Health and social care leaders are to announce detailed plans that will improve services for patients by “making better use of technology” that will increase transparency across more services and ultimately save money.
The plans, which have been designed to build on the successes of the last 12 months which have seen 97 percent of GP practices offering patients the chance to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view a summary of their GP records online, commit to giving patients full access to their entire digital health record in real time by 2018.
In a bid to drive up quality and efficiency, MyNHS will be expanded to include new information on local NHS commissioners and care homes. This step builds on the popularity of the MyNHS site, which has attracted over 200,000 visits since it was launched in September last year.
To underpin this and support the NHS on its journey to harness the power of data and technology, the National Information Board (NIB), established by the Department of Health and chaired by NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information, Tim Kelsey, will look at the feasibility of turning the entire NHS estate into a free Wi-Fi zone.
It is thought that Wi-Fi would reduce the administrative burden on doctors, nurses and care staff, currently estimated to take up to 70% of a junior doctor’s day, freeing up more time to be spent with patients.
“The NHS is embracing the offering of digital services to patients, with more than 55 million patients set to benefit from progress”, said Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information.
“As well as giving patients more choice and control, better use of technology can save money. Letting people rebook online will help tackle the estimated £160 million that missed appointments cost the NHS each year.”