The NHS is facing a challenging time as it undergoes a process of digitalisation and reorganisation. A number of reports have detailed the potential benefits that technology can bring to the healthcare sector, both for end users and service providers. A PwC and a National Mobile Health Worker report have highlighted the need to make better use of information and available technologies such as text messaging negative results, electronic patient records and electronic prescribing of medication. Our UK Health Informatics Forum brings together supplier expertise from within the Health Informatics sector including private sector companies focusing on ICT management, digital document management and electronic data capture. Altodigital, Kirona Ltd and Tiani Spirit are all organisations contributing their expertise in innovative ICT solutions at our Leeds forum.
The NHS is expected to become a ‘Paperless ’organisation by 2018, enabling it to improve services, save money and cope with the challenges of an aging population. This paperless approach will allow patients to have compatible digital records, which can be accessed at the touch of a button, across the health and care system. Over the coming years the NHS has planned the adoption of paperless referrals, outlining clear plans for the linking of electronic records and online access to health records held by GPs for patients.
Professor Jonathan Kay (Agenda Advisory Board member UKHIF) and Mike Morris of Tiani Spirit recently took part in an online discussion for the Guardian about the NHS paperless deadline (Read it at: http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2014/apr/23/paperless-nhs-achievable-2018). Professor Kay suggested here that the ‘Paperless’ term describes a vision, the details of which sets out to improve patient safety and process efficiency “which are the two benefits that computerisation can bring to clinical practice”. Professor Kay expected to see advantages of technology materialise over the next five years with patients seeing much greater use of mobile devices, wireless networks, architectures which don’t take into account server location and contextual knowledge management systems. New skills brought in by a new generation of clinicians who have trained and studied within the digital environment will also aid in the implementation of technological resources.
The Paperless NHS deadline plays a key role in the debate for adopting new healthcare technologies. Professor Jonathan Kay is helping to shape the discussion themes for the Leeds UK Health Informatics Forum and will be taking part within our interactive panel sessions. If your organisation supplies technological solutions to support the NHS and help it meets its paperless deadline, register your interest at www.ese.health.com/register