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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee

 
 

Government Health IT VHA, NHS trade tips on IT, telehealth

Two of the world’s largest healthcare systems, the Veteran’s Health Administration and the U.K. National Health Service, are trying to learn from some of each other’s digital health programs, with a new report outlining recommendations for the NHS in particular, as it tries to go entirely paperless by 2018.

The report, from the UK think tank 2020health, compares a range of the VA and NHS’s health IT programs, and argues that the NHS has to take several policy steps to build and improve digital health services.

U.K. policy makers and NHS leaders should “find ways to ensure that digital health becomes a default delivery channel for service,” the report recommended, in addition to creating core competencies for digital health in medical education and expanding secure messaging and personal health records.

“Whilst successful use of technology has been a key enabler to success in making digital health the first route for delivering a service, it is the underlying culture, leadership, processes and training that have been paramount to the VHA’s success,” John Cruickshank, consultant director of 2020health and co-author of the report, said in a media release.