Information technologies in the NHS: an observational study of three acute hospitals

Document type
Keen, Justin; Dempster, Paul; Edlin, Richard
NIHR Health Services Research and Delivery Programme
Date of publication
1 May 2012
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This study set out to improve our understanding of the processes involved in selecting, designing and implementing information technologies (IT) in NHS hospitals in England. The study addressed three issues: the range and size of interim shared health data projects and the reasons for using particular systems; the means by which informatics managers in NHS organisations reconcile the demands of clinicians, general managers and others in reaching decisions about interim IT investments; and the means by which hospitals combine systems recommended by the National Programme with pre-existing, or systems selected to meet local priorities.

The findings show that the sites had been developing their strategies and systems over a number of years. They also suggest that the Trusts were clear about their general direction of travel, which involved the implementation of key new systems that the Trusts deemed important for safe and effective working, and progressive integration of new and existing systems with one another.