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NHS England’s IT chief outlines five-year drive for digitised healthcare

11 February 2015 - 3:44pm

NHS England’s director of strategic systems and technology wants to see ‘click and collect’ services being used in health and social care.

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Beverley Bryant: 'Although the NHS uses innovative technologies, it's not very good at spreading innovation.'

‘We have to start thinking about how technology is being used in our everyday lives and how we can apply it in healthcare settings,’ said Beverley Bryant.

‘Not necessarily for the delivery of care, but for the delivery of those residual customer service elements, like booking or cancelling appointments, or ordering prescriptions.’

Speaking at the Westminster Health Forum on electronic health records and IT in the NHS in London on 10 February, she promised that this type of innovation would be a major focus for NHS England over the next five years.

Ms Bryant said that although the NHS was using innovative technologies, it was not very good at spreading innovation. To address this, NHS England is building communities of best practice.

‘We are not going to build technology for you, but we are going to point you to where technology is being used, benefits are being realised and lives are being enhanced as a result,’ she said.

Her vision is for the NHS to develop online portals and mobile phone apps where patients can access services. She said that testing of front-end design will begin in NHS Choices, while the back-end delivery by NHS organisations will be equally important.

‘When I am confident that nine times out of 10 records will be accessible, and that when you do click on something someone actually responds, we will start to really open this up,’ she said.

Steve Tolan, the CSP’s head of practice and development, said that physiotherapists should see NHS England’s plans as an opportunity to lead innovation.

‘Technology obviously has potential to enhance self-management, increase access, monitor outcomes and collect real-time patient data. What other innovations can physiotherapists come up with?’ he asked.

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