Health and social care leaders have set out next steps to improve health outcomes using technology and data

The plans commit to giving patients full access to their entire digital health record in real time by 2018.

Watch the live webcast of the National Information Board meeting at 1.15pm today - Click here

A third of all ambulances now share their records digitally with A&E doctors, providing them with speedy access to critical clinical information. Under these proposals, doctors and nurses will be able to access the most up to date lifesaving information wherever they are in England by 2018 for primary, urgent and emergency care services and by 2020 for all other NHS funded services.

MyNHS will be expanded to include new information on local NHS commissioners and care homes. This step builds on the popularity of the MyNHS site, which has attracted over 200,000 visits since it was launched in September last year.

To underpin this and support the NHS on its journey to harness the power of data and technology, the National Information Board (NIB), established by the Department of Health and chaired by NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information, Tim Kelsey, will look at the feasibility of turning the entire NHS estate into a free Wi-Fi zone.

Wi-Fi would reduce the administrative burden on doctors, nurses and care staff, currently estimated to take up to 70 per cent of a junior doctor’s day, freeing up more time to be spent with patients.

It would also open up the possibility for ‘wearables’ to be used to monitor patients in hospital.This technology can help patients and their doctors identify problems early.

Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information, said: “The NHS is embracing the offering of digital services to patients, with more than 55 million patients set to benefit from progress.

“As well as giving patients more choice and control, better use of technology can save money.  Letting people rebook online will help tackle the estimated £160 million that missed appointments cost the NHS each year.”

To help support the NHS’s National diabetes prevention programme, there will be a new online library of NHS approved digital tools, resources and apps that have a proven track record of effectiveness in helping people to live healthier lives. This follows the successful launch of the Mental Health Apps library on NHS Choices in March, which has since gathered over 47,000 hits.

The following proposals have also been put forward:

• By March 2016, the NHS 111 digital service will be integrated into the NHS endorsement of third party ‘apps’ and digital services that support patients and citizens in June 2015.

• By March 2016 an additional 150,000 citizens will be trained in digital skills.  Training resources and digital tools will be developed by August 2015.

• By March 2016 we will extend the information available to clinicians in the Summary Care Record to include if a patient has learning disabilities or suffers from dementia. This will improve the experience for these patients and prevent them/their carers having to repeat important information each time they interact with the NHS.

To watch the livestream of the National Information Board meeting, which is taking place at the Kings Fund Digital Health Congress 2015, click here.

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