The NHS has had a torrid history of blundered computer system upgrades and IT roll-outs. But according to University Hospitals Birmingham, a decent IT system can prevent 17 per cent of deaths in hospital.
Apparently hospital staff need reminding to do things like give patients drugs and not to give potentially lethal prescriptions. According to the BBC hospitals miss one in every five doses in the UK! The computer surveillance system currently in use in Birmingham pings out reminders to staff about things like medication, reducing human error. The system can also alert the critical care unit teams when dangerous patient conditions such as high temperature, heart rate and blood pressure are put into the system, which should result in faster response times.
Decent IT implementation can reduce the number of hospital deaths by 17 per cent in just 12 months, that extrapolates out to about 16,000 deaths prevented across England alone. Get on it Andrew Lansley, and this time make sure we future proof it eh? [BBC]