NHS Connecting for Health Funny Video

Here are some videos that have been doing the rounds of various mailing lists at the moment:

Tories would support Open Source Software for the NHS

David Cameron recently gave a speech where he expressed his preference for Open Standards and Open Source Software such as Linux for use in the NHS and other government projects:

We will follow private sector best practice which is to introduce ‘open standards’ that enables IT contracts to be split up into modular components. So never again could there be projects like Labour’s hubristic NHS supercomputer. And we will create a level playing field for open source software in IT procurement and open up the procurement system to small and innovative companies…

…look at the private sector’s take-up of open source software, developed collectively by a community of individuals, universities and small and large firms from around the world.

They build the product, suggest improvements, check the source code and critique each others’ work.

Linux, the open source pioneer, is now the fastest growing operating system in the world, and even IBM is basing their new hardware on it.

Information liberation could be hugely beneficial in the new economy.

After all, what are the great new giants of the internet – from Myspace to eBay – but information processing systems?

Link

HC 2008: Harrogate

HC 2008 in Harrogate is taking place on 21-23 April.

A 3 day conference and exhibition for everyone involved in handling and managing information in healthcare. Matthew Swindells, Department of Health’s acting chief information officer, has been confirmed as the opening speaker at HC2008. He is expected to talk in his keynote presentation on the strategic role of information in the NHS, and, in particular, the part it plays in supporting and delivering changes described in the interim ‘Darzi review’.

Link

UK’s Map of Medicine Acquired

Congratulations to Map of Medicine’s founders Owen Epstein and Mike Stein and their team:

Hearst Corporation today announced the acquisition of U.K.-based Map of Medicine, a leading provider of evidence-based health-care resources designed to help health practitioners make sound decisions by following accessible clinical information on a range of relevant medical issues. The announcement was made by Victor F. Ganzi, president & CEO, Hearst Corporation, and Richard P. Malloch, president of Hearst Business Media. Map of Medicine, formerly owned by Informa plc, will be managed in London as a separate operating unit (Map of Medicine, a UK limited company) of Hearst Business Media.

Read more on CNN Money

Sir Muir Gray on the Map of Medicine:

NHS Spine to be Shutdown for 2 Days

NHS Connecting for Health services that use the ‘Spine’ such as Choose and Book and GP2GP will be out of action for a planning maintenance period from 9-11 of Novemeber:

The agency said the upgrades did not represent a complete replacement of the Spine. “The exercise is solely an uplift of the database management hardware and software. The application code and functionality of the Spine remain unchanged. The change will be transparent to users,” said a spokesperson.

BT says the upgrade, which includes a refresh of the Spine software and hardware, is required in order to “enable a more automated, faster and surer failover process and continuing levels of quality support.”

Source: E-Health Insider

The NHS IT Project

NHS IT ProjectMy new Health Informatics books have arrived. The first one I’m tackling is ‘The NHS IT Project’ by Sean Brennan.

This book is a great read so far. I particularly enjoyed the vignettes from the point of view of Patient, GP and Consultant. The idea of discovering each morning that yet another patient has been placed on a inappropriate ward on the far end of the hospital and marching the whole medical team down there for a quick check up rang very true. I also remembered a conversation with my registrar who told me not to expect electronic patient records in either of our lifetimes… How quickly things have changed! We now have the NHS NPfIT ‘appearing like an army out of the dark’ to quote the book.

The book goes on to describe the basic structure of the NHS and how the ‘legacy’ systems (many actually only recently introduced) formed the pre-NPfIT NHS IT landscape. Further explanation of the programme and it’s possible benefits and drawbacks are discussed in the latter sections of the book.

The style of writing makes this a very interesting book to read and is highly recommended for anyone interested in health IT projects. If you want to read a sample of the book check out the preview on Google Books.