With the NHS care.data initiative finally set to launch, and an ever-increasing drive to increase mobility across the NHS, it will soon be much easier to share data securely across the NHS. These developments have the potential to transform health service delivery on many fronts.
A report from Volterra Partners and EMC estimated that access to data analytics would improve efficiency at the NHS with a savings estimated between £16.5bn and £66bn per year. These savings could help erase the funding gap faced by the NHS while also transforming the patient experience.
While the benefits that come with electronic health records are clear, one of the top concerns of the care.data initiative is that of the security of this sensitive information. At lot hinges on the NHS’ ability to protect this data – the NHS will have to prepare for any and every risk. Although this sounds complicated, the NHS could adopt our holistic 3-stage approach to ensure data is kept secure. I share the details of these 3 steps in a guest article on Digital by Default News, The Data Revolution and the NHS.
- Policy – In this section, I outline how to create an effective policy that is clear to both employees and to the general public. A clearly communicated policy and implications could help allay fears for data security.
- Education – In this section, I talk about the necessary training and education that supports the data security policy. Particular attention should be paid to digital services and mobile devices.
- Technology – In this section, I talk about technology acts as the base to ensure that data is protected in the event of any security failings. The NHS needs to be able to persistently track, manage and secure all data that is held on devices used in and outside of the NHS.
The potential to completely revolutionise how the NHS is run carries enormous benefits for all involved. It is therefore imperative that the health service takes the protection of data seriously and that this is communicated as a number one priority. Read more on my thoughts on securing electronic health information here.