News electronic communication and health care

All hospital bookings to be done electronically by end of 2005

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 13 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1157
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. London

    The electronic booking service is designed to make it easier and faster for GPs and other primary care staff to book first outpatient and day case appointments for patients.

    The system, which has been likened to that used by travel operators such as has been undergoing stringent testing since late 2003. The tests have involved building a database containing three billion records and simulating a transaction load of 2400 simultaneous users.

    Despite recent press reports to the contrary, the National Programme for IT says that e-booking will be introduced throughout the NHS in England during summer 2004 with total coverage expected by the end of 2005. The London and North East regions will go live with e-booking first.

    Doubts about …

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