The House of Commons Health Select Committee has just published a Report on the Electronic Patient Record. This concludes that the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), the 20-billion-pound project to rip out all the computers in the NHS and replace them with systems that store data in central server farms rather than in the surgery or hospital, is failing to meet its stated core objective – of providing clinically rich, interoperable detailed care records. What’s more, privacy’s at serious risk. Here is comment from e-Health Insider.
For the last few years I’ve been using the London Ambulance Service disaster as the standard teaching example of how things go wrong in big software projects. It looks like I will have to refresh my notes for the Software Engineering course next month!
I’ve been warning about the safety and privacy risks of the Department of Health’s repeated attempts to centralise healthcare IT since 1995. Here is an analysis of patient privacy I wrote earlier this year, and here are my older writings on the security of clinical information systems. It doesn’t give me any great pleasure to be proved right, though.