11:30am Thursday 7th June 2012
A £4.2 million investment in new technology is set to improve patient care.
All GP practices and health centres in Bradford district will get new computer technology as part of the project, which is the first of its scale in the NHS in England.
Outdated PCs will be replaced with new virtual desktop technology which will allow quicker log-in speeds and give health professionals the flexibility to log in and access patient records from whichever NHS base they are working from.
The development, which also includes a software upgrade, will improve access for GPs, practice staff and community services staff including district nurses and health visitors – many who travel throughout the district and often need to use computers at different sites. It will also benefit support staff who work for the local primary care trust (PCT).
NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds carried out a procurement process when it decided to roll out the programme district-wide following a successful pilot project at Holycroft Surgery in Keighley and the PCT’s headquarters at Douglas Mill in Bradford.
As well as delivering quicker access, the pilot also showed the new IT brings other benefits including: * using less power * faults can be dealt with in a fraction of the time, allowing clinicians to spend more time with patients and less time dealing with, and waiting, for IT repairs * enhanced security of data and networks –- there will be less need for information to be stored on portable devices, reducing the risk that information could be lost or stolen.
The IT team has worked with a number of technology providers to build in the specialist clinical requirements of the local NHS to make the new systems fit for purpose for many years to come. As a result, the team has built up a high level of expertise which can be shared with other NHS organisations looking to introduce the new technology.
The new IT system – 4,500 desktop computers – will be installed in GP practices and health centres over the next few months.
Simon Watson, senior IT project manager at NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, said: “It’s great to get this system up and running – it’s the culmination of a long-term project to replace desktop PCs with newer, more flexible and robust IT systems which will support the local NHS.
“With more care being delivered closer to home and in different settings, many staff need to access patients’ electronic records while on the move or away from their normal base.
“We needed to consider how we could best meet this need by developing new technological solutions.”
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