Better, safer, care - and less expensive!

Been ill lately? Embedding technology properly in health services is not only important, but can impact us personally. Yet, the abbreviation NPfIT struck fear into people for years...

The National Programme for IT (NPfIT), was supposed to be the mechanism to bring the health and care services into the digital age. But it cost a fortune - and fell flat on its face. Which is why David Evans, BCS Director of Communities, recent chat with Dr Robert Wachter MD is worth a watch.

Wachter is the author of his eponymous review: ‘Making IT Work: Harnessing the Power of Health Information Technology to Improve Care in England.’ He mentions the National Programme in IT - and how the next step in digitising healthcare has some obvious mistakes it can avoid by looking back at it. Of course, different ones are possible...

He discusses the different approach taken in the US, and the realisation that any such undertaking is not just about tech but the people, the work and the culture. It is not enough just setting folks to work. He commented there was an ‘immature understanding of what tech implementation and adoption looks like. Buying systems and implementing software are just the beginning.’

However, he is also positive that success can be achieved - and that healthcare going digital is not only very important, but should be exciting work! On top of that, BCS’s cross-sectoral influence differs from any organisation in the US - which Wachter considers a positive (see the BCS Challenges).

The report was published on 7 September 2016.

The video interview is well worth a watch.

There are also notes on the aim of the Wachter review.

Good health to you!

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    JC wrote on 21st Sep 2016

    Government digital transformation projects seem to be blighted with similar themes. the adoption of a cross departmental IT system across the CJS failed and eventually became a poor half solution for just one of the services originally meant to be data sharing. If there is a view of how to avoid these instances doesn't need to do route cause across more than just the digital health failure?

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About the author

Brian is Head of Content at BCS and blogs about the Institute’s role in making IT good for society, historical developments in computing, the implications of CS research and more.

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