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News - 17 January 2013

A Paperless NHS would save billions

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants the NHS to be paperless by 2018 - a move a report says could help save the health service billions of pounds a year.  Mr Hunt says the first step is to give people online access to their health records by March 2015, and by April 2018, any crucial health information should be available to staff at the touch of a button.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“This information technology revolution has been long in the offing, it was Mr Hunt's predecessor Andrew Lansley who first pledged in 2010 to start an information revolution, now, a couple of years on and progress has been patchy, with some parts of the NHS offering a big digital presence and others lagging.”

Previous attempts to transform NHS information technology have run into trouble. Labour's scheme, Connecting for Health, allowed X-rays and scans to be stored and sent electronically.

But other parts of the programme - launched in 2002 - became mired in technical problems and contractual wrangling and the national programme has effectively been disbanded and local parts of the health service asked to proceed with upgrading IT systems.

Using electronic prescribing and electronic patient records would also give staff more time to spend with patients.

The John Taylor Hospice near Birmingham found that using laptops more than doubled the amount of time clinicians could spend with patients.

If you need any help and advice on Care Homes and Nursing Homes, contact Peter Ham, Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

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