It was held at the ICC
Birmingham and chaired by Professor Ron Summers and attended by 40-50
delegates (with about half appearing to be from Loughborough).
The keynote presentation was by Tom Jones, VP, Medical Division
Oracle who considered various issues under the title of: Patient
participation in e-records. He described problems with handwritten records,
e.g. handwritten, unsigned and difficulties in coding. He argued that patients
should be able to enter their own data and described a small study (? Mid
Cheshire NHS Trust) showing a better predictive score of patient outcome from
patient data than GP referral notes. he also emphasised the importance of
patient permission for health staff to be able to view the record.
The second presentation was by Tony Hassan from
Objectsoft who under
the title securing the Internet considered the use of Public Key
Infrastructure (PKI) and it's application in healthcare, particularly in
relation to sending sensitive data via email, based on his experience in the
financial services sector. He described issues around the insecurity of the
Internet and "identity theft" along with some of problems with third
party digital signature processed i.e. expensive, inflexible and bureaucratic.
He argued for digital certificates to be issued as part of an employers HR
function, reducing the need to produce evidence of identity several times. He
also discussed the developing XML standard which may replace the current X509
An update on the NHS National IT strategy was next on
the agenda, delivered by Andrew Scheiner, Regional Service Coordinator
for London for the NHSIA. He
described some of the achievements so far and then, using the "Greek
Temple" which was referred to by several other speakers during the day,
described the national and local infrastructure for the Integrated Care Records
System (ICRS) and some of the "phasing issues" with implementation.
I gave the next presentation about Internet Gateways for Health,
describing the rational & development of NMAP and some evaluation work.
The lunch break provided good opportunities for networking
with friends and colleagues and developing new contacts
The first presentation of the afternoon was by Alan Jones, Business
development manager CSW
limited who examined e-record implementation. He showed how CSW has
built upon previous work, particularly at EPR pilot sites and viewing the
record from the patients perspective have based e-records systems on XML
technologies that are being implemented in several NHS trusts. He showed
various screens to illustrate what their product can do and described how with
thin client technology it can be delivered to the point of care.
Ardo Reinsalu, Managing Director of
Curonia Research in Estonia,
then discussed Home based cardiac monitoring using examples from the EU
Doc@Home project. This involves a small handheld unit for use
by the patient at home which sends signals or bio electrical measurements e.g.
ECG & cardiac output, over ordinary phone lines to a datawarehouse where it
can be seen by the patients clinician and (in an annonymised form) by
researchers. These can then be used to identify trends and predict crises,
leading to reduced admissions and following episodes of acute care to be used
at home enabling earlier discharge.
Tom Spyt, Chief Cardiac Surgeon at
Glenfield Hospital then gave a presentation with his colleague
Maria Boehm about on-line patient support:
described the rational behind the development of this interactive resource and
the consultation process, with patients friends and GPs they undertook in it's
design. The main feature asked for by users was to have individual queries
answered by the medical staff and this has been included on the site along with
health education and other information in attempt to increase patient autonomy
and as a resource for informed consent.
The final speaker of the day was Mayur Lakhani, Chair of
communications and publishing, Royal College of General Practitioners who talked about
ICTs within the Primary care setting. He started by discussing the
volume of literature/evidence and the need for kitemarking and summaries of
evidence. He linked this to quality systems e.g. NICE, CHI etc. and models of
clinical governance. He considered the information needs of Primary Care
Organisations (PCTs in England) and the possible effects of new GP contracts.
He looked into the future and suggested ICT could be as important as DNA
The proceedings of the conference will be produced on CD and in addition the
presentations and question and answer sessions which followed them are to be
analysed for key themes.