While IT is transforming health care practices and procedures throughout the UK, a significant proportion of the NHS relies on outdated paper-based processes. These are not just wasteful and inefficient; they are putting lives at risk. Dr Paul Shannon FRCA MBA, Consultant Anaesthetist, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Medical Director, CSC UK Healthcare, examines a flawed approach to patient safety and the solutions that should be adopted.

‘Staggering numbers of people are harmed and killed by medical errors,’ the World Health Organisation (WHO) said recently, with mistakes having an impact on 1 in 10 patients. Little wonder that the organisation is warning that patient safety is an ‘endemic concern’. ...

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