Informaticopia

Monday, October 18, 2010

Consultation on Dept of Health Information Strategy

This morning the Department of Health has published its consultation document Liberating the NHS: an information revolution.

This is one of two consultation papers relating to the current NHS white paper and says that "The information strategy, to be published following this consultation, will define the vision, set the expectations, describe the responsibilities, provide the timetable, and determine the routes by which the information revolution will be achieved."

I haven't finished reading all 68 pages, but on a quick scan feel it is full of nice phrases: eg those about about patient and service user involvement (in ocial care as well as health care) in their own care and how information can underpin this. It also has a strong emphasis on Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs).

I did pick up a points which have specific relevance to me and my work, but I'm sure I will find others.

* 1.12 Making centrally held datasets routinely and publicly available will encourage better data recording and thus drive up data quality.

* 2.3 Patient control of records opens up exciting new possibilities for on-line health and care services, supporting patients and service users to directly access services and interact with them.

* 2.6 The extent to which people will be able to have ‘control’ of their records will vary according to their circumstances and the nature of the record and its contents.

* 2.13 It will be essential to ensure that all care records adhere to nationally agreed standards.

* 2.16 Ensuring confidentiality and security of data will be a key concern for service users, and, consequently, a fundamental issue for the success of our information revolution.

* 2.24 Much of this information can be recorded and presented in statistical and comparable ways, but we also need to recognise the power of qualitative information which, in its richness and detail, can support people in making choices about their treatment and care.

* 2.30 Assistive technologies, such as telehealth and telecare, support independent living..... Devices, such as home-based blood-pressure monitors, can be an effective and, in some cases, relatively inexpensive way to support self-care, especially when deployed as part of a coordinated patient service.

* 4.1 The active involvement of clinicians and other care professionals is essential in developing information systems and requirements if we are to ensure that information improves quality.

* 4.15 As a key component of assuring data quality, national education and training in approved informatics standards will need to be available.

* 4.16 There is a need to raise standards by making informatics development part of core planning for health and care organisations as well as external providers of NHS care.

* 4.17 In the new environment of greater local autonomy and system choice, IT professionals will need to assume even more influential roles in helping to define local informatics strategies which are closely linked to local health strategies. They will need to deal with a plural supplier marketplace and the commercial and informatics complexities that arise.

* 5.6 Government, therefore, has its part to play in making more of data. Making data more readily available to the public, to information ‘intermediaries’ and to innovators, will support the development of a far more vibrant and open environment for the provision of information products and innovative ways of exploiting data for the benefit of health and social care services.

* 5.10 Along with more diverse information suppliers, we need to encourage more imaginative use of different information and communication ‘channels’, particularly those enabled by new technology.

It is interesting to note, as E-Health Insider has pointed out, the document "makes no mention of Connecting for Health (CfH) or of the programme’s contracts for record systems".

Unsurprisingly the document is short on specifics, particularly how the targets to be achieved by 2015 will be delivered. I will be reading the document more fully asap and responding to the consultation. It will be interesting to see the comments of others - and whether any suggestions made are taken into account in the forthcoming strategy document.

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1 Comments:

  • Rod's overall first impressions on a quick skim, rather than a close read, are akin to mine. I think he provides a good summary of the consultation document and issues.

    I also agree that it seems 'long on rhetoric, short on detail'.

    If anything, my first impressions are that it does not go far enough in terms of really understanding the wider revolution that is occurring in the interaction between patients, professionals, and the health services; it risks being yet another policy document that is rapidly overtaken by how the wider public really use the technologies available for interaction.

    By Blogger Peter, at 3:21 pm  

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