The Health Secretary has called for upgraded IT systems to help integrate health services and improve cyber-security.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, announced an ‘ambitious tech overhaul’ of IT systems in his speech at the King’s Fund Digital Health and Care Congress 2019.
There will be a particular focus upon GP IT systems, so that patients can access health services online and so that information can be shared seamlessly with hospitals and social care services.
Mr Hancock commented that:
“I believe it should be as easy for a GP surgery to switch IT provider as it is for a small business to switch bank accounts. Under the new contract, providers will have to follow our standards on interoperability and data access. Systems will need to be continuously upgradeable. Patient data will need to be securely hosted in the cloud.
“Sick patients should not be having to explain ‘why are you here’ for the umpteenth time every time they meet a new clinician, or carting round bulging folders of notes from appointment to appointment. Your medical records should be accessible from wherever you are, just as you can get to your emails from any device.”
There will also be a focus upon improving cyber-security; this comes as NHS Digital reports that 21 million potential cyber-attacks against the NHS have been foiled within the last 3 months. In particular, there will be new measures to defend vital systems such as MRI scanners and refrigeration units for organs and blood products.
For further information, read the NHS Digital press release here.