Many years ago some UK GPs discovered computers and realized their potential. GPs were once allowed a choice of an IT system but when those less bright than GPs realized the advantages of them to patient care, namely the patient critical task of administrative data collection, the Party and its NHS administrators took over.
The Party, then led by a public school educated Scot with no experience of computing or medicine, decided that they knew better and introduced a national retardocracy of computing. This included a plethora of initials including the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) sometimes called NotFit.
A central command and control system of NHS non choice and reduce costs system called Choose and Book, and most importantly, a centralized control of access via the Smartcard to the data doctors and others in healthcare create so allowing the Party complete control of what healthcare professionals need to do their job.
Information (Technology) or IT or our and your medical records.
All of this retardocracy was for the benefit of the comrade patients (but only those that are the former great leader's friends and their financial interests) (not).
So history aside, and there are a few more to come, here is a simple Northernshire practice's experience of BMC (British Medical Computing). We do apologize for there are a few naughty grunt words in what follows which is a reflection (of our frustration) of our own practice customer "experience" of BMC.
A few years ago our local computing gurus based at the local Soviet recommended that several local Northernshire practices adopt the all singing all dancing EMUS (Extremely Medically Useless Systems other such systems are available) primary care computing package.
This was because the local Professor Stephen Hawkings in the IT department, all of whom were full of such words of wisdom regarding modern computing such as “we can’t possibly manage without floppy discs they hold too much information”, had been to a hard sell conference.
They had been stunned by a stand alone laptop (they had not seen a laptop before) demonstration which was not connected to the internet showing the benefits of remote hosting of practice information (they had missed the internet).
This is Northernshire where the racing pigeon is still the king pin of advanced local Soviet communication and every local IT techie is a Harvard and Yale graduate (most would struggle to spell Yale) because they have mastered the light switch magna cum laude by the time they had left school at age 47.
This is a challenge to any other healthcare professional out there. How long did your local Soviet and EMUS (or any other NHS computer supplier) take to get your system to work at anything other than at dial up connection speed?
We have had over the many, many years of crap service the following reasons why our system has never worked faster than a 200 year old tortoise with osteoarthritis in each of its 4 limbs that has just woken up from its winter hibernation weighed down with 4 packs of bricks on its back speed and that is before it gets its first fresh lettuce leaf of the season.
From EMUS (and any other willing shafter of the NHS) you get at the taxpayer’s expense with the local PCT “safeguarding” your multi billion pound investment, excuses like:
1) there is no problem. Do we give a sh*t as we are coining it in?
2) your expectations are too high. Interesting as our expectations are based solely on your salesperson presentation and your trainers’ comments which include them "feeling our pain" suggesting a very large account with Kleenex and many flexi jerk off moments at a senior level in contrast to fixing the problem(s).
3) it will get better with the N3 connection. N3 = New National Network = very expensive but crap broadband connection unless you are Patricia Hewitt when it is a nice little earner. Did it heckers but you ripped our and our patients' tax dollars off wicked.
4) it is the PCT’s server. Nothing to do with us guv honest.
5) it will get better on an EMUS (other willing sh*fters' servers are also available) hosted server. Did it heckers but more wonga for us from you suckers year on year via service charges with added worse year on year service for free.
6) after many years we will come and do some timings. Only takes 10 years to get to this stage when we sent these same timings to you some 10 years ago?And guess what they haven't changed in 10 years.
N3 at your expense say:
1) there is no problem
2) there might be a problem with your router. We will send several engineers out and change for it and charge for it several times with no improvement but considerable disruption.
3) there is a problem with the line (we will do nothing)
4) there is a problem with the local exchange (we will do nothing)
5) there is a problem with your internal wiring contact the PCT (we will do nothing)
The PCT say on our behalf to the above other two parties:
There is no problem.
The PCTs (soon to disappear) have for years as the purchasers of NHS IT spoken (allegedly on our behalf) and "represented" us to EMUS (other suppliers are available but they are the biggest) and N3 (who do not now as part of customer service talk to customers) and tell them there is no problem (as far they are concerned for none of them ever use the systems they peddle/purchase)
It is the PCTs who tell the suppliers that there is no problem and hence there is never any solution for as far as the PCTs are concerned they never use the computer systems they purchase and so there is never a problem. Bit like asking your pet goldfish rather than a pilot why a jumbo jet isn't working?
So millions are being siphoned off by computer companies all of whom think they are doing something useful like making money out of Government suckers while the consumers, sorry end users, GPs, nurses, receptionists and patients get a crap system.
"I am sorry it is taking so long to book you appointment the system is running at slug speed." Any patient not heard that at a practice with data transfer supposedly taking place at the speed of light but daily overtaken by the local slug population?
If you say there is no problem you don't have to do anything and you still get paid. If you then refuse to speak to those who say there is a problem things only get better (for you) but not the patient or the end user.
BMC in a nutshell. There is no problem.
Unless you use it.
Praise be to the Party for creating BMC and delivering fat pickings for a few but lean productivity gains on the ground for those that it was meant to help. And paying an army of retards to do nothing other than say there is no problem.