Articles from Volume 3, Number 4

  • Sheila Bullas, editorial board leader, HINOW; secretary, BCS Health Informatics Forum; director, iBECK.
  • Below are a selection of articles outlining recent IT-related news in healthcare.
  • HC2009 felt a breath of change sweep through it this year as the first event to come entirely under the wing of BCS Health Informatics Forum (HIF) and thanks to some uplifting presentations. Progress and plans for the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) were the focus of keynote speeches amid a wide range of presentations and exhibits, as Helen Wilcox reports.
  • In his opening speech at HC2009, BCS President Alan Pollard called for IT to stop being the scapegoat for organisations' more general problems and for the industry to move towards professionalism through a chartered standard. Justin Richards summarises his speech.
  • The migration of NHSmail, the NHS secure email and directory service, to Microsoft Exchange 2007 was completed at the end of March. The aim is to improve usability, as Helen Wilcox reports.
  • The future will be bright for healthcare once standards for IT systems are set, according to some speakers at HC2009. Professor Bernard Richards, chair of the Northern Specialist Group, reports on these sessions.
  • The Nursing Specialist Group managed to produce an engaging session for delegates at HC2009 entitled 'Nursing and Allied Health Care Slice Through the NPfIT Barrier'. Paula Procter, Richard Hayward, Carol Bond, Rebecca Randell and Erin Povey report on what happened and the conclusions.
  • After attending this year's BCS health conference Andrew Capey, Data and Security Manager at a London hospital, reported on the event and how much has changed or not in the field of health informatics over the past 10 years.
  • HC2009 is a showcase of the best and most important work being undertaken in UK health informatics. Following her first visit to the conference, Rita Arafa, committee member of the Health Informatics (Northern) Specialist Group, wrote a report on her impressions on the three-day event, part of which appears below.
  • Summary care record (SCR) pilots will help give information on what is needed and set appropriate timescales for wider SCR roll-out, according to Martin Bellamy, Head of NHS Connecting for Health (CFH). Bolton NHS has been running one such pilot, and Helen Wilcox reports on its experiences as presented at HC2009.
  • A selection of BCS health informatics events.
  • The Royal Bolton Hospital faces the same challenges as other healthcare organisations, both across the UK and internationally – how to improve the quality, safety, and reliability of care; how to balance rising demand and fixed resources; how to improve the patient and staff experience and meet rising expectations.
  • As its summer conference approaches, the BCS Primary Health Care Specialist Group (PHCSG) is also planning its annual September conference. Jill Riley, administrator for the group, describes plans for both.
  • Informatics in Primary Care is the 'house journal' of the Primary Health Care Specialist Group (PHCSG) of the BCS. Simon de Lusignan (Reader in general practice and biomedical informatics) discusses trends in submissions and some of the research covered in the first edition of the journal in 2009.
  • How decision support for prescribing can help improve patient care was the theme of a presentation to the Northern Group by Dr Robert Treharne-Jones, a practicing GP and an expert in the field of software for specialist uses in the NHS. Group committee members Rita Arafa and Julia Slater report on his presentation.