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The information management and technology strategy of the UK National Health Service – Determining progress in the NHS acute hospital sector

David Wainwright (University of Durham Business School, Durham City, UK, and )
Teresa Waring (Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 June 2000

Abstract

The publication of the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) Information for Health Strategy heralded a new strategic focus for the provision of information systems (IS) support across the NHS. Key changes concerned the placement of much greater emphasis on clinical information needs by route of the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and the Electronic Health Record (EHR). The last decade has seen unprecedented changes within the NHS due to government policies, political ideology, health‐care reform and pace of technological progress. This paper argues that this rate and scale of change has outstripped the ability of health‐care organisations to respond effectively in order to implement the key goals set by strategic policy makers. An historical review is combined with an analysis of recent empirical survey data to determine the evolution and progress of the NHS IM&T strategy over a period of ten years. The review and analysis is enabled by adopting techniques and theory derived from research within the field of Information Systems, whereby Information Systems maturity models are used as an heuristic to measure levels of sophistication of IT adoption and use. These models demonstrate that NHS hospitals are fairly immature in terms of the adoption and usage of information systems and technology; struggling to provide adequate foundations for systems integration (data, work and culture). Conclusions reflect on the current progress and ambition of the strategy and comment on its potential outcome given existing NHS knowledge of IT, skills, capability and infrastructure.

Keywords

Citation

Wainwright, D. and Waring, T. (2000), "The information management and technology strategy of the UK National Health Service – Determining progress in the NHS acute hospital sector", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 241-259. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550010346152

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited