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Digital first: the information strategy for health and care

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The information strategy for health and care was published on the DH website this morning. It covers lots of things, providing a ten year framework for transforming information for the NHS, public health and social care.

Abstract image cropped from the Information Strategy website

Readers of this blog might be particularly interested in chapter 4, which covers how health and care information will be be provided online in the future (for public and professional users). Here's what it says in the summary:

This chapter outlines how we will access information, including a new, single, website ‘portal’ provided by the Government from 2013, and one ‘routine’ number. It sets out moves towards a new culture of transparency, where we will be encouraged to provide instant feedback about services, and where information about the quality and performance of health and care services is easily accessible.

Key ambitions

  • A culture of transparency, where access to high-quality, evidence-based information held by Government and health and care services about services and about the quality of care is openly and easily available;
  • Information regarded as a health and care service in its own right for us all – with support for those who need it to access and use available information, so that information helps reduce inequalities and benefits everyone.

Access to good quality information, and being supported to use it effectively, is an important health and care service in its own right. Useful, accurate information that is based on evidence is essential for us to make choices about our care and hold services to account. This chapter focuses on the range of information available to us. It sets out a radical simplification of the way we will be able to access trusted information – about other people’s experiences of care, hospital and care-home performance, symptoms, treatments and information that can help us make healthier lifestyle choices.

You can read the whole thing on the DH website, including what the strategy says about viewing your medical records online, how information will be shared between health professionals, how the strategy will lead the shift from paper to digital, and how the strategy will be delivered during the next 10 years:

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