Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has this morning issued a draft mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board which lists 22 key objectives for the NHS, one of which is the use of “transparent and integrated IT”.
The mandate which is in the consultation stage states that the Board should “improve the quality and availability of information about NHS services.”
IT is the 14th listed objective alongside a reduction in inequality in services, an increase in average length of life for patients and improvement in patient, family and staff members’ experiences within the health service. Implementation of an effective system for commissioning is also cited, along with a number of financial objectives.
The mandate states that it is key that the NHS extend pricing in order that commissioners can commission for outcomes. Furthermore, “changes in services” are cited as essential where these can secure local and political support.
With regards to IT specifically, the mandate states that progress on this issue will be measured on areas such as “easy and quick access to patient records” for both patients and healthcare professionals. Furthermore, essential is the “increased use of technology to improve care and make health services easier to interact with (eg the ability for people to book appointments online).”
Other measures will include whether there are “fast and efficient transfer of information through different healthcare settings, supported by the use of information standards”, more quality indicators, and “comprehensive information on health services and health, including support for people using information at a local level.”
Lansley states that the intention of the mandate is supposed to hold the board accountable for the performance of the NHS, while giving it the freedom to operate without day to day political interference. “The mandate will focus on holding the health service to account for results that make a difference to people” he said.
Original Source eHealth Insider
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