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UK Health Computing

Recollections and Reflections

Glyn Hayes (editor), Denise Barnett (editor)

UK Price: £39.99 EU Price: €49.99 ROW (USD) Price: $55.99 
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ISBN: 9781902505992
Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 172 x 246 x 39
Number of pages: 623
Publication date: 30 APR 2008
Publisher: British Computer Society

The introduction of IT into healthcare has not followed a smooth path. In the early days, like-minded people came together from different professional backgrounds but with a shared interest in getting technology to work for patients and staff. This book contains recollections of the development of healthcare computing in the UK. It is aimed at researchers and future generations of health informaticians who wish to understand avoid the mistakes of the past. It aims to present what happened - warts and all, with examples supported by reference to published documents of the time."...a vital research resource both for historians and for future informatics professionals. For anyone interested in this field, this book is an excellent read. Score 10/10" James Poxon, Health Informatics Now.
Glyn Hayes became a GP in 1973. He was medical director of one of the largest IT suppliers to the NHS. Glyn is a respected lecturer, author and speaker. Denise Barnett was introduced to computers as a staff nurse. She has written and edited books about nursing and IT.
In creating this book, the editors have collected a wealth of information regarding the history of health computing in the UK. The book’s concept is an important one, which is to capture the knowledge and experience that is often lost when Informaticians (as health computing professionals are known) leave or retire from the health industry. By documenting the recollections of BCS members who were present during the introduction and expansion of information systems in the Health Service, and by presenting their reflections and conclusions, the lessons learned over the last fifty years are preserved to make sure that present-day professionals can see how the current health computing environment evolved. This collection covers an extremely wide range of subjects, from the earliest introduction of fragmented health informatics systems in the 1960’s, through to the current NHS Connecting for Health programme. Presented in a function-based format, the book covers the computing impact on departmental systems, clinical specialties, primary and community care, nursing and common issues. These chapters delineate a collection of twenty-nine individual areas of expertise, presented in a consistent format that shows the high quality of editing, and each are highly readable thanks to the narrative writing style and extensive use of sub-headings. Each area is supported by detailed references to historical published documents providing a detailed academic assurance to the individual recollections. Clearly, the appeal of this book will be mostly to those people either working or researching in the health arena, especially as there is a very direct link with clinical practice. In addition, recurring themes throughout the book show the influence that the government has had on the development of health computing, coupled with the pioneering and continuing contribution that the members of the BCS health information groups have made to the success of the UK Health Service. In summary, this book is a treasure trove of historical information provided by the people who were there at the time, making it a vital research resource both for historians and for future informatics professionals. For anyone interested in this field, this book is an excellent read. Score 10/10. (James Poxon, Health Informatics Now, Autumn 2008).

1 BCS involvement in health care informatics

2 Finance
3 Early innovations
4 Towards patient administration systems
5 National initiatives
6 Resource management
7 Electronic health records

8 Clinical laboratory and other diagnostic support services
 9 Radiotherapy planning (1960–1980)
10 Medical imaging

11 Clinical departmental systems
12 Clinical systems and audit
13 Specific systems

14 The history or primary care computing in the UK
 15 Community and public health
16 Consumer health

17 Five decades of nursing informatics
18 Influencing factors for nursing information systems
19 Nursing events and organizations
20 Nursing information system development
21 Computers in nursing and patient education
22 Enabling technology and the future

23 Education in health care
24 Decision-support and expert systems
25 Confidentiality and security
26 Computer systems evaluation (1969–1980)
27 A personal view from the private sector
28 Developing the health informatics professional
29 Lessons for the future: the success or failure of health care computing

1 Timeline
2 Lead author biographies


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