Intellect, the trade body for the UK’s technology industry, has today welcomed the announcement of the Department of Health’s Information Sharing Challenge Fund. We hope that it will encourage NHS organisations to start sharing information across the NHS in support of better patient care.
Intellect Health & Social Care Council member, Paul Cooper said: “It is often the case that many innovative ideas come from Trusts working closely with their suppliers. This initiative will not only enable Trusts across the NHS to come forward with great ideas about harnessing digital technology but provide some funds to help turn them into a reality. These ideas can then be shared with other parts of the NHS encouraging collaboration and best practice.”
“As we stated in ‘We should talk – interoperability and the NHS’, there needs to be greater education and awareness of the benefits of interoperability by Trusts and other health and social care providers, and this campaign is a good start. But there is more that DH, the NHS Commissioning Board and industry need to do to join up local IT systems and ensure that there is effective information sharing across the NHS as a whole. The “challenge fund” with its limited ‘prize money’ is a start but may not be enough to tip the scale in favour of the NHS Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) becoming the default model for the NHS and industry. We hope that this is just the beginning of a campaign to advance interoperability and effective sharing of information across the NHS.”