A poll of NHS CIOs suggests widespread lack of confidence in the government’s plans for IT innovation within the health service.
The survey, conducted by wireless network provider Xirrus, shows 74% of respondents are either “not very confident” or “not confident at all” in the government’s ability to deliver new, beneficial technology to the healthcare service.
Speaking to the UK press, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust CIO Mark Austin, explained his own concerns:
“Technology is never the difficult thing to put in to any setting. It is the management and deployment of it that presents a challenge.
“It is not that people within the NHS are averse to going paperless or wireless – the phased management of it all is the biggest challenge,” he added.
Despite negative feelings towards the innovation plans, the research claims there is a positive approach within health organisations towards health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s paperless policy, where the plan is to have electronic and digital replace paper by 2018.
“We found that e-prescribing was a comfortable first step as clinicians no longer had to spend time going back to wards or the pharmacy to check their handwriting, freeing up their time and providing clear benefit,” said Austin in a separate statement.
However, the report does not fail to mention that many more established consultants are resistant to the idea, along with concerns about security and privacy should all records be digitised.
CIOs questioned also say they need more support from Whitehall to ensure integration of IT services across the NHS, including the sharing of information and data.