The NHS and the government have committed to investing £1 billion in health IT to improve data sharing between care professionals and patients.
According to The Information Daily, the £1 billion will be invested into the creation of health IT such as EHRs, patient portals to streamline health services and reduce the amount of paperwork. These systems would allow patients to access to their health records, book GP appointments and e-prescribe recurring prescriptions. Currently, only 12% of hospitals have an e-prescribing system in place.
It will also provide the NHS with the interoperability to allow healthcare professionals to access their patient’s records across the country to increase patient engagement and quality of care.
According to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the government is aiming for a ‘paperless NHS’ by 2018, and every patient to have access to an online medical record by 2015 projected to save £5 billion a year. The system would give staff instant access to patients for faster diagnostic treatment and reduce the hospital occupancy rates.
Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information for NHS England said:
“A single patient record will help make the patient journey from hospital to home seamless, giving professionals from different health and care organisations access to information when they need it most, without patients having to repeat themselves every time they speak to a different doctor, nurse or care professional”.
Given the recent NHS political and financial issues, the transition to a paperless system can potentially reduce the £80 billion chronic care deficit while delivering a better quality of patient care.