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BCS welcomes new NHS strategy on IT
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BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has welcomed the publication of the new NHS information strategy.
'The power of information: Putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need' focuses on the operational changes needed to extract value from IT, rather than simply on the technologies themselves.
The institute said BCS continues to support the development of an effective IT strategy for the NHS, with a view to ensuring the best possible public service delivery.
Dr Justin Whatling, vice-chair of strategy and policy at BCS Health, said that with "some way to go" on the efficiency savings required in the NHS, the focus must now shift from doing more with less to the fundamental transformation in the way the actual processes of care are delivered.
"Information is central and the NHS information strategy sets the vision for what is required to be achieved," he stated.
BCS said it is "pleased" that many of the original recommendations put forward in its consultation response have been addressed in the strategy.
In particular, the NHS has acknowledged the need to open up information to empower patients and ensure the adoption of information and technology in the NHS is driven by clinicians.
The institute also welcomes clarity on the expected roles of both the centre and the marketplace, enabling the opportunity to spurn a vibrant information market.
Also, BCS has backed a commitment that further capital will be available for investment in information and technology in the coming years.
"The NHS information strategy goes a long way in setting out the expectations around data quality and use of data standards to ensure data is of a suitably high quality to effect change," the institute stated.
However, BCS Health would like to see greater emphasis on commissioners encouraging the sharing and adoption of best practice in partnership with industry and the third sector.
It would also like to have seen the strategy place clear obligations on hospitals to digitise their patient records and open these to scrutiny by patients.
Mike Sinclair, vice chair of professionalism for BCS Health, commented: “We are delighted to see the commitment to grow informatics skills across the NHS generally and to develop the informatics profession across health and social care, potentially supported by accreditation for informatics professionals.
"However, we would like to see much more emphasis applied to the intelligent customer or commissioner of informatics services in order that we have skilled staff, doing the right thing," he stated.
Posted by John Lynes
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