Delivering value with digital technology

Helping NHS finance staff support the transformation of care through digital technology.

HFMA Awards 2024

Nominations for the delivering value with digital technologies award category are open until Friday 27 September.

Digital technologies such as digital medicine, genomics, artificial intelligence and robotics have a huge potential to transform the delivery of healthcare. These technologies can empower patients to participate actively in their care, with a greater focus on wellbeing and prevention. They also support the prediction of individual disease risk and personalise the management of long-term conditions.

This programme of work started in 2021 with an aim to increase awareness amongst NHS finance staff about digital healthcare technologies, so that they can actively support the use of digital technology to transform services and drive value and efficiency. The programme includes briefings, roundtables, the Delivering Value with Digital Technologies Award, case studies, blogs, events, webinars, HFMA bitesize modules and much more. Read on to find out more.

James Freed: the role of finance in supporting digital transformation

How the programme is run

The HFMA and NHS Digital Academy are working in partnership to provide a range of resources and tools that can raise the profile of digital innovation in the NHS. 

The HFMA’s Digital Council oversees this work programme.

If you would like to apply to join the Digital Council, email us at [email protected]

Digital technologies resources map

A tool that supports good practice in delivering value with digital technology. Primarily aimed at finance teams supporting digital developments, the map will also help clinical and informatics teams who want to understand how to make a case for digital investment.

Learn about digital technologies with HFMA bitesize

The HFMA has a series of online bitesize courses that cover digital technology and how it can be implemented effectively. Each of them are free to all staff in the NHS. Access them via the links below:


A list of briefings, case studies, and other publications that have been produced as part of this programme. Expand each item in the list to access the full briefing.

This case study describes how trusts and integrated care systems are using robotic process automation (RPA) mimicking human actions for simplistic tasks, as well as the benefits they are seeing to data quality and staff workload.

Read it here.

This case study focuses on HeartFlow, a digital product that takes data from a patient’s coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) scans, and uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, computational fluid dynamics and trained analysts to create a three-dimensional (3D) map of the heart and blood vessels.

Read it here

This case study describes how a digital system is enabling knowledge of the relationship between genes and medicines, so it can be used in primary care.

The Progress study identified four medicine groups prescribed commonly prescribed in primary care. These medicines have a known relationship to gene variations that would prevent the patient receiving benefit from them, but that may still cause side effects.

Read it here

This case study describes how the Dorset Intelligence and Insight Service has been set up to enable people working across the health and social care network to access digital tools. These provide clinicians and planners with access to a range of patient data to assist in delivering services that can improve health outcomes for the county’s population.

Read it here.

This case study describes Alder Hey’s model for innovation, identifying the key factors that make it a success. The case study includes an outline of two projects where the model has been applied.  

Read it here. 

This briefing highlights the importance of capital and arriving at the correct accounting treatment for digital projects which may or may not be capital. It is intended to help finance teams as well as others involved in digital projects by providing more detail on the questions that need to be asked when determining the accounting treatment for a digital investment.  

The briefing sets out the process that NHS bodies and their auditors follow when determining the appropriate accounting treatment. Finally, it considers the impact of the Health and Care Act 2022 on accounting for digital projects.

Read it here.

This case study describes a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system tracks medical assets. The system reduces time spent looking for equipment, improving patient care and reducing write offs and replacement costs. The system also helps with updating maintenance records and provides useful data on how frequently specific assets are used to inform procurement plans.

Read it here. 

In common with many other mental health trusts, Mersey Care’s NHS Foundation Trust's community mental health teams (CMHTs) were experiencing rising caseloads and increasing numbers of service users with complex mental health problems. This meant that the service was prioritising the management of risk to keep people safe, and had limited time to deliver recovery-based care.

The lack of information about the size and complexity of team and practitioner caseloads meant that it was hard for managers to ensure that adequate time and resource was allocated to those service users who needed it most. The trust was keen to make better use of the information held in their clinical systems to address these issues.  

Using Global Digital Exemplar funding, the trust worked in collaboration with Holmusk to develop a digital solution, called the Management and Supervision Tool (MaST).

Read it here. 

This case study describes how digital technologies can improve access to pulmonary rehabilitation as a treatment for chronic lung conditions. Virtual reality headsets enable patients to complete the treatment programme from their own homes at a time convenient for them. Early findings from pilot sites appear to indicate that this care model may improve access to treatment, increase productivity and address workforce capacity issues.

Read it here. 

This briefing focuses on identifying and realising benefits for digital transformation. It is not a comprehensive guide to benefits management, but explores some of the key issues, illustrated with examples.

Read it here. 

This case study describes how research teams from two biomedical research centres in London have used natural language processing - a form of artificial intelligence - to structure the large volumes of unstructured data in electronic patient records, so that the data can be used to support the delivery of high-quality care and clinical research. 

Read it here.