Five steps to help cure NHS IT

The nightmare of NHS IT can be fixed. Here's five steps that can help it on its way.

The Public Accounts Committee report also suggested actual interaction with doctors and health staff would be highly beneficial. In one simple suggestion, the proverbial nail was well and truly hit on the head.

It's rare IT carries out a project by garnering opinion from end users before anything goes ahead. Yet as Fulham FC has proven this year with its IP CCTV system, in which the club's IT director spoke directly to the police about what they wanted, this method can bring real success.

The NHS can do the same. Obviously, speaking to each and every doctor, nurse and healthcare professional would be about as sensible as attempting to skateboard on an iPad, but there are better ways to understand the end user.

"Either you talk to the lobby organisation of the nurses or of the doctors, or you do representative studies," Wels-Maug said.

Advertisement - Article continues below

We can find a cure. It just needs a better approach.

"You agree with the NHS that you interview a certain number of doctors and then get their opinion and based on those results, you actually decide on how to take the strategy forward."

The needs of those doctors and nurses using the system need to be taken into consideration. It is the end user's satisfaction that will eventually be the judge of a project's success.

Stay ambitious, but stay smart

An overarching theme of the Commons Public Accounts Committee report focused on the "one-size fits all approach" and its high potential for failure. Evidently, the complexity and size of the project has been too much for all involved.

Yet many agree the overall intent was positive. As Wels-Maug told IT Pro, the so-called Lorenzo framework was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by a health organisation in the history of the world.

Whilst the DoH needs to scale down its grand plans, ensuring each NHS trust has effective IT in place rather than trying to lump a single system onto them all at once, such ambition should be lauded.

When the NHS goes back to the drawing board after the seemingly inevitable demise of Lorenzo, it should take all of the above on board.

At the same time, however, they should not give up on the dream of a nationwide platform to help doctors understand patients considerably quicker than before. It just needs a simpler, more sensible approach that takes each hospital's needs into consideration.

"I would imagine a national infrastructure would work, but I think it really depends on how it is approached and how it is being sold to trusts," she said. "Maybe there was too much rolled out and too little choice for them."

Advertisement - Article continues below

We can find a cure. It just needs a better approach.

Featured Resources

Application security fallacies and realities

Web application attacks are the most common vulnerability, so what is the truth about application security?

Download now

Your first step researching Managed File Transfer

Advice and expertise on researching the right MFT solution for your business

Download now

The KPIs you should be measuring

How MSPs can measure performance and evaluate their relationships with clients

Download now

Life in the digital workspace

A guide to technology and the changing concept of workspace

Download now

Most Popular

operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

4 Nov 2019
Business strategy

The pros and cons of net neutrality

4 Nov 2019
Domain Name System (DNS)

Microsoft embraces DNS over HTTPS to secure the web

19 Nov 2019
social media

Can Wikipedia founder's social network really challenge Facebook?

19 Nov 2019