Editorials

Electronics, clinicians, and the NHS

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7265.846 (Published 07 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:846

The patient electronic record needs financial and professional support

  1. Grant Kelly, general practitioner
  1. 8 Lavant Road, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 4RH

    Information in practice pp 875, 878

    Clinicians in the United Kingdom are accustomed to false dawns in the technology and management of clinical information, but, for once, real change might happen. In this issue (p 875) Keen and Wyatt discuss the changes in electronic networking and the errors that were made before clinicians got their hands on the process.1 Fortunately, not only is the network changing, but so are its associated technologies.

    Clinicians need the network to carry the electronic patient record and at last we can visualise both the possible shape of the record and how it might work for us. This accessible, private, active record is a great prize, but gaining that prize is hard. In terms of clinical informatics, the NHS now faces the task of moving from information islands of varying quality to a congruent linked community where data can move freely and be used to create helpful knowledge for clinicians beyond the capabilities of any paper record.

    As a backdrop, we have the bullish approach of governments with the information management …

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