National Health Service Goes Paperless

The National Health Service (NHS) is currently in the works to become a paperless health service system by 2015, according to Tim Kelsey, the NHS Commissioning Board’s head of informatics and National Director for Patients & Information at the NHS Commissioning Board Authority.

Last week, Kelsey told delegates at the Healthcare Efficiency Through Technology Expo that the government will reassure its commitment to a paperless health service, and he is pushing for a switch to digital communication by 2015.

Ministers are expected to unveil a final mandate for the new NHSCB later this month. The mandate will detail what they expect to achieve after taking over responsibility for management of the NHS from the government in April 2014.

Although 2015 is an ambitious target, Kelsey stressed that the eradication of paper will help to prevent the loss of information and records, thereby creating a “safer system” for patients.

The demand for electronic patient records has been growing over time. Only last week, the new health secretary Jeremy Hunt indicated at the Conservatives conference that there will be a greater focus on modern technology and its ability to bring the NHS up to speed. He also noted that the government would shy away from “top-down, bureaucratic procurement” with a determination for “more information, faster response and the better service from technology”.

The government is commitment to utilizing cutting-edge technology in health service. It announced that a £100 million NHS fund pot will be created to borrow money for new tools for nurses designed to cut down on administration and increase time with patients.

However, the publicservice.co.uk’s website posted a comment which argued that while there are some positives to the scheme, it is a long way from the “golden wonder” being presented. While the loan covers the initial cost of equipment, it minimize the huge rise in IT support related costs these new devices and systems.

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