The new customer service platform being developed by the NHS Commissioning Board will invigorate small and medium-sized enterprises by creating a “market place to beat all market places in healthcare.”
NHS CB national director of patients and information Tim Kelsey told attendees at a Digital by Default conference in London yesterday that the “alpha launch” of the new platform will be next April and it will be fully launched in November.
NHS Choices and the online version of NHS Direct and NHS 111 will be merged into one point of access and patients will be encouraged to use it, “in preference to engaging with the physical services.”
Kelsey said the platform, described by NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson as the “daughter of NHS Choices", will provide transactional services where people will be able to book appointments, order prescriptions and access their GP records online.
“It’s online banking, but for the health service,” he explained.
The patient platform will not be a closed community, but an open market place for providers who have tools and services that they want to promote to patients and professionals.
This open architecture will demonstrate the health service’s commitment to a more open future that will invigorate the SME market, Kelsey added.
“Hopefully it will be the marketplace to beat all market places in healthcare.”
Another component of the patient platform will be its focus on patient participation.
Kelsey said the CB is “going to introduce 311 into the NHS” as a way of encouraging patient feedback.
311 is a service operated by US cities that enables people to access and feed back information about government services via the web, phones, Skype, Twitter and apps.
Kelsey said a similar service can be used to ensure patients who want to engage with the NHS are listened to and responded to, in real time.
The patient platform will also be a "credible" and "authoritative" source of information.
Kelsey told the conference that at the end of the era of NHS Connecting for Health and the National Programme for IT in the NHS, the UK still does not have a “truly personal customer-oriented health service.”
There is a group of clinicians who remain highly sceptical about the use of IT in healthcare and the importance of data and openness.
“This is not about technology, it’s about culture and change and explaining to people why this is not just a new fandangle thing, but something that will fundamentally improve the sustainability of our health services,” he added.
“This is about the tools for a new health service. The commissioning board is based on two operating principles – transparency and participation – and in both cases we are deadly serious.”
The government’s open data plans are key to this transformation.
“I would like to create a data environment so rich that you guys [suppliers] can come and start developing digital platforms that will truly revolutionise things,” he said.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
Excellent news and excellent item...Phoenix 116 weeks ago
As per normal these days we have the usual collection of negative comments and those who would knock and pour scour on the innovative and exciting attempts to do some fantastic work in this area. I unreservedly applaud the new directions being taken around the P&I agenda within the NHSCB. This is also brilliant news for patients, for the NHS and indeed for SMEs and new start up companies. It's good for business and it's good for the Country. So come on let's get behind and support this new and exciting innovation for a change.
What is it?just_instantiate 116 weeks ago
%u21CIt%u219s online banking, but for the health service%u21D; "something that will fundamentally improve the sustainability of our health services%u21D; %u21Cgoing to introduce 311 into the NHS%u21D, and so on. It sound likes an agglomeration of soundbites, and yet in amongst it all, nine words - "people will be able to book appointments, order prescriptions" - that describe a do-able and useful project. I didn't say easy; I didn't say cheap - I'm sure there are a lot of devils in the detail - but still an ambition that is easily understood and clear in what it expects to delivers. Why does everything in the NHS have to be wrapped up in guff?
And this "customer service platform"; is it an architecture, a market place, a source of information? Is it software? ... a strategy? All these things are stated or hinted at without really being explained. It sounds like there might be some good ideas in there somewhere but I wish I knew what.
Much needed for SMEsKevin Fogarty ESP IT 116 weeks ago
I follow on from Rob of Tactix4 above that this is desireable and much needed to allow SMEs to come in and innovate.
We attend local patient groups and there is so much that comes out of these where the current environment for patients to engage is lacking.
This would align with Telehealth and Telecare to bring in joined up care.
Why do I find this so depressing?MrDog 117 weeks ago
Another load of sound bites with very little clue of any direction. Just what part of "it's on line banking, but for the health service" equate to anything said in this article?
If all I could do when I logged on to my bank was find out where services were, what they offered at what rates, how good they were, what people thought of them, and leave them some futile feedback, I would not bother. I could get all of that from MSE plus lots of value add.
The real benefit and work in this is in the integration with the real time data in the operational service giving a platform that doctors and patients can use to interact and hopefully better manage. This seems to be a blue sky data mart at the moment that has such poorly defined objectives we wont even know if it's succeeded or failed - maybe that is the objective?
I think that instead of blue sky, let's build right now using things we can touch and feel and start talking of things that will actually make some difference. The banking analogy is a good one - go and have a look at what you can really do with your bank on line and draw the right connection.
One wonders if the same charlatans that peddle the open standards in the other article are also involved in designing this moon on a stick. No doubt they are the same folks who used to tell us it all had to be big and beautiful to have any worth.
Improve sustainability - really?mrtablet 117 weeks ago
'this is not just a new fandangle thing, but something that will fundamentally improve the sustainability of our health services'.
Does 'improve sustainability' signal they expect this to save money?
Solid evidence, experience with NHS Direct (to A and E) and basic economics (increased ease of access= increased consumption, tragedy of the commons etc.) all suggest it will not save money.
However within a constrained NHS budget something else will have to be cut to pay for NHS 'sofa surfers' if this doesn't save money.
Will it improve quality - that's a different argument.
If it does improve quality how does the expense compare to other less sexy interventions?
Declaration of interests... I'm torn
- healthcare IT wonk - kerrrchingggg :-)
- taxpayer and consumer of stubbornly non-virtualizable NHS healthcare services - bah humbug :-(
He's not the Messiah......JacquesOuze 117 weeks ago
....just another bald man with a big vision.
Maybe it's a sign we've been around the NHS too long when the latest scheme to revolutionise the NHS with technology pitched by a wild eyed true believer does't elicit a corresponding surge of enthusiasm.
Or maybe it's a sign that we've been around long enough to be sceptical about such overbearing promises.
To paraphrase Col. Kilgore: 'I love the smell of snake oil in the morning; smells like.....victory.'
HANDI Welcome thisRob Dyke 117 weeks ago
HANDI Health support the NHSCB Developer Network initiative. From the inception of HANDI a goal for us has been the lowering of technical, political, economic and social barriers to marker entry. Throughout HANDIs year long programe of engagement with patients, providers, researchers and developers a consistent theme has emerged: an authorative source of information and tools to support the collaborative development of healthcare applications is strongly desirable.