Will We See a Paperless NHS in Five Years?

Destiny Wireless - NHS logoBy Edward Belgeonne, CEO and Founder of Destiny Wireless

The government says it wants the NHS in England to achieve fully integrated digital care records across all care settings by 2018. But will we actually see Jeremy Hunt’s ‘paperless NHS’ within five short years – if at all?

The guidance fully explains the benefits of adopting safe digital record keeping, as well as giving details of how Trusts could claim their part of a new £260m technology fund to help get them started on this path.

Sorry – you only had until the end of July to apply. Indeed, NHS England says it received an unprecedented number of applications, with nearly 80 valid expressions of interest, which if they were all approved would equate to a lot more than £260m… try £650m worth!

The NHS has spotted four key areas to try and get more use of electronic patient data kicked off. These are: using the NHS number as primary identifier for patients; integrated digital care records, including information sharing within organisations and their back-end systems; more use of electronic prescriptions; advanced scheduling.

It’s a promising start to what might prove to be quite a complicated journey. It’s  great to feel the NHS is ready at last to embrace new technology to support our common digital future.

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