DoH Makes Digital By Default “First Priority”

Jun 23, 2014

Last week, the Department of Health (DoH) updated its Corporate Plan, revealing an increased focus on technology in the coming months.

According to the document, the Department’s is focused on ensuring its public services meet the government’s Digital by Default criteria, as well as moving arm’s length body websites to GOV.UK.

The DoH says improving its IT capabilities is important because it is “bringing the technology revolution to the NHS to help people, especially those with long term conditions, manage their health care.”

In the first quarter of the 2014-15 financial year, the Department claims it will set the direction for the Secretary of State’s technology deliverables and establish a National Information Board and sub-groups.

It hopes these new organisations will help develop strategic decision making and a commissioning forum.

In coming year, the DoH also plans to audit all its transactional services against Digital by Default and draw up an action plan for aligning these with the requirements.

By the end of the third quarter, it intends to publish the National Information Board Informatics Strategy, along with comparable data on volumes, costs and digital take-up of healthcare services both online and offline.

Finally, in the next 12-month period, the Department is hoping to use £100m of government funding on technology with the intention of freeing up more time for patient care.

Department To Deliver Troubled Projects

Besides this, the DoH is aiming to deliver commitments to e-Referrals, e-Booking, online booking of prescriptions and patient access to primary care records.

The Department was recently slammed in a Major Projects Authority (MPA) report – two its initiatives were branded “red,” or “seriously in trouble,” while two others received the slightly less worrying result of “amber/red.”

One such project was the NHS e-Referral Service, suggesting that the DoH technology drive is in response to the MPA report.




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