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PJ Online homeThe Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 273 No 7310 p137
31 July 2004

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NHS IT is poorly justified

Possible benefits to the health service offered by computer technology are being put at risk by inadequate evaluations of trials.

This is the conclusion of an Institute for Public Policy Research “Public value in e-health”.

Poor evaluation of pilot services that are being rolled out across the NHS makes it impossible to tell whether new services will deliver the expected benefits, the report says.

So far as electronic prescription transfer is concerned, the report says that technical delays and poor patient recruitment meant that the three pilot projects were not comprehensively evaluated, leaving it unclear whether expected benefits are deliverable. The best the evaluation team could do was to repeat some of the theoretically possible benefits that the Department of Health hoped to see (PJ, 27 September 2003, p393).

Report author Jamie Bend said: “The potential benefits of information and communications technology use in the health service could be huge.” However, he added that unless it is proven that things like electronic health records work, it will remain difficult to justify to doctors, nurses and patients existing and additional spending on information and communications technology.

Public Value in eHealth
http://www.ippr.org/research/files/team34/project143/Bend_PublicValueandeHealth_ippr

PJ 27 September 2002, p393
ETP is viable but consent is a problem
http://www.pharmj.com/Editorial/20030927/news/etpisviable.html

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