An SME supplying health providers with patient records technologies – the data systems championed last week by secretary of state Jeremy Hunt – has urged the government to address the financial pressures and onerous procurement processes constraining the NHS’s move to adopt digital technologies.
Vijay Magon, the founder and managing director of records management specialists CCube Solutions, told UKAuthority that selling to NHS bodies involves overcoming “a whole bunch of hurdles”, including “very lengthy procurement processes” and the requirement to “respond to templated ITTs [Invitations To Tender] with very little room for debate – that has an impact on innovation.” Magon urged the government to “look at that [system] and make it easier, whilst keeping it in balance with competition.”
Money allocated for digital projects, said Magon, is being diverted to meet urgent operational needs in parts of the NHS. “When you trickle that money down to the local level, there’s so much pressure on it,” he said. “We’ve even heard of situations when that money was spent on A&E services; it’s been diverted to sort out local and more immediate problems. So while the intent is good, the delivery isn’t quite right. But if people grasp the opportunity, they’ll return big savings.”
CCube last week announced a deal with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which provides acute, community, mental and child health services to a fifth of the population of Wales, to supply an electronic growth chart used to monitor children’s development. The eForms software allows medics across different sites and organisations to access and edit growth charts, improving data accuracy, patient care, and the data available for the study of public health.
“We have worked hard together to develop and implement a cost-effective, easy to use system which has the support of clinicians, such that the introduction of an electronic growth chart has totally replaced paper within the organisation,” said Majon.