Why healthcare CIOs and directors are concerned over meeting 2020 paperless deadline

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Two in five healthcare professionals admit that patient records are not currently digitised in their organisation, while the move to mobile and wearable technology is gaining momentum, according to a new survey from OpenText.

The report, conducted via iGov Survey, found interesting benefits for those who had already digitised certain records; access to data anytime, anywhere was considered important to almost half (49%) of those polled, while faster access to data and information (48%) was also highly cited. Of those who had not started digitisation, the consensus was less clear; while more extensive and faster access was deemed important (30% and 31% respectively), the ability to anonymise patient data to improve research was more of a priority.

More than half (55%) of respondents said their organisation was planning to increase the use of mobile and wearable technologies used by staff members, with 21% saying not.

Currently, almost a quarter of respondents said their organisation had more than 75% of staff using mobile technology for work. 92% said they did not currently use wearables in the workplace; the primary reason was that it was too expensive to implement, while not having the right technology to manage these devices was also a major factor.

More worryingly, almost half (46%) of healthcare directors and CIOs polled said they were unsure over whether they would meet the government’s ‘paperless’ 2020 deadline. Across all respondents, this number only dropped to 42%. Despite the benefits outlined by respondents – faster access to data (88%) and greater efficiency (86%), the results should come as a warning for the industry.

“The clock is ticking,” said Ian Owen, head of health at OpenText. “The deadline to meet the government’s paperless initiative is now just four years away and with findings that almost two fifths of survey participants reported patient records were not currently digitised within their organisation, there is still some way to go.”

Writing for this publication earlier this week, Ryan Jordan, senior business developer at 4D, argues that the NHS has made “good progress” over the past few years in achieving its goals, partly because the system is still trying to recover from the “infamous” NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) initiative, launched in 2002.

Read more: The paperless NHS: Are fully electronic patient records truly attainable?

 

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