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In brief .... 14 August 2015



Minister calls for new models of digital healthcare

Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman (pictured) has called for an effort to get more patients to use online services connected with their healthcare.

Speaking in a video blog this week, he said there has been great progress in building services such as online booking for GP appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions, but there is a need to go further.

“We need to develop compelling propositions for patients so we drive up the number using those services,” he said. “We need to develop new models of care that embrace those digital technologies. And we need to drive interoperability so that data follows the patients and leads patient treatment through the system, across primary, secondary and community care.”

He added that the establishment of the NHS number as a common patient identifier had been a big step in the right direction, and that the purpose is to get patients to play a more active role in their care by using the available information.


Gloucester City Homes chooses Exponential-e

Independent social landlord Gloucester City Homes has signed up Exponential-e to deliver cloud and networking services as it moves towards becoming a digital-first organisation. It will involve use of the company’s 100Gb ethernet network to support a virtual desktop infrastructure that will give employees access to systems from any device or location.

Lesley Williams, head of IT at Gloucester City Homes, said: “In just a short space of time, we’ve already seen the benefits that a secure and stable infrastructure delivers. Staff can now move from a desk to a meeting room to home and pick up their desktop in exactly the same state as they left it. This makes a huge difference and provides us with an opportunity to deliver better assistance.”


Scotland extends superfast broadband

Superfast broadband, has now reached more than 394,000 homes and business in Scotland, according to the UK government.

An announcement from the Scottish Office and Department for Culture, Media & Sport said the roll out is taking superfast access – defined as producing internet speeds of 24Mbps –  to properties not covered by existing commercial networks. It has now reached 84,900 homes and businesses in the Highlands and Island, and 309,200 in the rest of Scotland.


Wye Valley opts for open source EPR

Wye Valley NHS Trust has signed up with IMS MAXIMS to use its open source electronic patient record.  Under a five year contract it will use the openMAXIMS software to create integrated care records across its acute and community hospitals, and eventually extend them to social and primary care.

The EPR will be used as a platform to integrate the trust’s existing systems and the 2,000 users will no longer require multiple logins and passwords to access different diagnostic systems. New clinical functions will be introduced, including order communications and diagnostics reporting, electronic discharge summaries and clinic letters, and scheduling for beds, tests and theatres.

“For us this is not an ICT project, it is about clinical process change assisted by the right technology” said Simon Lind, project and portfolio manager at Wye Valley.

The implementation of the EPR will replace the current patient administration systems from the National Programme for IT by the end of 2016. Wye Valley will become the second NHS trust to implement the software after Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust goes live later this year.


Picture from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0



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