The Health and Care system is continuing its move towards delivering the digital personalised Health and Care vision, defined in FYFV, increasing its emphasis, investment and reliance on eHealth, EMRs and mHealth. Are we missing the focus and investment needed to upgrade the foundations and the technical and communications infrastructure to support the successful delivery of this vision?
Considerable focus – rightly so – has been placed at a local level, on clinical engagement and executive sponsorship to support this vision. We have also seen the formation of a system wide National Information Board, with its ambition to transform the Health and Care digital landscape outlined in Personalised Health and Care 2020 – A Framework for Action.
But, and it is a big BUT, is this being achieved at the cost of losing sight of the focus on people, systems and investment? These are required in the infrastructure and communications foundations to support these new models of care being implemented by the Vanguards as they seek to make use of this digital vision.
CCGs are being asked to lead this digital agenda, working with their local Health and Care partners and with NHS England. They require Local Digital Roadmaps that also include the completion of an assessment of their communications digital maturity, which is due to be issued in November and completed by CCGs by the end of January 2016.
The guidance which has been issued does not yet clearly articulate the need to have a resilient system wide approach to infrastructure that also supports the secure integration and information sharing world embodied within this vision.
If we do not address the foundations, surely we are building the Digital Health vision on foundations made of Sand, with all the foreseeable consequences this will bring.