According to an article on UK Authority, the announcement by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that all of NHS is to become paperless by 2018, “raised the usual concerns about privacy” and was “notable for its lack of ambition”.
The article says that Hunt’s plans are very similar to the ones made by the Labour government in 1998 and his “2018 deadline is actually three years behind an aspiration floated last October by Tim Kelsey, NHS Commissioning Board national director of patients and information.”
However, the objectives are important given the publication of two reports which the Department of Health says demonstrate the potential benefits of IT in health.
Bill McLuggage, chief technologist – public sector, EMC UK and Ireland, is also quoted in the article as saying that the aims “represent a significant step forward in liberating the NHS from the legacy of paper and support the continued drive to improve patient care and save lives”, adding that while privacy should be considered, “it should not be allowed to be a show stopper on progress”.
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Public sector needs to take action to help everyone enjoy the benefits that digital can offer