Article on data analysis in the NHS, first published in Health Service Journal, 5 July 2005
Two years ago, Sheila Leatherman, research professor at University of North Carolina’s school of public health, and Kim Sutherland, a senior research associate at University of Cambridge’s Judge institute of management, wrote ‘The Quest for Quality in the NHS’ for the Nuffield Trust, comparing England’s NHS to other developed countries.
The authors noted the lack of a ‘shared robust information base that provides a common understanding of the NHS’s strengths and weaknesses’. Now, Prof Leatherman and Dr Sutherland have attempted to show that such an information base, using independent and routinely-reported data, can and should be compiled – by doing it themselves, through compiling more than 100 charts from numerous sources into a single chartbook of NHS quality.
Continue reading “Charting a new course: data analysis of the NHS across the UK”
A version of this article appeared in Health Service Journal, 9 December 2004
Of the three main applications within the English NHS’s National Programme for IT, electronic transmission of prescriptions (ETP) looks the least controversial. The Care Records Service’s online database of patient records causes concerns over privacy and security, while attitudes towards the Choose and Book electronic booking system are coloured by views on patient choice.
By contrast, ETP does not create new flows of data: prescription details already move from GPs to pharmacists, then on to the Prescription Pricing Authority (PPA), allowing it to reimburse pharmacies for the difference between real cost and charged price. Under ETP, this data will move electronically rather than on paper, hopefully cutting errors, saving money and time.
Continue reading “Rewriting the script: the NHS and electronic transmission of prescriptions”
First appeared in Health Service Journal, 10 June 2004
The use of digital imaging systems within the NHS has been on the verge of taking off for some years – but hasn’t. That is set to change this year when a combination of central initiatives dramatically unfreezes the potential for progress at a local level.
On 1 May, the National Programme for IT announced deals with GE Medical Systems to provide picture archiving and communications systems in three local service provider clusters, with Philips and Kodak with ComMedica winning one LSP contract apiece. The systems will be installed from this summer, with national coverage planned for completion in three years.
Continue reading “Those who scan, do: Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS)”
First published in Health Service Journal, 19 February 2004
Draw a rectangle 2.4 times as wide as it is high and fill it with a colour known as Pantone Blue 300. Then, using the Frutiger Bold Italic font, fill it with the three capital initial letters of Europe’s biggest employer. Voila: a logo found on signs, stationery, vehicles, identity cards and uniforms across the country – and reproduced 144 times in a recent copy of this magazine.
Continue reading “Brand designs: the NHS logo”
First published in Health Service Journal, 8 November 2001
The private sector is sometimes seen as a zombie, mortally wounded in the NHS’s founding – yet reanimated by the unholy forces of Tory and New Labour governments.
But according to a book published by the King’s Fund*, past political efforts to kill off the private sector have only fuelled its strength. Now, authors Justin Keen, Donald Light and Nicholas Mays say the government needs to put aside the ideological debate about healthcare funding and face up to the reality of private healthcare, by making it subject to the same standards that rule the NHS.
Continue reading “Partially sighted: how private healthcare works with the NHS”