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Digital Health Highlights

CCGs must pilot IT roadmaps by April
London to roll-out eRedbook
56 Dean Street in email data breach

Welcome [*data('2.first_name')|html*] Issue No 699, 4 September 2015 twitter contact



The Daily Mail clearly found the idea that patients could be matched to records, blood, drugs and treatments using barcode technology weird.

Given a trail on one of the announcements to be made by at this week’s NHS Expo by NHS England director of patients and information, Tim Kelsey, the paper headlined its story “patients will be given their own BARCODE under plans to create a ‘paperless’ NHS…”

Readers duly responded by posting comments about how NHS bureaucrats would no doubt want to tattoo barcodes onto patients, or embed them in surveillance chips under their skin. Yet barcoding has a solid history when it comes to improving the safety of blood transfusion and drug administration.

Indeed, it’s something of a surprise that systems to scan wristbands, blood and drug packs at the bedside haven’t been rolled-out more widely, given their success at trusts that were supposed to be national exemplars, and the Department of Health’s support for GS1 UK.

Interestingly, a number of the entries to this year’s EHI Awards were for systems that used barcode scanning in new and interesting ways, for everything from infection control to precise theatre and stock management. So this is a technology whose time may have come; infrastructure and cost permitting.

Speaking of the EHI Awards; there is now just one week left to vote for the Healthcare IT Champion of the Year; so vote now, if you haven’t voted already!



CCGs must plot IT roadmaps by April

Clinical commissioning groups must submit digital roadmaps to NHS England by April next year, outlining how they will “eradicate the use of paper in the treatment of patients across all health and care services in their region by 2020.”

Handbook 'to define interoperability'

An interoperability handbook and procurement guide has been released to help clinical commissioning groups write their digital roadmaps.

London to roll-out eRedbook

A handful of London trusts are about to start trialling the eRedbook child health record, ahead of a capital-wide roll-out over the next couple of years.

56 Dean Street in email data breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office is looking into an “incident” involving the innovative 56 Dean Street clinic in London’s Soho, which has accidentally disclosed the HIV status of 800 patients.

NME trust plans i.PM wrap and replace

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust has issued a tender for an electronic patient record that can integrate with its existing systems.

EHI Awards banner



Many eyebrows were raised this week when Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was deprived of his dream move to Madrid by a fax that arrived too late for the move to be registered with the Spanish equivalent of the FA. Not so much by the last minute shenanigans, as by the idea that a fax was involved. Who, asked many commentators, still uses a fax?

Well, the NHS, of course, is wedded to its faxes. So much so that NHS England’s director of digital technology, has promised to have a “bonfire” of them, should the NHS ever manage to achieve its ‘paperless’ ambitions; or, possibly, its digital messaging targets.

A quick Google of ‘NHS’ and ‘Fax’ brings up many local campaigns to persuade clinicians to stop faxing and start using digital communications; mainly email. Just in time for Fortune and other analysts to predict that “2015 will mark the beginning of the end for email” as collaborative messaging takes over…


Sliverlink MPU



Health IT and Vitality

Thomas Meek visits Birmingham’s Vitality Partnership to see how technology has made snaking queues of desperate patients a thing of the past.

Another view: of the future of primary care IT

Why do so many incumbent IT suppliers get overtaken in their markets? GP Neil Paul's been reading up on the subject, and reckons that some primary care suppliers should do the same.


Featured comment


“I feel sorry for the member of staff who did this and would hope they are being given adequate support. This is, after all, a management failure… to recognise the risk in sending out non-sensitive information to members of a group whose very presence imparts confidential data.”

By: AdeBynre
Story: 56 Dean Street in email data breach


Quote of the week


“Every patient should have a barcode. That should be our mantra.”

NHS England director of patients and information Tim Kelsey, at the NHS Expo in Manchester.


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