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EHI EHealth Insider Highlights

South trusts move forward with SmartCare
Another view: just do IT
openMaxims CIC approved

Welcome [*data('2.first_name')|html*] Issue No 669, 6 February 2015 twitter contact



It was Groundhog Day this week. Over in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Phil the groundhog emerged from his burrow, bit the mayor, and indicated there would be another six weeks of winter. Thanks for that. Covering healthcare IT can sometimes feel a bit like being stuck in the Groundhog Day film, in which a weatherman (Bill Murray) gets to live the same day over and over again.

So, this week, the Public Accounts Committee suggested, not for the first time, that it would be great if the NHS had proper, detailed cost data on which to base efficiency and reform programmes. It would. Several bodies argued, not for the first time, that the public would be more comfortable with big data projects if those involved in them were open about what their information was being used for. It would.

And health secretary Jeremy Hunt argued it would be great if people could go to a website to check out their symptoms, without calling NHS 111 or going to A&E. Which is odd. Because they can. GP Neil Paul is getting a bit tired of this kind of thing. In his latest column, he argues that instead of talking about grand schemes, tech funds, and big data, the NHS should do something practical – like give every district nurse in the country a tablet, loaded with paperwork and clinical apps.

So easy it’s too hard to ever happen? On the positive front, a number of trusts announced this week that they were moving forward with, or had completed, major electronic patient record projects. In the film, everything does come out right in the end…



South trusts move forward with SmartCare

Three acute trusts in the South Local Clinical Systems programme are moving ahead with implementation plans for InterSystems’ TrakCare, starting later this year.

5 Boroughs live with RiO

5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has gone live with the RiO electronic patient record system across its physical health services, four months later than originally planned.

Derbyshire halfway through Paris rollout

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has completed the first stage of implementing Civica’s Paris electronic patient record system, with work now starting on the second and final stage of the project.

RNOH takes McKesson PACS

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust has signed a seven-year contract with McKesson for a picture archiving and communication system and radiology information system.

openMaxims CIC approved

Three NHS trusts have officially become the first members of a community interest company to act as “code custodians” for IMS Maxims’ open source electronic patient record system.

NHS 111 caught in onward referrals row

A “serious and urgent analysis” of NHS 111 is needed to address concerns that it is creating a higher workload for GPs and A&E departments, the BMA has said.

PAC calls for better NHS cost data

The Commons’ public accounts committee has called for the collection of “consistent and detailed cost data across the NHS” to inform healthcare policy.

Quote of the week


“[The electronic patient record] represents the biggest single investment, and the most transformational change, that we have ever committed at our trust.”

Dr Frank Harsent, chief executive of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is moving forward with InterSystems TrakCare as part of the SmartCare consortium of three trusts in the South.




The little red (e)book

The ‘red book’ that records a child’s early health progress is one of the best known personal health records; and it’s on the verge of going digital. Kim Thomas reports.

Another view: just do IT

GP Neil Paul says it’s time to stop talking about big data and tech funds and do something useful – like give every district nurse in the country an iPad.


Featured comment


“I reckon it probably seems like a long journey for 5BP (as with many trusts) but well done to all.”

By: LP
Story: 5 Boroughs live with RiO




A few weeks ago, the diary noted that NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens had called for a new digital ‘front door’ to the NHS, apparently oblivious of the efforts of NHS Direct, its part-successor NHS 111, the advice sections of NHS Choices, and the commissioning board’s semi-abandoned, yet-often-re-announced plans for an ‘integrated customer service platform’.

Now, health secretary Jeremy Hunt is at the same thing. On LBC Radio this week, he was extolling the benefits of the under-fire NHS 111, and arguing that it was a solution to pressure on other services (rather than, as the BMA would have it, a cause of them). Indeed, he said: “If I had to say there was one thing missing from 111 it would be an online version of it. You could go to a website and not have to go through the questions with a call centre.”

Admittedly, the NHS Pathways/Integrated Directory of Services software used by NHS 111 is not available to the public. But as a service to Mr Stevens, Mr Hunt, and any other minister, manager, or policy wonk not entirely familiar with the digital offerings they are, in fact, in charge of, the NHS Choices symptom checkers are here.


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