The government has started a review, led by Professor Bob Wachter, of ways to improve the use of IT in the NHS.
Called Making IT Work: harnessing the power of health IT to improve care in England, the review will look at places where IT has worked well and those areas that need improving. It will look at different ways to implement IT in healthcare as the NHS works towards being paperless by 2020.
The review will interview and study clinicians and trust leaders and consider the current capacity and capability of trusts’ IT systems, as set out in the terms of reference.
There will also be an advisory committee formed from the National Advisory Group on Health Information Technology in England. The review’s members include experts and patient representatives from England, Scotland, Denmark and the US.
Professor Wachter, who is professor and interim chairman of Department of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco, said that it was essential that information technology across the NHS “works well and can perform the tasks needed to deliver high quality, safe and efficient care”.
“I am looking forward to finding out about some of the great work taking place across the NHS and highlighting areas for improvement.”
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that improving the standard of care patients receive even further means “embracing technology and moving towards a fully digital and paperless NHS”.
“NHS staff do incredible work every day and we must give them and patients the most up-to-date technology – this review will tell us where we need to go further,” said Hunt.