NHS staff need to understand how IT fits into their business strategically and be clear about their requirements when procuring systems, says the head of healthcare at Intellect.

Speaking at the the Healthcare Efficiency Through Technology Expo on Tuesday, Jon Lindberg told NHS attendees that they need to take a stronger position on what they want and need when procuring IT systems, especially with regards to interoperability.

“You (the NHS) don’t demand interoperability, you don’t demand standards. We need to work with you to make you understand how interoperability fits in,” he said.

Lindberg explained that system implementations are more successful when medical staff are on board from the beginning and are clear about their requirements.

He urged NHS staff to be more active in informing the products they want.

“Be clear up front and make sure both sides understand exactly what they’re doing, what the capacities and needs are and overall a bit more thinking about where you want to go with your solution.”

Intellect set up a formal partnership with the Department of Health last year with the aim of creating a vibrant market for IT.

Lindberg said that following the end of the national programme for IT in the NHS, the new information strategy takes trusts in the right direction, but something needs to be done to “shake up that new market place.”

He said that during the NPfIT years, the NHS became too used to receiving goods “practically for free”, without really understanding how the IT fit strategically within their business.

He told the audience, mostly made up of NHS staff, that their mindset needs to change.

“In our daily lives we go online to book our flights and our hotels, we do online banking, but we still don’t believe enough to do that in the NHS.

“There’s a gap in the market where we don’t really have the demand meeting the supply,” he added.