IT decision makers not ready for paperless NHS coming in 2020

The government has set the deadline for paperless healthcare to 2020, and NHS IT decision makers fear they won't make it on time.

The results were announced on Thursday morning by the Enterprise Information Management (EIM) company OpenText, which surveyed 115 HNS trusts and organisations.

Almost half of CIOs and directors (46 per cent) are worried if they are going to meet the deadline for a paperless NHS, and 39 per cent said patient records are currently not digitised within their organisation.

There are a couple of barriers standing in the way of the implementation of digital transformation, namely the lack of suitable technology already within the organisation (49 per cent), and the lack of in-house skills to implement the initiative (56 per cent). Budget restrictions were cited 75 per cent of the time.

Despite these results, the majority of respondents (78 per cent) said digitising the NHS has many benefits. Main benefits were access to data from any location and device, as well as faster access.

“It’s important to note that it’s not too late for organisation to start implementing digital strategies to meet the 2020 deadline, and the government’s paperless initiative should be seen as just one part of a journey towards fully digital healthcare provision,” said Mark Bridger, Vice President of Sales UK at OpenText.

“My advice would be to think about how your organisation is going to manage all this new data created in a digital healthcare system beyond 2020. Take a step back to see the enterprise as a whole - identifying where the paper is, engaging all members of staff at all levels and thinking about process flows. Only then can better business efficiencies be consistently delivered within the healthcare sector.”

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