Tuesday, February 9, 2016

NHS to be paperless by 2020 says head of review 

The National Health Service in the UK will be utilizing the benefits of IT to become paperless, more efficient, and provide better health care to UK citizens. The investment in IT, which will cost over 4 billion pounds, will enable healthcare services to provide a more efficient form of health care by digitalizing patient records creating healthcare apps, and saving time for doctors. By transitioning into the technological world, healthcare services will create “better patient outcomes” while revolutionizing domestic health care; this will in turn strengthen relations between doctors and patients, creating “better value for money.”
The three main points that will be critically analyzed are digitalization of patient records, development of software applications, and the transition into a more technological world. Digitalization of patient records will revolutionize the health care system by eliminating the need for paper and enabling general practitioners to access patient medical history instantly.  Healthcare in the United States has become digital and the benefits are very noticeable. Thursday I was at Johns Hopkins Hospital for the first time due to a headache when I noticed the doctor had all of my information on his screen. Should a patient need medical attention in an unfamiliar hospital, the doctor will have direct access to medical history. The digitalization of medical records accelerates health care and makes it safer. Doctors can see what drugs you’re taking and this can avoid clashes of medication that cause harm. The NHS is working with significant technological companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple to develop health apps. Certain applications will enable patients to access and monitor their medical history from home, assisting patients with long-term conditions like diabetes or cancer. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt believes that in four years “a quarter of people with long-term conditions will be able to send their health data over the Internet.” With over 42 million smartphone users in the UK (Statista), developing an app that helps patients track their personal medical care is extremely beneficial. Hospitals will be able to communicate faster with patients easing the pressure on GPs, saving time and money. The NHS’s transition from a paper-based operation to a digital operation will require additional funds to ensure the cyber security of patient’s information. Doctors are often using digital tools and paper tools that is time consuming. Writer of “The Digital Doctor” Mr. Wachter believes “The average doctor and nurse is not as technologically savvy,” therefore, The NHS will need to train staff on the new technologies to facilitate the transition.

The article failed to mention the specific apps that will be developed and how each app will be catered to certain areas of health care. Another area of health care that this article potentially overlooked is individual reactions from Doctors and Patients. I believe an interview with a Doctor would effectively demonstrate the true benefit of incorporating IT into the medical world. The article did not go into detail about specific cyber safety procedures which could potentially reassure patients.

Works Cited 
"NHS to Get £4bn in Drive for 'paperless' Health Service - BBC News." BBC News. N.p., n.d.   
 Web. 09 Feb. 2016.
McGoogan, Cara. "NHS to Be Paperless by 2020 Says Head of Review." The Telegraph
Telegraph Media Group, 7 Feb. 1016. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.

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