Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PAC report on NPfIT

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has today published a damming report on the NHS's National Programme for IT (NPfIT) and Connecting for Health - the atgency "delivering" it. The report entitled "The National Programme for IT in the NHS: Progress since 2006" points out the delays and cost implications of current problems and highlights other issues concerning the the potential effects of the systems on the NHS and its patients.

The media this morning seems full of comment about the financial status of the programme and relationships with suppliers. (see links below) This is not surprising given the remit of the committee, however there is less comment on the lack of clinical functionality in the systems being deployed and the effect of this on the expectations of clinical staff. In addition some important points are made about data security and confidentiality of patient records and the concerns health professionals and the public have about this.

The report says "The Department considers that the current levels of support [from staff] reflect the fact that for many staff the benefits of the Programme are still theoretical," and comments on the requirements on staff to change how they work with little or no consultation.

The tension between the role of suppliers who are responsible for the security of the systems themselves, and NHS organisations and staff who are responsible for keeping secure any data they access are briefly explored. The report also points out "Access to the Care Records Service is controlled through Smartcards and passcodes, though these are not yet in use in all Trusts because early releases of the care records software in London and the South do not support them and the Trusts concerned therefore continue to rely on passwords." The change in the consent model adopted for the sharing of patient records to a "Consent to View" approach is also mentioned.

I hope to post some more thoughts when I've had time to read the report in full.

Further comment and analysis is available from:

BBC News - Warning over fresh NHS IT delays

Times Online - MPs point to 'further delays and turmoil' for £12.4 billion NHS computer upgrade

EHealth Insider - PAC gives NPfIT six months to deliver CRS

HSJ - NHS Confed calls for IT programme overhaul

Public - MPs' recommendations to improve NHS IT - in full

Public - Harsh MP committee report condemns NHS National Programme for IT

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Privacy and confidentiality of patient information

I was interested to note that The NHS Constitution for England which was published this week gives several pledges to patients including:

You have the right to privacy and confidentiality and to expect the NHS to keep your confidential information safe and secure.

This is a vital issue where, I feel, we need still to get clarity about how this will be achieved - particularly in the light of Tony Collins Blog post this week Post-it notes for passwords - an NHS option? about the culture of shared passwords in the NHS.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Early registration for the WINI scheduled for March 13-15, 2009 in Troy, Michigan

Early registration for the WINI scheduled for March 13-15, 2009 in Troy, Michigan has been extended to January 31, 2009.

Please visit the Michigan Chapter of HIMSS site below to access more information on the program and the registration link.

Sue Hendrix, RN BSN BC
Senior Business Analyst
AHIS at Genesys Regional Medical Center
1000 Health Park Blvd
Grand Blanc, MI 48439

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Participate in the HIMSS Impact of Nursing Informatics 2008Survey!

Please forward the message below, as you feel appropriate, to your colleagues and membership organizations. The findings of the study will be made available for public use. On behalf of the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community – thank you in advance!

Exploring the Impact of a Profession

Participate in the HIMSS Impact of Nursing Informatics 2008 Survey!

Over the course of the past years, HIMSS has surveyed the nursing informatics community to gain an understanding of the role of the informatics nurse professional. This year our survey, sponsored by McKesson, addresses the value and impact that informatics nurse professionals bring to the bedside, industry and you. Initial results will be presented during the 2009 HIMSS Annual Conference in Chicago, followed by subsequent press releases and articles with complete findings and analysis that we will make publicly available.

At this time, we are seeking individuals in leadership roles across all settings to take a few moments to complete our on-line survey. Please visit this link today to participate in the study and forward this link to your organizational leadership. These responses will provide valuable information and helps ensure this study accurately reflects the impact of nursing informatics today.

*Survey link:

*If you forward this message please forward the message first, then take the survey, otherwise your survey answers will be forwarded.


Christel Anderson, Senior Manager, Clinical Informatics
HIMSS, transforming healthcare through IT
230 E. Ohio St., Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60611

HIMSS… providing HIT leadership through advocacy and education for the betterment of healthcare. Go to for more information.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

MEDTING clinical web portal

A Facebook friend recently reminded me about MEDTING a web portal for the presentation and discussion of clinical cases using images, and videos.

It is a no cost service where any internet user can search and review medical images, videos and clinical cases, although only registered users can upload cases. Content is tagged with SNOMED CT to make images, videos, ECG traces etc easier to find and structured so that case progression can be followed. Registered users can also vote and comment on the cases which are presented.

I found the interface a little clumsy in some areas, and although I clicked on the Union Jack for English Language some of the case study descriptions appear to be only available in Spanish, however the quality of the images and materials are generally good and in high resolution even with my limited monitor and eyesight.

I feel this is a useful free resource for use by medical students and practitioners as part of their education and professional development, and I hope further case study uploads and interface improvements will make it even better.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

New Professionalising Health Informatics portal from CfH

The NHS's Connecting for Health has today launched a new portal for Professionalising Health Informatics, or PHI for short.

It claims to be an online 'one-stop shop' portal supporting personal and professional development in Health Informatics (HI), however the limited amount of resources availability didn't impress me.

I'm not really sure who it is aimed at - presumably NHS staff in England - and they might find it useful - but others may argue that its limited scope and extensive use of NHS (& general "management speak") jargon off putting. Several mentions of "selecting the options to the right-hand side of the screen" when there weren't any options on the right hand side also put me off.

It is promised that the portal will be expanded and kept up to date so I hope it becomes more useful in the future.

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