Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Latest HI Now

The latest edition of HI NOW the newsletter of the BCS health informatics community has just been piblished.

Contents include:

* Industry news
* HC reshaped for the future
* Bellamy to cover the foundations upwards
* Secure sharing of documents and images
* Web 2.0 woven into health information's future
* Is health informatics growing up?
* ProRec-UK set up to represent UK on standards
* Submissions for Medinfo 2010
* Lessons to share on electronic records
* Electronic info to speed up emergency treatment
* Chemotherapy planning tool scoops award
* Forthcoming events

In this issue Martin Bellamy talks about what he will say at HC2009. This article is also featured in Computing.

You can read it at:

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Latest edition of HI Now

The latest edition of Health Informatics Now is now available online

It includes:

* Industry news
* HC2009 gears up to present a new style showcase
* Collaboration helps enhance unscheduled care services
* BCS supports professionalism via various activities
* Forthcoming events

Member and Specialist Groups

* Conferences of recent past and future
* Apply now to enter for Dame Phyllis Friend Award
* The good, the bad and the ugly of Choose and Book
* Workforce survey finds pay is still an issue
* Group moves from telehealth to web 2.0

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Latest edition of HI Now

The latest edition of HI Now (Volume 3, Number 1), the quarterly journal from the Health Informatics Forum of the British Computer Society, is now available online.

The articles include:
* Round-up of this issue
Debates on security, privacy and patient safety.

* Industry news
A selection of articles outlining recent IT-related news in healthcare.

* BCSHIF responds to Health Informatics Review
BCSHIF, ASSIST and UKchip joint response to the DH's Health Informatics Review.

* Data safety and clinical care
The balance between keeping patient data safe and not hampering clinicians in delivering effective care was discussed at a BCSHIF meeting in July, led by Edward James, a consultant working with the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

* BCS reshapes HC for 2009
BCS is re-launching Healthcare Computing as a fully integrated, BCS-managed and run event.

* Another year full of activity
BCSHIF has produced a report describing its initiatives and activities over the year.

* Tool to aid privacy decisions
A research team has been developing a tool to help professionals make privacy impact assessments.

* Hang on tight to the information revolution
Delegates at the HC2008 conference were given an 'invitation to the future' by Ian Neild from the group chief technology office of BT.

* MIE2008 highlights exploitation of research
From gaming's use for doctors to technology to support older people living independently in their own homes, MIE2009 covered a wide range of topics.

* Forthcoming events
A selection of BCS health informatics events.

* Apply now to enter for Dame Phyllis Friend Award
The Nursing Specialist Group is seeking entries for the annual Dame Phyllis award

* Mind the gap
Following the Primary Health Care Specialist Group (PHCSG)'s summer conference, the group is now preparing for its autumn annual conference.

* ePrescribing to cut error rates
Where electronic systems have been tried in prescribing medication, they have dramatically cut error rates.

The full issue is also available as a PDF at:

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New book on the history of UK Health Computing

A new book has been published this week about the history of health computing in the UK.

UK Health Computing: Recollections and Reflections edited by Glyn Hayes and Denise Barnett has been published by the British Computer Society to bring together information on some of the key people and events over the last forty plus years.

It is published at £29.95 with a five pind dscount for BCS members.

The book is available from Amazon.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Health Informatics Now

The September issue of HINOW is now out and available online at or if you prefer a pdf version

The contents include:

*Foreword by the BCS Health Informatics Forum treasurer
*Industry news
*Getting the educational ducks all in a row
*The wider BCS educational picture for IT professionals
*Healthcare added to ECDL portfolio
*Home carers train on hand-held devices
*Southern training approach gains national accreditation
*Electronic records require nurses to upskill
*Records could support research
*Architecture sets out how services fit together
*Has common sense returned?
*Public health: private data?

Primary Health Care
*Conference to focus on patients' control of records

Association for Informatics Professionals in Health and Social Care (ASSIST)
*The alcoholic data model Northern Specialist Group
*Smart garments will have patients covered

If you’d like to contribute to the next issue the theme is International Connections and the deadline is 15 October. Send copy to

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Metaknowledge mashup - live blogging

The KIDMM 'Metaknowledge mashup' day is happening at BCS HQ in London today. I will be blogging 'live' throughout the day - posts can be found on the BCS blogs site at the 'Release Zero' blog -

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

HC2007 - BCS Nursing Specialist Group session

The annual satellite session organised by the British Computer Society's Nursing Specialist Group ( took place on Tuesday moring, and was titled 'Challenging boundaries or grappling with fuzzy edges?' There were 4 short presentations, followed by discussion. Richard Hayward, NSG Chair, opened the session. The first speaker was Janette Bennett, Senior Clinical Advisor with the BT Health Executive; she quoted Florence Nightingale as saying 'I look forward to the abolition of all hospitals ... but it is no use talking about the year 2000'. In looking at boundaries and challenges, and making changes in practices, she looks at professional issues, education issues, the research needed to inform decisions, and finally the management aspects, including roles, skill mix, etc. The shift to care in the community does not seem to be providing that kind of thinking, and this causes Janette concern. There need to be radical changes to the ways of working (eg virtual support services), and these have radical implications for the nature of education needs. She sees possibilities for new online environments, such as MySpace, for modelling new ways of working, learning and thinking. Underlying infrastructures, rather than technologies, she suggests, are what provide the real boundaries to be addressed.

