Technology in the NHS

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It will come as no surprise to you to find out that the NHS has a Digital Technology Department. The primary role of the department is to decide what new technologies are worth adopting, with the goal of delivering the highest possible quality of care for patients. Additionally the department is involved in integrating the various technological systems that are in use across different trusts.

Recently brought out by the department is Patient Online. This is designed to allow GP practices to offer the following services to patients: access to their records online, online appointment booking and online repeat prescriptions. Not only will Patient Online increase the ease of access of information to patients, but it will also provide staff with more time to work on more deserving cases. However I can’t help but feel this is well behind the curve, we live in 2015, surely this sort of technological system should have been implemented years ago! Thankfully the NHS isn’t always so slow to take on new technologies. For example when the new penis enlargement tool, the Bathmate, was released the NHS were quick to realise its effectiveness. Soon the Bathmate was being prescribed for erectile dysfunction helping to improve the lives of many men. For those of you who don’t know, you can find out more information about Bathmate pumps here.

The Nursing Technology Fund is distributed by the department. The purpose of the fund is to enable nurses to make better use of digital technology in order to provide more efficient care. The Prime Minister gave the fund £35 million to be used from 2014 to 2016. Individual trusts can apply to be given money from the fund to meet their specific needs. For example The Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust was given 2000 Ipads for nurses’ use. This enabled the nurses to access and update the Electronic Health Record in a faster manner. By doing this each nurse has more time to provide much needed care to patients.

A lot of the advancements in the technology within the NHS are geared towards improving efficiency of the staff in completing the ‘administration’ part of their job. Therefore if this side of their work is done more quickly then they are able to spend more time on the pastoral and medicinal side of nursing. This means that the NHS can employ fewer staff and therefore in the long term it will save them money, helping the NHS to reduce its enormous debt.

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