Saturday, April 4, 2015

Concern about NHS investment in IT service

The NHS England declared to invest 78 million GBP for the development of healthcare technology this year.

According to the media, approximately half of the budget will be spent for the establishment of the integrated digital care fund, aiming the sharing health care information of each patient among medical practitioners. The other half will be used for the improvement of nursing care.

ITProPortal: NHS will invest £78m in healthcare technology this year

I am not sure how much the amount of the money invested has the impact on the medical IT industry. Seventy-eight million GBP is not a small, but I guess it will take astronomical expenditure for the complete establishment of the patient information sharing system all over the country. In Japan, some specialists have claimed the necessity of this kind of the system for a couple of decades. But the progress of the integration of the systems is quite sluggish.

Public hospitals are dominant in England, different from Japan, in medical practice. It seems advantageous to get along together with the introduction of a new system.

On the other hand, I think that there are many failures around the infrastructure in England. Most buildings in England are aged and may have several systems separated each other. In addition, maintenance in some systems seems inadequate. The PCs are frequently freezing in the hospital. Moreover, I could neither connect the internet nor call a phone in some rooms in a certain building, perhaps due to the thick walls. These factors will make the infiltration of the new system time-consuming.

My past entry: Fire accident at Holborn, London

The next matter is how to utilize the new system. As far as I have observed, several IT solutions have introduced in the services in England. However, some of them are not working at all. In some cases, I had to call for the help of an authority directly, because the online help desk was no use. It resulted in the increase of tasks rather than sparing the time. An electric medical chart system seemed not so functional. If someone added a new system to the present one, the situation would be deteriorated.

I think there is room for improvement of the management processes of each service. But, it is difficult to introduce a new scheme with keeping the conventional one also functional. It is a dilemma of IT system. It is far easy to construct a new system from the beginning. Perhaps, developing countries would acquire the gift of sophisticated IT systems in the near future.

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