Forget Clinical Involvement
At a conference last week in London, UK “Successful Implementation of NPfIT 2006” engaging clinicians in the National Programme for IT was brought up time and again by speakers: let's engage them, let's involve them, let's get them on board—phrases that to me are meaningless shibboleths. I do not want to involve them at all.
I wrote an article last year for Hospital Doctor “Switching on to IT Benefits” in which I suggested—despite the assertion of some professional medical bodies—clinicians are not turned on by technology or the security of patient records or their transfer from existing systems. They are interested in what an Electronic Patient Record can do for them and their patients.
I give examples in the article of successful clinically-driven IT projects. One was the implementation of a PACS at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. A Radiologist who played a leading role in the project presented at the conference: not only had the PACS provided clinical benefit, and enabled new working processes—it had also paid for itself through savings. I can assure you that clinicians did not need to be pushed to use the PACS—indeed a recent survey reveals they find it of huge benefit.
Recently I also wrote about telemedicine projects which clinicians also enthusiastically endorsed.
All healthcare IT should aspire to the condition of PACS and Telemedicine, because I do not want clinicians to be involved, I want them to be inspired.
Image of PACS: GE Healthcare