It seems the end of the year is a good time to plan for a new National Health IT Strategy.
13 Dec 2007
A new e-health strategy for Scotland in spring 2008 is promised in a national healthcare action plan, Better Health, Better Care, published this week.
The action plan says Scotland’s incremental approach to deploying technology will continue and the new strategy will build on this. “We do not plan to produce some large single database of patient information but will join up systems where there are clear benefits from doing so.”
Key features of the new strategy will be:
- action around the three themes of supporting safe, effective, timely and efficient patient care, contributing to equitable, patient centred care and improving e-health capacity;
- a vision of ever diminishing paper and increasing use by clinicians of secure IT to access the right information in the right place at the right time;
- a clear focus on patient safety, safeguarding confidentiality, evidence based care and more efficient management of the patient's journey through care;
- a new emphasis on 'Patient e-health', initially focused on long term conditions, with trials of patient/carer online access to their records along with knowledge to promote self and collaborative care.
Significant progress has been made in e-health, according to the action plan which was drawn up by the Scottish Government. “The Emergency Care Summary now contains key clinical information for over 5.1 million patients and is currently used around 25,000 times per week, if the patient explicitly consents, by clinicians in out-of-hours GP services, A&E departments and NHS24."
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What is most notable about this is the dramatically different approach the country with approximately 5 million souls is planning to adopt compared with the much larger England and the enormous National Program for IT.
On the basis of the experience from a number of other smaller nations (Wales, Denmark, Sweden and Holland for example) this seems to be a sensible strategy.
I promise I won’t say we need a Plan again!.