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Implementing electronic records in NHS secondary care organisations in England: policy and progress since 1998

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JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
DateAccepted/In press - 29 Nov 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 9 Jan 2017
Number of pages13
Early online date9/01/17
Original languageEnglish


Background: A number of different policies have aimed to introduce electronic records into National Health Service secondary care organisations in England over recent years. There has been little formal attempt to explore the overall impact of these policies (as opposed to evaluations of individual initiatives) and how they have developed and progressed over time.

Sources of data: National NHS IT policy documents and evaluations of national NHS IT policy between 1998 and 2015.

Areas of agreement: There has been limited progress in implementing integrated electronic records in secondary organisations since 1998
Areas of controversy: The management and execution of NHS IT policy has been poor, with over ambitious aims contributing to the limited success.

Growing points: Detailed guidance on how to implement electronic records in secondary care organisations is required. The ambitions of current policy should be revisited.

Areas timely for developing further research: Research exploring the costs and benefits of different approaches to introducing electronic records is needed.

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