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Friday 21st October 2016

Delays in e-records installation

30th November 2006

Delays in upgrading the patient administration system and financial problems are to blame for the lack of enthusiasm displayed by hospitals to install the NHS IT programme.

Richard Granger, head of the NHS's information technology programme, said many organisations were waiting for a new patient administration system - PAS - before being able to move on to e-records, but less than half of the 43 planned have been installed.

Now hospitals are getting more reticent about the software available due to concerns over its useability and the work required to install it. Staff need to be taken away from their work to meet targets, in order to train in the new system and hospitals must work through a labour-intensive programme of data cleaning, which in itself throws up more problems by revealing discrepancies in payments, and breaches in targets.

Of the two systems available although Cerner can provide additional clinical benefits it does not provide reports on patients' appointments in the right format to claim money from primary care trusts. Isoft's product does that, however it provides few clinical gains.

But he said the IT problem is "transitory" until new versions of the software become available and predicted it would continue to be hard work.

The programme is currently undergoing a big review on behalf of NHS chief executive David Nicholson.

He strongly defends the IT side of the project. In just 18 months, digital images have replaced film in half of the country, patient data is much more accurate, 60,000 electronic prescriptions, removing the risk of transcription errors, are issued daily and "millions of patients get better treatment as a result".

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Article Information

Title: Delays in e-records installation
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 1375
Date Added: 30th Nov 2006


The Financial Times

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