46% of NHS directors 'concerned about 2020 digital target'

Nearly half of NHS directors are worried their organisation will fail to meet government targets to digitise their services, according to an OpenText survey.

The information management company asked directors and CIOs from 115 NHS trusts and organisations whether they were on track to become paperless by 2020.

While 78 per cent of respondents said digitising patient records will benefit their organisations, almost half of respondents said they lack the technology systems or skills necessary to complete the transformation in four years.

Budgets are also a barrier to adoption, with three-quarters of directors saying they are unable to install the technology and attract the expertise needed because they do not have the money.

"It's important to note that it's not too late for organisation to start implementing digital strategies to meet the 2020 deadline, and the government's paperless initiative should be seen as just one part of a journey towards fully digital healthcare provision," Mark Bridger, UK vice president of sales at OpenText, said.

"My advice would be to think about how your organisation is going to manage all this new data created in a digital healthcare system beyond 2020. Take a step back to see the enterprise as a whole - identifying where the paper is, engaging all members of staff at all levels and thinking about process flows. Only then can better business efficiencies be consistently delivered within the healthcare sector."

The report also revealed that wearable technologies will be integral to the NHS in the future and that trusts have plans to drive this forward, with more than half of organisations planning to encourage staff to increase the use of wearables and mobile technologies in the coming years.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.