“Big stick approach to accelerating the digitisation of NHS” – what do stakeholders think?

The news item that got my attention last week was the headlines from eHealth Insider ‘Trusts could lose contracts without EPR’. I am hoping to get some debate going amongst the stakeholders – suppliers and NHS around the same theme.

This news suggests that the NHS Commissioning Board is due to issue guidance that will aim to dramatically accelerate the adoption of electronic patient records by NHS hospital trusts. I welcome those plans! And I am sure, all of us who would like to see a paperless or paper-lite NHS both from a supplier as well as an NHS perspective, would welcome the approach too!

Then I started reading a bit more beyond the headlines and realised that this new plan seems to be all about big stick approach!

So what does the real NHS think about this big stick policy?

How about some incentivisation, would that not be more effective?

Across the pond in the USA, their meaningful use programme and reform agenda cleverly combine the incentives and penalties and they seem to be moving towards their digitisation goals of their health systems. I am not advocating we copy the same, but just ask the question about bringing in some incentives to go with yielding the stick?

What is that one incentive suppliers are looking for? What is that one incentive the NHS is looking for, so that they can prioritise the digitisation efforts? And how can we combine the two to ensure that a paperless NHS is not just a result of what we need but also what we want.

Looking for some comments… @rkumar.

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