Last week, the Department of Health announced an initiative that seems to be moving the NPfIT forwards in the right direction.
DoH has announced the development of a new toolkit which will “allow new products to be developed locally, accredited centrally and linked to existing deployments of information systems such as Cerner and Lorenzo.” However, it is envisaged that work on this toolkit – “a pioneering initiative to take advantage of the latest technological developments” - will not be available until March 2010.
The Department of Health's Director General for Informatics, Christine Connelly said:
"We now want to open up the healthcare IT market to new suppliers and new technological developments, to inject more pace into this programme. Working together we can help Trusts configure systems to best meet their local needs as well as take advantage of market developments to make more use of the information held in the core systems.”
I just hope that this initiative is used to truly open up the market for new and existing software developers, and not used to restrict access and constrain developments to protect incumbent system suppliers. Early indications seem to be positive – I just hope that this initiative is not stifled by a bout of protectionism similar to that encountered by several of the Government’s e-government interoperability initiatives of the past few years.