The National Health Service (NHS) England is apparently looking to work with innovative tech companies in an effort to produce a “next generation” information technology system to be used by clinicians and healthcare providers at the point of care.
The organisation’s new programme called “Digital Urgent and Emergency Care” intends to improve access to important clinical service information in an extensive database that will help clinicians better serve patients. Recent reports have revealed that NHS England released a pre-tender document in which they stated that their plan is to create an authoritative source of information for clinicians.
What Will the Database Include?
The database is expected to include lists of practitioners who are permitted to refer patients, as well as a schedule that depicts appointment availability in a centralised interface.
A quote from the pre-tender essentially stated that NHS England is currently exploring a new generation of informational solutions that will give healthcare practitioners convenient access to rules and regulations regarding their service capabilities and capacities, as well as the availability and capacities of physicians in other fields of medicine that may benefit a patient’s future treatment.
A major purpose of the database will be to help healthcare professionals direct patients to the appropriate next steps in treatment, while also providing clinical data directly to NHS England in a centralised system.
A Big Contract Up for Grabs?
The NHS estimates that the value of the contract for this project would be in the range of £12m to £20m. It is still unclear whether the organisation has fully committed to procuring the assistance of an IT company, as there is still possibility that they may try to have something developed in-house to lower the project’s budget. However, many feel that it would be uncharacteristic of NHS England to cut corners on a development that could be so beneficial for the nation’s public health system. With that said, there’s a good chance that some lucky tech company will land a sizable contract within the next year.
Much is Left to the Imagination
We know that the main system will serve the purpose of providing clinicians with useful information regarding the availability, capabilities, and capacities of their services and those of other physicians, while also informing NHS of patient data, and the pre-tender noted that NHS England envisages several components that they wish to be included in the finished solution. They also left a lot open to the imagination, encouraging England’s tech companies to present creative solutions that will not only be able to present and store data, but also analyse it in real-time to provide valuable statistical insights.