In total, the government and NHS are to invest £1 billion in technology with the aim of improving patient care and easing pressure on A&E departments.
One of the key things the money will be spent on will be systems to allow hospitals, GP surgeries and out-of-hours doctors to access patients’ electronic records, helping them to provide personal and effective treatment.
Staff who are able to quickly access full details of a patient’s medical and care history can avoid unnecessary diagnostic tests and overnight hospital admissions. There is also less chance of patients being given the wrong medication, or something they might be allergic to.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “It is deeply frustrating to hear stories of elderly dementia patients turning up at A&E with no one able to access their medical history, and for their sakes as well as all NHS users we need to put this right.”
“Technology is key to helping our A&E staff meet the massive demand they face as the population increases and ages,” he added.
Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information for NHS England, commented: “A single patient record will help make the patient journey from hospital to home seamless, giving professionals from different health and care organisations access to information when they need it most, without patients having to repeat themselves every time they speak to a different doctor, nurse or care professional.”