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Nurse on panel to review national NHS IT improvements

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A nurse has been chosen to help with a high-powered review looking at ways to improve NHS information technology, including electronic health records and a “paper free” system by 2020.

The review, led by US IT expert Professor Bob Wachter, and launched today will assess computer systems across the NHS in England.

It will look at places where IT has “worked well and those areas that need improving”, and will also look at different ways to implement IT in healthcare, said the Department of Health.

It added that it will consider the experiences of clinicians and trust leaders, as well as the current capacity and capability of trusts’ IT systems, as set out in the review’s terms of reference.

The review will be carried out by an advisory committee of 18, called the National Advisory Group on Health Information Technology in England.

Its members include experts and patient representatives from England, Scotland, Denmark and the US.

Among them are listed Crispin Hebron, a learning disability consultant nurse from NHS Gloucestershire.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the review last year and said it will report back to government in June.

Mr Hunt said: “NHS staff do incredible work every day and we must give them and patients the most up-to-date technology – this review will tell us where we need to go further.”

Professor Wachter said: ”The NHS is one of the world’s largest health and healthcare systems, and one of its largest employers.

“It’s essential that information technology across the NHS works well and can perform the tasks needed to deliver high quality, safe and efficient care,” he said. “I am looking forward to finding out about some of the great work taking place across the NHS and highlighting areas for improvement.”

 

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