The RCGP's tech manifesto: how can health tech help the GP workforce?

 

Earlier this week the RCGP published their ‘tech manifesto’. The manifesto calls on the Health Secretary to prioritise digital transformation basics in the NHS and GPs i.e. shared electronic health records. This will position the UK as a world leader in health technology. The manifesto urges the Health Secretary to focus on creating fully joined up IT systems across the NHS, to improve the sharing of patient data.

The manifesto states 3 high-level recommendations for all GPs to have:

  • Fully interoperable and shareable IT systems in GP practices.
  • Access to secure and fast broadband and WIFI
  • Access to a single shared patient health record system which can track the patients' journey from primary to secondary care and throughout the wider NHS.

These three recommendations would enable patient records to be transferred quickly and easily throughout the NHS, improving the efficiency of patient triaging and the overall care that the patient receives. GPs responded to consultations assessing how technology can further enable better care to patients. The consultations revealed that only 50% of GP practice buildings are fit for purpose with a shocking 80% of practices revealing they are not fit for the future. Although GPs are receptive to digital change and transformation, IT systems must scale up for this need to be matched.

The manifesto mirrors some of the high-level recommendations from techUK’s ‘Manifesto for Matt’ which was published late last year for Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. This includes creating a digitally literate health workforce, i.e. training them on the basics and expanding digital leadership through training programmes. Furthermore, the manifesto cites the need for GPs to embrace public-facing health technology, e.g. the benefits of collecting data from self-monitoring devices/wearables or apps.

On the release of the manifesto Nic Fox, NHS Digital’s Director of Primary Care commented that the manifesto was a great step in the right direction and digitising the NHS:

“NHS Digital will continue to be at the forefront of supporting the digital modernisation in GP practices, which will be of huge benefit to doctors and their patients…”

“…The GP IT Futures framework which will be available from later this year will put in place standards that will greatly improve the seamless sharing of patient information between care setting, which will free up valuable clinical time for patient care and ensure that critical information is available to clinicians.”

Read the manifesto here and follow the around fully interoperable and connected GP systems at #AllSystemsGP

 

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