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Leading expert launches review of NHS IT

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IT expert Professor Bob Wachter has launched a review of computer systems across the NHS. Professor Wachter’s review will look at different approaches to the implementation of IT in healthcare as the NHS works towards being paperless by 2020.

The review was announced by Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt last year and will report back to government in June.

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.

Professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco Bob Wachter said:

The NHS is one of the world’s largest health and healthcare systems, and one of its largest employers. It's 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.

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said:

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.

The review will consider the experiences of clinicians and trust leaders as well as the current capacity and capability of Trusts’ IT systems. It will be formed of an advisory committee comprised of diverse experts and patient representatives from England, Scotland, Denmark and the US.

Professor Wachter is author of ‘The Digital Doctor’ which looks at how healthcare is provided as we move further into the computer age. His recommendations will be made to the National Information Board later this year.

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