitisation. Of course, many of the new technologies are necessarily cloud-based. 

Long gone are the days where we only used the cloud to store our photos and videos. It’s now ubiquitous in our everyday lives and is the powerful engine behind new technologies, enabling information to be truly mobile and, in the field of payments, enabling payments to be made from any device. The cloud enables all this whilst removing the need for expensive infrastructure to be installed. No wonder these technologies are attractive to organisations looking for efficiencies and cost savings.

As part of this general shift by organisations, at Pay360 we’ve noticed an increasing number of our customers choosing to move to our cloud-based solutions. This gives them access to our income management and payment solutions as a hosted service, run within our highly secure and resilient data centres. 

Customers benefit from improved business continuity as the system is constantly monitored, with a full disaster recovery service to ensure the payments service is always available. Their on-site server requirements are reduced, as are their firewall and network overheads, and they no longer have to think about software upgrades as these are carried out automatically. And, of course, with less information held on-site, they also save by having to complete a less onerous PCI DSS audit.

Making it easier to pay = better engagement and increased income

With cloud payment options, the sky’s the limit in terms of being able to offer a wide choice of payment options to patients and visitors. From online payments which can be made from any device, to alternative payment options such as Visa Checkout, Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal and smart mobile options which enable hospital staff to take a card payment from anywhere on site, you can ensure a better experience for patients and staff alike. 

Instead of having to wait in a queue, patients and visitors to the trust can pay at the earliest opportunity, from wherever they are, and at any time, increasing the likelihood of you receiving that payment in a timely manner.  

Whatever the future holds for healthcare innovation, it’s clear that, for hospital finance departments, introducing secure, flexible cloud payment options is a natural part of the digital journey for NHS Trusts, synergising and complementing the transformation work already underway.

To find out more get in touch with the Pay360 health team

 

Pay360 by Capita works in partnership with an increasing number of health trusts throughout the UK and beyond, providing a range of secure, easy to use payment solutions to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Read our series of health sector thought leadership blogs and find out about our payment solutions for the health sector here

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