EHealth Insider readers could not get enough of stories about one of the big pieces of unfinished business left over from the National Programme for IT in the NHS in 2012.

No fewer than six of the most read stories on the EHI website concerned CSC, its protracted wrangles with the Department of Health over a new contract for the North, Midlands and East of England, the impact of the negotiations on the company, and its decision to withdraw from primary care.

News about CSC was so dominant, that it even pushed coverage of the launch of the government’s equally long-awaited NHS information strategy down into second place.

Five most read stories 2012:

CSC plans massive job losses (February)

New NHS information strategy unveiled (May)

CSC set to write off £1 billion on NPfIT (January) 

Cerner challenges Cambridge EPR decision (July) 

CSC to withdraw from primary care (September)

However, CSC’s travails were not what got readers commenting this year. National director of patients and information, Tim Kelsey, did not take up his post until July, but as soon as he arrived at the National Commissioning Board he started giving interviews that made for debate.

EHI’s most read story of the year was Kelsey’s suggestion that NHS staff should program, and its fourth most commented story was his suggestion that the NHS should be paperless by 2015.

Unfortunately, when the NHS CB issued its first planning guidance in December it became clear that this meant it should have paperless referrals by this date – using a revamped Choose and Book. Which somehow seemed a little less exciting.

Five most commented stories 2012:

NHS staff should code – Kelsey (October)

New NME Lorenzo trusts poised to commit (August)

Hawking calls for action on A&E info (July) 

NHS to be ‘paperless’ by 2015 – Kelsey (October) 

New NHS information strategy unveiled (May)

The lists of best read and most commented Insight pieces are both dominated by EHI’s lively columnists; in particular Joe McDonald, who cheerfully bills himself as the former psychiatrist to NPfIT.

His opinions of CSC’s Lorenzo electronic patient record and the NHS Summary Care Record were both particularly well read.

And his opinion of the SCR attracted far more comments than any other item on the EHI website this year. In no small part this was because the comments developed into a conversation – perhaps a row would be a better word – between one privacy campaigner and other readers.

The other most-read Insight features of the year were about Epic and its emergence as the winner of the marquee EPR tender of the year for the eHospital project in Cambridge; which was challenged by Cerner, which hoped to win the business itself.

Five most read Insights 2012:

Millennium fug (about the benefits, or not, that Southern trusts have seen from Millennium)

Epic ‘ready for NHS’

Joe’s view of the Summary Care Record

Insider view: Jon Hoeksma (on Cerner’s decision to challenge the Epic win at Cambridge)

Joe’s view of Lorenzo

Five most commented Insights 2012:

Joe’s view of the Summary Care Record

EHI CCIO: Take in a new VistA

Another view: Neil Paul (on whether the app model is the way forward for NHS IT)

Joe’s view of NHS IT leadership

Joe’s view of Lorenzo

EHealth Insider’s own review of 2012, as chronicled in its newsletters, is published in the Twenty twelve Insight today.