Feeds

What's the point of NHS IT? No one knows

Mystery benefits, says report

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

UK Government spending on IT is under the microscope, with a new report from the Institute of Public Policy Research highlighting significant failings in the multi-billion pound NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT).

Drawing on an analysis of ICT (information and communications technology) pilot projects, the think tank warns that the programme could be undermined by a failure to consult properly with medical professionals, a dearth of IT skills within the healthcare service and poor understanding of exactly what the health benefits are supposed to be.

The report, which comes just days after an all-party committee of MPs slammed IT spend as 'an appalling waste of money', says inadequate project evaluation means that it is impossible to tell if ICT projects are delivering benefits. Trials of electronic records, for example, have given no insight into whether the system would be more flexible than the current system, improve the quality of treatment, or save money.

Jamie Bend, ippr Research Fellow and author of the report, argues that ICT has the potential to bring real benefits to the NHS, but that these have yet to be demonstrated in practice.

"Unless it's proven that things like electronic health records work," he says, "it will remain difficult to justify to doctors, nurses and patients existing and additional spending on ICT."

He points out that problems with evaluation are recurring, and that this contributes to the impression that ICT projects have failed. This does not mean we should abandon IT projects wholesale. Instead, we should focus on demonstrating that technology can be used effectively, he says.

In response The NPfIT stated that a new framework for assessing projects was in development, silicon.com reports.

The(pdf) ippr report is here. ®

Related stories

IT revolution threatened for US health service
NHS squares EDS over nixed email deal
Patients, GPs to have a say on care record plans
How safe is your medical record?

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.