Urgent action is a moral imperative – Tim Kelsey

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Patients are put at risk where paper is the currency of clinical practice.

The evidence is clear that electronic prescribing systems which support clinicians ensure the right medicine is provided to the right person in the right quantity halve medication errors, yet only 14% of NHS hospital trusts currently deploy these systems.

Digital is not just a prerequisite of safety but also of cost-effectiveness. Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust spends more than £1m each year on the storage and transportation of paper records. There are over 200 acute and mental health Trusts in England – is it possible (just assuming they have similar costs) that £200m or more is spent on such services by the NHS each year? Taunton is now implementing an innovative open source electronic records strategy and is participating in an initiative to deliver interoperability across Somerset – one of several regional initiatives that are building…

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