The news item that got my attention last week was the headlines from eHealth Insider ‘Trusts could lose contracts without EPR’. I am hoping to get some debate going amongst the stakeholders – suppliers and NHS around the same theme.

This news suggests that the NHS Commissioning Board is due to issue guidance that will aim to dramatically accelerate the adoption of electronic patient records by NHS hospital trusts. I welcome those plans! And I am sure, all of us who would like to see a paperless or paper-lite NHS both from a supplier as well as an NHS perspective, would welcome the approach too!

Then I started reading a bit more beyond the headlines and realised that this new plan seems to be all about big stick approach!

So what does the real NHS think about this big stick policy?

How about some incentivisation, would that not be more effective?

Across the pond in the USA, their meaningful use programme and reform agenda cleverly combine the incentives and penalties and they seem to be moving towards their digitisation goals of their health systems. I am not advocating we copy the same, but just ask the question about bringing in some incentives to go with yielding the stick?

What is that one incentive suppliers are looking for? What is that one incentive the NHS is looking for, so that they can prioritise the digitisation efforts? And how can we combine the two to ensure that a paperless NHS is not just a result of what we need but also what we want.

Looking for some comments… @rkumar.

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Ravi Kumar

Industry Advisor
Ravi is a health tech industry expert, an international entrepreneur and investor, and a progressive thinker on the role of technology and its impact on human lives.

Early in his career, he was responsible for product development for KPMG’s Health Systems business, where he went on to become chief technology officer and executive director of iSOFT, a UK FTSE 250-listed public company, specialising in health tech.

Currently, Ravi works and lives between India and the UK, and is chair of ZANEC, a venture building company inspiring, innovating and investing in disruptive business models.

He loves the energy of start-ups and serves on the boards or holds advisory positions with a wide range of early stage ventures, including e-Cargoware (a European air-cargo logistics platform company), CyberLiver (a European digital therapeutics company), and Patient Safety (a start-up building tools like mobilesoap; a disinfection and hygiene platform for mobile devices).

Ravi also co-chairs the British Business Group in South India, Chennai, actively works with UK Department of Trade and Investment to promote trade between UK and India extending into commonwealth countries, and serves as a member of the board of trustees at The Lazarus trust, a not-for-profit, multi-academy education trust in the UK.

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