UK Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards: Achieving an Integrated Digital Care Record

"Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards: Achieving an Integrated Digital Care Record" lays out the vision and guidance for the UK National Health Service (NHS) and its committment to Transparency`– the safe sharing of data and information between clinicians and with patients – and Participation –  supporting patients and the public to take more control of their health and care. Both depend on making the best use of digital technologies that have transformed so many other parts of people's lives.

Selected excerpts from the report:

  • Open standards and patients being identified by NHS Number as the primary identifier are important prerequisites to achieving IDCRs with a ‘best of breed’ technology stack.
  • The primary driver for whatever approach is chosen to create the technology stack must be clinician ownership and buy-in.
  • The ability of the in-house information technology and informatics teams to provide ongoing support and maintenance of the system and its baseline ability to meet enterprise wide is critical.

NHS England are aiming to develop a vibrant market of products and solutions that are available as national solutions or would be made available under Open Source licensing arrangements for local
implementation. The intention is that by taking an Open Source approach the initial capital outlay associated with the licensing of Common Off The Shelf (COTS) products can be significantly reduced. In addition there is a potential benefit created by multiple NHS organisations collaborating to the ongoing development and improvement of these products.

NHS England has looked at the potential of the open source VistA System looks to adopt some of the ethos behind its creation and potentially part, or all, of the technical product, in combination
with others to generate ‘NHS VistA’. ‘NHS VistA’ as a concept will focus on bringing together the ‘best of breed’ capability of Open Source solutions and will be driven by NHS organisations with the support of NHS England and others