Rebecca Randall, from City University, talked about computerised decision support systems (CDSS, eg as used in NHSDirect) pushing the boundaries of nursing roles. Her talk was based in the work undertaken in the recent Department of Health funded study into nurses' use of technology. She says there is a blurred boundary between supported and unsupported decision making, and whether CDSS directly supports decision making. Helen Sampson talked about the challenges in the workplace for frontline staff, as nursing roles change, and working at the boundaries of health and social care. She says that nurses now do know what kinds of information they want to record about care – but that elements of the National Programme are dictating what can be done, and this does not always match with what nurses want. Peter Murray presented some thoughts on boundaries between everyday life and education, and of the real boundaries being cultural, and also discussed scenario planning as a way of thinking about possible futures and emerging boundaries. A wide ranging discussion followed the presentations, with concerns being expressed about the ability of information systems to support the real needs of the clinical end users.

The satellite was followed by the Annual General Meeting of the BCS NSG.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Blogging HC2007

HC2007, the 24th Annual Conference and Exhibition, takes place in Harrogate, England on 19-21 March, 2007 ( The Conference is organised by British Computer Society Health Informatics Forum (BCSHIF). The exhibition at HC is organised by BJHC Ltd., and exhibition details can be found on their website:

We will be blogging the event, and would like to hear from anyone else who will be blogging it, or who would like to contribute posts here about or from the event.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

BCS HIF report - The Way Forward for NHS Health Informatics

The Way Forward for NHS Health Informatics : Health Informatics Forum : BCS

The British Computer Society (BCS) Health Informatics Forum has produced a major new report which reviews the current state of Informatics in the NHS and suggests ways forward. Peter provided a link to this a couple of days ago but I've only just had a chance to read it.

The report suggests that the current problems facing the NHS's IT Programme require a realignment of the National Programme for IT.

According to the BCS Health Informatics Forum Strategic Panel, the NHS Connecting for Health (CfH) programme can still make a massive contribution to safer and more appropriate patient care and remains in full agreement with the Wanless report that 4% of NHS turnover should be spent on business led informatics.

"One of the fundamental goals," according to Dr Glyn Hayes, Chair of BCSHIF, "must be to support the diverse business processes that recognize local constraints and individual patients' values, and focus on delivery and implementation at Trust level. Instead of the current monolithic systems intended to meet most of the needs of users in a local health community, we need a range and choice of more innovative and agile solutions contributing to a common purpose, encouraged within national standards to deliver functionality in whatever way suits the users and suppliers. This should not be interpreted as ruling out adoption of local server provider (LSP) products where they fit the business requirements."

Key recommendations of the report include:

* The Provision of a business context for NPfIT at national and local level.
* A focus on local implementations at Trust and provider unit level, e.g. hospitals, diagnostic & treatment centres, community and mental health Trusts, practices. Providing specialty and service-based systems within provider units will encourage clinical involvement and give quicker benefits.
* There needs to be a major emphasis on standards to enable systems to interoperate effectively, rather than focusing on a few monolithic systems.
* The strategy should be evolutionary, building on what presently works and encouraging convergence to standards over time, rather than revolutionary.
* To adopt a truly patient-centred approach at the local health community level
* There are major issues about the sharing of electronic patient data which need to be resolved. These must not be hijacked by technical issues, and informed patient consent should be paramount.
* Transform NHS CfH into an open partnership with NHS management, users, the informatics community, suppliers, patients and their carers, based on trust and respect.
* The clinical professions, NHS management and informaticians should collaborate to provide clear and comprehensive guidance for all sectors on good record keeping and data management – clinical and other, and embed this in undergraduate and post graduate training. The NHS should facilitate the take-up of this guidance.

I feel the report contains a lot of good ideas, however in addition to the focus on managerial arrangements, current issues around information governance and ownership need greater emphasis along with the clinical benefits which should flow if the systems are put in place appropriately.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Patients win right to keep records off NHS computer | Health |

Patients win right to keep records off NHS computer | Health |

Today's Guardian is reporting that "The government has bowed to privacy concerns about a new NHS computer system and conceded that patients should be allowed a veto on information about their medical history being passed from their GP to a national database."

This follows the letter sent by the Department of Health a couple of weeks ago to those who expressed wories about the proposals.

I think it is also interesting that these reports are still quoting Lord Warner who "retired" earlier this week - & I do wonder why that retirement was announced on a big news day?

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Friday, December 15, 2006

BCSHIF report - where should NHS CfH go from here?

The report 'The Way Forward for NHS Health Informatics - Where should NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CFH) go from here?' prepared on behalf of the British Computer Society (BCS) by the BCS Health Informatics Forum Strategic Panel is now available.

A direct link to downloading the report is at:

There is a report on the Daily Telegraph website >>>

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