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“Millions of hours” and £1bn lost due to inferior IT systems in NHS

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Millions of NHS doctor’s hours and approximately £1bn has been lost to ‘inadequate’ IT systems, according to a new report from the British Medical Association…

A new study by the British Medical Association (BMA) has found that the NHS loses 13.5 million hours of doctors’ work annually due to inferior and inadequate IT systems. 

A survey of more than 13,000 BMA members revealed that technological barriers are holding NHS staff back when it comes to treating patients.

The data showed that only 11% of respondents reporting that they have all the tools they need to accomplish their jobs and a mere 5% of respondents feeling very confident that seamless data exchange in the health sector will be achieved in 10 years.

The report said: “This clearly shows that seamless sharing of information is far from being addressed and, while some of this may be caused by other reasons, such as a lack of digitisation or high clinician workload, the lack of interoperability has an important role to play.”

“Heartbreaking” tech problems

Iain O’Neil, Managing Partner Healthcare at TPXimpact commented: “The NHS is currently facing extremely challenging times as it deals with record waiting lists, staff strikes, waves of winter diseases and, of course, all in the midst of spiralling costs. 

“It is heartbreaking to me that technology problems are having such a negative impact on staff’s time and ability to help patients – especially amid the current staffing crisis. 

“Correctly designed and implemented, technology should be reducing the burden on clinicians and staff – and helping to make health and care sustainable.  

He added: “Digitising health and social care – through programmes like the EPR rollout – are steps in the right direction, but the implementation of new technology will not deliver maximum benefit in isolation. 

“I would hope the new Integrated Care Systems are given more power to join up technology to support service users across primary, secondary and social care. 

“Only then will we truly see the maximum benefits and deliver better outcomes for people and drive down critical waiting lists for an NHS already stretched to its limit.” 


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