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Still missing the point

23 January, 2014 (09:56) | Datasets, EPR, Maternents, maternity care, National Programmes, perinatal data, secondary data | By: Helga Perry

So a new maternity data set is due to go live in April. Will it make any real difference? Unlikely if it is still focusing on outputs and secondary uses. It all still smacks of  locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. The jury’s still out on the impact of electronic records on patient outcomes.

Read a report by Daloni Carlisle in eHealth Insider. She quotes Steve Avery from EuroKing:

“We have done a lot of market analysis and there is a significant proportion of maternity units that do not have a maternity information system,” he says.

“How they manage is beyond me. It is an area where intelligent IT can make such a difference –and one where IT is just so under-utilised.”

Intelligent and appropriate use of IT, yes, and that does not necessarily mean computers. Lorraine Edwards from Cerner is quoted:

have particular ways of working that are not always compatible with sitting behind a computer. “We need to see wider uptake of digital pens and other technologies but it needs to be led and it needs to be funded.”

However, as the EHI article rightly points out, there are areas of maternity care that are not conducive to computerisation. Labour will continue to be paper-based.


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Comment from Susan Bewley
Time January 23, 2014 at 16:14


Everyone is forgetting the time taken to feed the computers, the time spent
on ‘terminal-care’, and the loss of interactivity with the woman, and it’s a
shame it is all about surveillance not the woman. Will women lose their
handheld notes in Bradford? Has anyone even looked at whether those units
without EPRs have different outcomes or CQC ratings? It would be very easy
to check. How about making an FOI request to find out whether there really is
any problem?

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