Transforming the way the NHS uses data

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, shares his reflections on the effect of opening up health data for government in a blog post for Health Data Consortium.

This follows his appearance as a keynote speaker at the Health Datapalooza conference in June. Datapalooza is an annual US conference that features the most innovative and effective uses of health data by companies, government and others.

Jeremy Hunt writes:

“I am determined to transform the way our National Health Service uses its wealth of untapped data to improve quality of care, to drive down costs and to give patients control over their own care.

“…patients can already choose which hospital they want to treat them. But without clear, high quality data, that choice is meaningless. With that information, however, competition will drive innovation throughout the system.”

He continues:

“for data to be open, it has to be electronic. Paper records are unwieldy, can only ever be in one place at a time and are easily lost. I was impressed when I heard at Datapolooza that up to 80% of US hospitals already use electronic health records.”

Jeremy Hunt picks out a good example in this country “that show what is possible”, for example:

“University Hospitals Birmingham, which offers its patients full online access to their medical records. It also has a new e-prescribing system which in just a year has already saved as many as 100 lives by drastically reducing prescribing errors.”

He goes on to reiterate his challenge to the NHS:

“I have challenged the rest of the NHS to catch up and go paperless by 2018. And if some can do it, all can do it, and every patient will benefit.”

You can read the full blog on the Health Data Consortium website.

Health Datapalooza

This Storify shows some highlights of the first day at the annual Health Datapalooza conference in the US when Jeremy Hunt was speaking.

In Home, News

6 Responses to Transforming the way the NHS uses data

  1. Dr William Cutting says:

    Will be very interested to see how this data system works, how well information is updated, stored, shared and used to provide a more efficient service. Please keep me posted. WAMC.

  2. Mike MacAlevey says:

    There are lots of advantages to electronic data but what about the inevitable disadvantages? Hacking from any where in the world for any reason. Secondly power failure. The more complex a system the more humans cause problems – BECAUSE they are human – forgetting, covering up etc. etc. These can be done with paper records but not so extensively or so quickly.

    Hope you find some practical CHEAP solutions!

  3. O.N. says:

    safe papers is one thing (money,forest )-it`s good ,but share my personal information with government who is unfriendly with his own people- is bad idea .

  4. Andrew Smith says:

    I am very please to see that the NHS has a key objective to “go-paperless” but in a certified secure environment. However, given that TODAY I cannot contact the Area Medical Director of the North Essex Partnership Trust via e-mail without talking to him first (not available when I tried) the NHS has a long way to go.
    I was even more shocked to discover that there is not even a general e-mail box that you can contact this team through. The only options are telephone via an operator and post, unbelievable in 2013 !

  5. Roberto Mendez says:

    Having a strategy to save money going paperless has several challenges that must be taken into account to be successful. Must be cost efective, on time, high eficiency, high ubiquity and high security

    We have a company that has developed solutions in this area with great success and gladly would be willing to show you some difficulties they may have and how overcome this.

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