Friday, July 26, 2013

It Looks Like The UK Is Heading Off In A New E-Health Direction. Building On Some Tough Experiences It Has To Be Said.

This appeared a little while ago.

NHS England introduces IDCR

1 July 2013   Rebecca Todd
NHS England has released guidance for trusts to achieve fully integrated digital care records across all care settings by 2018.
'Safer Hospitals Safer Wards: Achieving an integrated digital care record' “sets out the benefits case for adopting safe digital record keeping as a precursor to achieving integrated digital care records across the health and care system."
It also gives full details on how trusts can get their hands on some of the new, £260m Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund and sets a deadline of 31 July for expressions of interest.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said in January this year that he wants to see a paperless NHS by 2018.
NHS England’s guidance goes a step further by saying its vision is for a fully integrated digital care record across all care settings by 2018.
It describes an IDCR as the ability of local health and care services to “use digital technology to ensure that vital patient related information and clinical decision and support tools can be viewed by an authorised user in a joined up manner in any single instance."
“Local NHS providers will be free to make investment decisions about the solutions which work best for their organisations as long as they meet national standards in vital areas such as data security and interoperability with other systems,” it says.
The most important standard is that all providers adopt the NHS Number as primary identifier on all patient data.
As reported by EHI last month, this will become a contractual obligation by April 2014 and a key focus for the Technology Fund will be supporting providers to meet this standard.
“A second priority will be to make the digital transformation of health and care a focus for innovation and enterprise and a driver of economic growth, particularly among smaller businesses and third sector organisations,” the guidance says.
This includes the introduction of a ‘Procurement Toolkit’ to help trusts understand their requirements; determine a procurement strategy; and commercial management.
The guidance introduces the concept of a clinical digital maturity index to help local economies benchmark their capability to deliver ‘meaningful use’ of IDCRs.
It says that while international benchmarking models exist and should continue, NHS England is committed to producing a ‘home grown’ model in collaboration with NHS organisations.
NHS England will publish a baseline document identifying the current stage of digital maturity of each NHS hospital and mental health provider before the end of this year.
This will include; infrastructure; current level of clinical digital capability and usage; current use of key information standards such as the NHS number; and level of interoperability.
“Going forward we expect to measure and monitor organisations and systems to ensure that they can demonstrate a progressively increasing level of ‘meaningful use’ of an IDCR and wider digital technologies in the delivery of care,” it adds.
The document’s other ‘key messages’ include the importance of clinicians being at the heart of the decision-making and implementation of IT. It encourages the appointment of chief clinical information officers to drive this.
 More here:
This is not all new however as they are clearly building on what is already in place:

SCR to be expanded

1 July 2013   Rebecca Todd
Patients’ end-of-life care information, immunisations, and significant past problems and procedures will be added to the NHS Summary Care Record.
New guidance released today by NHS England says its has commissioned the Health and Social Care Information Centre to add immunisations, significant past problems and procedures, end-of-life care information, and other patient preferences to the SCR.
‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards: Achieving an integrated digital care record’ describes the SCR is a “key building block” towards achieving an IDCR.
The SCR was one of the key projects of the old National Programme for IT in the NHS.
It was supposed to create the 'national' element of an integrated care records service that was otherwise supposed to be delivered by the roll-out of local, detailed care record systems at trusts.
Lots more here:
The two areas that are italicised in the first article I see as critically important and agree totally with the direction being taken here.
It is good to see a preparedness to regroup and give e-Health another go after what, it is now agreed, were some pretty major problems.
David.

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