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IT gurus attempt to win doctors' hearts and minds

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 03 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:276
  1. Michael Cross
  1. London

    Technical difficulties have contributed to delays in the NHS electronic booking project in England. But lack of support from GPs is also an issue. What is happening with the entire national information technology programme, which is essential for the new look NHS?

    It has been a difficult month for the national IT programme for the NHS, launched in 2002. The National Audit Office, in its first investigation into the ongoing programme, found that technical difficulties had contributed to delays in one key element, the electronic booking project, an essential part of the government's ambitions to extend patients' choice in the NHS (BMJ 2005;330: 166, 22 Jan). Mean-while, a long running dispute with the largest supplier of GPs' computers continued to escalate.

    Against that background, the IT programme is preparing a publicity campaign to win hearts and minds as the process begins of installing a new system for electronic care records, underpinning the electronic booking system, across England.

    The NHS care records service will change current record systems by putting more than 50 million records on a digital database, allowing information to be shared safely across the NHS. For the first time there will be a central record of a patient's care, which will include information such as whether a …

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