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15
Feb

NHS IT review launched


Review will look at ways to improve NHS IT, including electronic health records, to achieve a paper free health and care system by 2020.

 

IT expert Professor Bob Wachter has launched a review of computer systems across the NHS. The review, ‘Making IT work: harnessing the power of health IT to improve care in England’, will look at places where IT has worked well and those areas that need improving. It will also look at different ways to implement IT in healthcare as the NHS works towards being paperless by 2020.

The report by Lord Carter, ‘Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations’, stresses the need for modern, digital technology to be more widely used across the NHS. The report recommends Trusts should be incentivised to invest in digital technology, which, in turn, may help to improve quality and efficiency performance.

Professor Wachter says: “The NHS is one of the world’s largest health and healthcare systems, and one of its largest employers. It’s essential that information technology across the NHS works well and can perform the tasks needed to deliver high quality, safe and efficient care. I am looking forward to finding out about some of the great work taking place across the NHS and highlighting areas for improvement.”

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, announced the review last year and it will report back to Government in June.

Jeremy Hunt says: “Improving the standard of care patients receive even further means embracing technology and moving towards a fully digital and paperless NHS. NHS staff do incredible work every day and we must give them and patients the most up-to-date technology - this review will tell us where we need to go further.”

The review will consider the experiences of clinicians and Trust leaders as well as the current capacity and capability of Trusts’ IT systems, as set out in the terms of reference (PDF, 110KB, 1 page). It will be formed of an advisory committee, the National Advisory Group on Health Information Technology in England, members include experts and patient representatives from England, Scotland, Denmark and the US.

Professor Wachter, author of ‘The Digital Doctor’, which looks at how healthcare is provided in the digital age, will make his recommendations to the National Information Board later this year.

 

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