Radical Strides - sharing of success and consideration of contingencies

The National Programme for IT is perhaps the most ambitious attempt at technology based organisational change ever attempted.

Many of the aspirations have never been fulfilled on this scale anywhere in the world and some are completely untested.

There are, in consequence, areas of significant risk that all steps should be taken to minimize. In such a context, it would seem prudent to consider contingencies and to facilitate sharing successes amongst the community from the early adopters.

In view of its commitment to assist in the implementation of more tools and techniques to improve the effectiveness of patient care, BCSHIF is offering to host a macro-level initiative to identify successful elements and stress points in the current plans. BCSHIF hopes that it is not necessary to take this action into practice, but believes that prudent risk avoidance requires such actions.

RADICAL STRIDES will take a similar form to RADICAL STEPS (RS), but will have a preparatory phase whereby invited professionals will develop a draft position paper addressing sharable observations and experiences and putting forward commentary on the issues and possible solutions/steps to be taken, using the RS model, that will then go out for consultation.

The experiences to share that could/should be considered include:

  • how local health organisations can afford the 'costs' of implementation in hardware, software,
  • people and change management terms
  • what makes the implementation assessed as Value for Money locally
  • how is support of all types (from the centre) across the national landscape distributed and deployed equitably
  • how have healthcare practitioners gained competency to get the best out of available applications
  • what steps have corporate vendors taken to ensure the financial resources are available to carry the continued development through to completion
  • what contingencies have local health organisations had to put in place to minimize the effects of corporate vendors withdrawing from their contracts for any reason(s)
  • what steps have the early adopters taken to ensure functional applications are ultimately all 'fit for purpose'
  • have early adopters any observations about how to deal positively with (negative) e-records based press
  • how are concerns about the structure and content of the new systems effectively input to future plans and are they being acted upon
  • what mechanisms are in place to factor technological innovations into current plans and how are newer technologies evaluated for their potential contribution and benefits to offer
  • how do local end-users confirm that confidentiality, consent and information security requirements can be met throughout NPfIT solutions and are workable in practice
  • what is being done to support health communities to exploit the potential benefits of IT to innovative reorganisation of the delivery of services
  • what is being done to facilitate health and social care operations converging, within the -government environment, in order to realise synergy between their functionality
  • how are the clinical lobby convinced locally of the efficacy of Connecting for Health's NPfIT programme
  • does the Treasury have any effect on your local ability to progress the NHS' own technologies
  • what have local experiences in informatics implementation shown where salaried primary care (in walk-in clinics) and GP practices coexist
  • what thoughts have gone into how to cope locally when NPfIT is a stunning success and the pace of change can be escalated

Jean Roberts, Policy Lead, Health Informatics Forum