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New NHS information strategy to be supplier-focussed

New NHS information strategy to be supplier-focussed

[London, UK/ Implementations] - The Department of Health and Intellect, the trade association for the technology industry, have published a draft joint plan to promote the market for IT across the NHS. The plan is the first step following the DH announcement in September of a partnership with Intellect to foster the right conditions for a vibrant healthcare IT market and build confidence in the wider use of IT as a means to benefit patient care.

Key initiatives that form the basis of the joint plan include:

  • NHS information strategy: the DH will closely involve Intellect in the new NHS Information Strategy — which has been long delayed from the original schedule, but is expected to be launched in the next few months. The DH says the Strategy “will provide the context for all of our joint work over the next 5-10 years”. Intellect will also help guide the NHS and suppliers to implement the strategy.
  • Informed customer: this initiative recognises that there is significant unrealised potential to harness the benefits of IT and informatics to improve care, but that this can only be realised with a drive from the business and clinical management of the NHS. To achieve the “pull” from the “customers”, a joint initiative will be developed to engage with these communities to better equip them to be able to become confident and informed customers of the information solutions that the NHS informatics and supplier communities jointly deliver to them.
  • Joint communications: Intellect and the DH Informatics Directorate will agree a programme of joint communications, by end of March 2012, to deliver the key messages on the main subjects to the health and care community through events, media, internal NHS communications, suppliers, and directly to NHS management, healthcare and informatics professionals.
  • Subject workstreams: a set of subject workstreams will each have a joint NHS–supplier “community” team working with other stakeholder groups to generate recommendations for improvement in the “collective approach”. These teams will be established by February 2012 and make initial recommendations for improvement by May 2012. Subject areas include: information sharing and governance; standards, requirements and accreditation; procurement.

The DH has announced further support to give the NHS information about IT suppliers through a joint initiative with eHealth Insider (EHI) to provide free access to EHI′s market intelligence reports on the systems and suppliers installed across the NHS. The DH is also working with the Government Procurement Service on a pan-government supplier information database (SID4GOV) to use as a reference point for those involved in procuring and evaluating system suppliers. [hw]

[Related information]

The Intellect/DH draft joint plan: "A joint plan to foster a healthy and vibrant healthcare IT market"

The full Department of Health announcement: "Supporting Informed NHS Customers for Information Technology"

The Connecting for Health web page with information on the initiatives

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