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Paper cuts

thomas meek | ehealth insider | 16 april 2015

PA Consulting Group’s Andy Vernon, a healthcare technology expert, is quoted in an article in Ehealth Insider. Andy shares his views on whether we are close to achieving a paperless NHS. 

According to the article, there is still a large degree of uncertainty about what is meant by a ‘paperless’ NHS. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt told a think-tank that he wanted a paperless NHS by 2018 back in January 2013, arguing that this would lead to significant efficiency savings at a time of austerity.

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Andy offers his definition of what a paperless NHS should mean: “The digitisation of paper medical records, a core electronic patient record system for the major departments, electronic prescribing systems, and mobile working technologies in specific settings.”

Andy goes on to talk about the practical challenges. He says that there are concerns that the “vast majority of NHS organisations simply do not have the financial resources to undertake the considerable investments in technology required."

He continues: “[That is not just in terms of the] applications to manage information at the front line, but also to upgrade their communications infrastructure to support these technologies.” He also expressed concern that the “ongoing costs of maintaining a paperless NHS are not well understood.”

You can read the article in full here

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