EHealth Insider’s campaign for every NHS trust to consider appointing a chief clinical information officer has got off to a flying start by gaining the backing of a number of leading suppliers.
The EHI CCIO Campaign was launched last week with an open letter to health secretary Andrew Lansley, urging him to back the campaign, which had already been supported by the Royal College of Physicians and the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
Now Cerner has enthusiastically backed the campaign and invested in it. BT has also whole-heartedly backed the campaign and is providing logistic support. Their help has already been invaluable.
Other leading firms to have some on board so far include Accenture Health, INPS, iSoft, JAC and McKesson. Their backing comes ahead of the launch of a campaign website with tools to enable further organisations and individual EHI readers to add their messages of support.
Alan Fowles, vice president and managing director for Cerner in the UK and Ireland, said the company was supporting the EHI CCIO Campaign because: “Information technology has the power to enable transformation of healthcare delivery, simultaneously generating efficiencies and improving patient outcomes.
“The most significant improvements are brought about when technology is closely aligned to medical practice, which is why Cerner’s clinical staff work alongside doctors and nurses every step of the way to align technology with their daily practices.
He added: “It is clear that organisations that have appointed a dedicated clinical practitioner to make key decisions on their organisation’s healthcare technology have received greater internal support and end user adoption.”
Justin Whatling, BT Health’s chief clinical officer, said: “As one of the leading suppliers of information and technology systems to the NHS, we recognise that it is fundamentally important for IT projects to be clinically driven from the outset to ensure their success.
"We applaud and fully support eHealth Insider’s campaign for a chief clinical information officer to be appointed in every NHS organisation.
"Never before has there been a better time for IT to really make a difference to the NHS and the creation of this new role will ensure IT remains high on the agenda and clinically led.”
Simon England, director of Accenture Health in the UK, said: “Clinical buy-in and involvement at all stages of innovation and deployment is essential if IT is to help clinicians improve patient care. That is why the CCIO role is pivotal to success. Accenture fully supports this EHI campaign.”
Dr Mike Robinson, medical director for primary care software specialist INPS, said: “INPS supports the EHI campaign for the establishment of CCIOs in each NHS trust to ensure that clinical informatics is recognised at the highest possible level in the decision making process.
“The electronic recording and transfer of patient information is fundamental to providing safe clinical practices and the establishment of CCIOs will ensure that this is foremost on the agenda of the change management process.”
Dr Robinson added that if it had existed when he was starting his career, the CCIO role was one that he would have been interested in pursuing.
One of the central messages of the EHI CCIO Campaign is that clinical information leaders are needed to enable NHS organisations both to effectively implement IT but also, crucially, to make the best use of information to improve the quality of care.
In many parts of the NHS this will build on existing foundations, but in others it will need to be disruptive.
Building a broadly-based campaign will require the support from other professional bodies, healthcare IT suppliers and individuals working in health IT will be crucial for success. Watch out for more information about how you can get involved.
© 2011 EHealth Media.
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