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Imperial College to research IT and patient safety

DoH stumps up £4.5m for research programme

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

The Department of Health (DoH) has provided funds to investigate IT's ability to improve efficiency and service quality.

It has announced a £4.5m research programme that will take in IT's potential for improving the reliability and safety of healthcare, both through new technology and through monitoring information.

The Centre for NHS Patient Safety and Service Quality, announced it will be based at Imperial College's biosurgery and surgical technology section, at St Mary's Hospital in London, with funding from the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research.

Among five areas of initial study, the centre will research "the potential of new technologies to improve the reliability and efficiency of healthcare, such as using pharmacy robots and computerised systems for ordering medication", according to a statement.

It will also look at the use of information to help clinicians and managers monitor and improve safety and quality.

The centre will involve academic and clinical research staff from both St Mary's and Hammersmith Hospitals NHS trusts, as well as from Imperial College, part of London University. The former trust has a history of working with Imperial, with its medical school having merged with the college in 1988.

The three organisations are working to form the Academic Health Sciences Centre, an integrated hospital, medical education and research institution, which may eventually become an NHS foundation trust.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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