The NHS computer project is the biggest and the most expensive IT project in world history, but why is it needed? What does it aim to achieve? This book spells out the real objective of the programme. This is not simply a plan to computerise our medical records; it is a project to transform the way that the NHS works. This book is a comprehensive but highly accessible examination of the past, present and possible future of managing patient data. The reader is introduced to the layers of computing that will fit together to create a single patient record. Patient security and confidentiality are discussed, along with the practical issues surrounding the introduction of the programme. The IT project has evolved from government strategies, pilots and initiatives that date back over a quarter of a century or more. The NHS is home to a startling legacy of IT systems and processes that have each made their mark on the service. The reader is invited to examine these often ill-fated initiatives and see how their patchwork legacy will shape the way new computer systems will operate. The NHS IT Project provides vital information for all employees of the NHS, particularly policy makers and shapers. It will be valuable to NHS service providers, students of the NHS, patients and anyone who is interested in big projects and how they operate.
Andrew Wilson, Martin T. Williams, Mike Pringle, Sean Brennan