The technology revolution has “barely touched” patient experience in the NHS, health secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham yesterday.
The new health secretary used his first major speech since replacing Andrew Lansley in the cabinet reshuffle last month to highlight the important role of technology in improving patient experience of healthcare.
“The final challenge I want to mention today is the technology revolution, something that in terms of patient experience has barely touched the NHS,” he told attendees.
Hunt questioned why people can access their bank records online but not their medical ones, why they can order groceries at home but not their prescription and why people can book a hotel online but not a GP appointment.
“In Denmark people can already access their hospital records online,” he added.
“In Sweden and US ordering prescriptions online is becoming routine – so why can’t we?”
“The big Labour disaster with the NHS IT contracts must not stop us trying to crack this,” he went on to say.
“Which means no to top-down, bureaucratic procurement – but yes to more information, faster response and the better service from technology.”
Hunt pointed to a new £100m fund announced by the Prime Minister on Saturday to help nurses use technology to reduce form-filling and increase patient time.
He said that is a “good start, but we need to do much more.”
Hunt concluded by saluting the work of health professionals.
“We promise to match their dedication with our commitment - to work night and day to build a health service true to its core values but ambitious for the future, and giving every family in the country the confidence and security that comes from receiving the best healthcare in the world,” he said.
The health minister in charge of NHS IT and information, Dr Dan Poulter, will be speaking at the first day of EHI Live 2012, the two day conference and exhibition where the eHealth community meets.Tweet #ehilive
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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