In response to the NHS Information Strategy published today, Dr Foster Intelligence’s Director of Research, Roger Taylor, said:
“We welcome the broad aims of the information strategy to give people greater control over their health records and to use technology to drive clinicians’ use of information. There are many encouraging elements in the document, in particular the Information Centre’s commitment to support local flexibility and become an enabler of innovation.
“While the aims are admirable, the investment and innovation required to make them a reality cannot be unlocked until local NHS organisations and information technology providers have a clearer understanding of the details.
“The strategy currently lacks the necessary detail on how the centre will ensure availability of data in formats that can support innovation and the expected timetable for this to happen.
“Whether for clinicians or for patients, there is a world of difference between having access to information and being able to use it in a meaningful way. Achieving the second of these is a challenge for all involved and will require central government, the local NHS and the IT industry to work together in new ways.
“We welcome the objectives of the strategy and look forward to working with the Commissioning Board, the Department of Health and the Information Centre to understand more clearly how industry can support patients and local organisations to deliver these objectives.”
Notes to editors:
For further information or interview with Roger Taylor, please contact Oscar Holland on 020 7232 4672 or 077 5224 8561 (out of hours)
About Dr Foster
Dr Foster (www.drfosterintelligence.co.uk) is the leading provider of healthcare information solutions in England – and increasingly, worldwide. Its innovative products, services and resources enable both providers and commissioners of healthcare to benchmark and monitor the quality and efficiency of health services. And, through drfosterhealth.co.uk, it empowers patients to make informed choices about their care.
Dr Foster Intelligence is a joint venture with the Department of Health. It continues to fund, through a research grant, the Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College London, which has developed pioneering methodologies that enable fast, accurate identification of potential problems in clinical performance and also in areas of high achievement.
Dr Foster Intelligence works to a code of conduct which is monitored by an independent Ethics Committee chaired by Professor Alan Maynard, director of the Health Policy Unit at York University.