NHS England’s director of patients and information has stated that he expects 50,000 clinicians will learn to code over the next few years under a national directive.
The Code4Health initiative, to be launched this autumn, will see tens of thousands of medical professionals, patients and NHS managers create apps and tools for the NHS. It forms part of the official NHS information technology strategy, but the exact details of the programme have yet to be released.
The announcement has been met with mixed responses from NHS staff. Those in support say that they believe uptake of technology will be greater if staff have had some part to play in their production. It is also expected that such products will be fit for purpose and more functional when designed from a clinical point of view.
Challenged may however arise due to limitations of the infrastructure and IT policies of individual Trusts. There may be prevention of access to hospital networks or patient information from personal devices, yet there may not be the sufficient technology available within the Trust. Furthermore, there are concerns that clinicians are already stretched in their clinical duties, and may not be able to invest sufficient time and effort required to make the program a success.
Tim Kelsey stated that he hoped teaching people to code would help to unleash a “powerful and disruptive wave of innovation”. Patients will also be encouraged to improve their technology skills though both Code4Health and a £2 million ‘Health Online Programme’, which aims to train people to use online health services.
About Pathway Software
Pathway Software (www.pathwaysoftware.com) specialises in the design and development of patient information systems for Allied Health professionals.
Its flagship product, Therapy Manager, is an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system specifically designed for Therapy Services to provide decision makers with the ability to track and manage clinical activity and analyse cost of care by patient, episode or service. The system also demonstrably reduces administration time and the costs of managing Therapy Services.