Gary Britnell, who leads SynApps Solutions’ work in the NHS market, finds much to reflect on in a previous US Presidential race
Back in 1992, a certain James Carville came up with a phrase that helped the guy he was working for win a big competition.
You might have heard about his boss, if not him: I am referring, of course, to the successful Democratic challenger Bill Clinton’s race to the White House on the back of a tellingly-simple slogan:
‘It’s the Economy, stupid!’ (see here)
Well, I think we need another new slogan for health informatics and health IT (HIT) in the post National Programme for IT NHS:
‘It’s ECM, stupid!’
What actually works in British hospital settings
Not that I am calling anyone who works in the NHS stupid, to be clear.
What I am saying is that the scar tissue we all acquired during the years of the National Programme needs to be used in a positive way – and inform a next generation of truly useful, value-adding hospital IT technology roll-outs.
I should know. I was there. I wasn’t a front line NHS CIO or CCIO, but I started off in health IT recruitment and put some senior IT people into key roles in the bigger Local Service Provider areas.
That experience led me to set up a consultancy that did a lot of work alongside the Programme, which deepened my knowledge of what works and does not work in British hospitals.
One insight is that we don’t have an insurance-based model of compensation – so parachuting in huge US EPRs that were predicated in every line of code on such a model was never going to work.
A lot of those years were very frustrating, to be honest. However, I watched some great work – the Spine is the prime example – of fantastic, collaborative information-sharing functionality that helped a lot of health institutions.
But that was the exception, and a lot of the time, there was a great deal of metaphorical banging my head on my desk.
Was I the only one who could see that the missing link was a way to combine all the siloed hospital PAS and PACS systems into one, useful whole?
From National Programme to a great new NHS England-backed IT culture?
I wasn’t. Part of the recruitment work I did then was for a certain new ECM (Enterprise Content Management) firm, Documentum – which led to SynApps Solutions and indeed, my own role here now, working with our growing roster of NHS customers.
Last month, you’ll have seen that NHS England confirmed it has £4bn earmarked for making the NHS digital, delivering free wi-fi to all its hospitals, but also creating a great new wave of supportive IT applications (see here).
However, the money isn’t going to be handed out the same way it was for the former Programme. In the words of Beverly Bryant, director of digital technology for the organisation, she and her team are going to “look at the digital maturity” of all organisations bidding for money out of the fund.
Let’s help you win some of that budget for digital transformation!
SynApps is here to help. We can help you build a rock-solid business case that will help secure some new funding to deliver the electronic hospital systems you need.
And the key to that is ECM. ECM is the best way we’ve found so far, after all, to unify HIT systems into useful, coherent, safe and standards-based wholes.
So, Bill Clinton – I’m taking the slogan you rode all the way to the Presidency, and changing it to help SynApps customers win the backing they need to succeed as well.
Hope you don’t mind!
Gary is the Healthcare Account Manager at SynApps Solutions, and would be delighted to help with any enquiry you may have about how to use Enterprise Content Management to help your Trust secure some of the new NHS budget