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National Health Service - Assignment Example

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The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK's flagship public health care system and also, the largest organisation in Europe from the vantage point of budget and employment (NHS official website, 2006). According to independent sources (Wikipedia, 2006), it employs over 1 million people and its expenditures are more than $140 billion…
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National Health Service Assignment
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Download file to see previous pages The National Programme for IT (NPfIT) thus ambitiously laid out involve costs in the range of $11-55 billion ("Costs and privacy concerns erode doctors' confidence in NHS plan", 10 Jan 2006) and therefore, comes under the careful scrutiny of public opinion.
The aim of this case study is to understand the issues that arise in the implementation of the "world's largest civil IT project" (Tony Collins, 25 Apr 2006), its tangible and intangible benefits, costs involved, scopes and limitations, problem areas and to finally, suggest, as well as recommend, acceptable and cost-feasible solutions to the aforementioned problems.
NPfIT is an ambitious agenda. In keeping with the NHS's recent mission to "put patients at the centre of NHS" (NHS official website, 2006), it seeks to achieve superior healthcare services employing the best that latest technology in computer sciences have to offer in providing affordable, and quality health care to one and all. At its full steam by 2010, the NHS will have delivered the following (Igbokwe, 2006):
An Information and Communication Technology (ICT) structure that provides secure and high-speed communications between NHS users and medical experts, to provide telemedicine services.
Online booking and appointments
The National Prescription Service for electronic prescriptions with full clinical and patient support.
The NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS) to maintain a database of patient records of all UK nationals, accessible at the click of a mouse to concerned medical teams. (As discussed later, this is among the most controversial elements of the programme, with many in the medical fraternity tooth-and-nail opposing it on privacy and security grounds).
Reasons for change in technology
NHS is in a crunch situation today where it concerns meeting the growing needs of a large patient body. As of today, Britain is capable of spending only $1700 per head on medical services, a figure much less compared to $4500 for the US, $2800 for Germany and $2500 for France ("Is the NHS falling apart", 2003). This means tighter constraints on existing resources such as beds in hospitals, and availability of medical care and surgical treatment. In its pursuit of a lean framework for the organisation, chancellor Gordon Brown has recommended an efficiency proposal to cut costs by $36 billion come 2008. A full-scale IT management of the present system will alleviate many problems that accrue out of an overstretched infrastructure. Information, if available at the right sources at the right time, can not only save vital time and expenditure, it can actually save many lives and improve the state of present health care services being provided. According to a survey made ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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