And lastly I intend to shed light on how a typical ERP system could help the NHS trust.
Health care is an information-intensive business generating huge volumes of data from hospitals, primary care surgeries, clinics, and laboratories. Yet much of this data continues to be processed manually in spite of decades of experience in the successful application of information technology (IT) in other information-intensive industries. There are a number of reasons for this state, including underinvestment in IT (especially clinical computing), lack of political will, fragmented markets with inadequate revenue streams to support development of new systems, and lack of standards or slow adoption of standards where they do exist. In addition, there are some specific challenges relating to the use of IT in health, such as the complexity of medical data, data entry problems, security and confidentiality concerns, the absence in many countries of a unique national patient identifier, and a general lack of awareness of the benefits-and risks-of IT. Historically, health care organizations have consisted of independent and autonomous units with little clinical benefit perceived for sharing of information, which in turn fostered a climate of independence in the use of IT. SI did not therefore have a high priority. However, the pressure on the health care business to change is mounting. The gap between the demand for health care from an increasingly well-informed and expectant public, and the ability of the state and health care organizations to meet this demand is widening all the time.
Health care experts, policymakers, taxpayers, and consumers consider health information technologies, such as electronic health records and computerized provider order entry, to be critical to transforming the health care industry. Information management is fundamental to health care delivery. Given the fragmented nature of health care, the large volume of transactions in the system, the need to integrate new scientific evidence into practice, and other complex information management activities, the limitations of paper-based information management are intuitively apparent. While the benefits of health information technology are clear in theory, adapting new information systems to health care has proven difficult and rates of use have been limited. Most information technology applications have centered on administrative and financial transactions rather than on delivering clinical care.
Many of the most urgent challenges facing healthcare companies today originate in IT practices. The growth in digital data volumes combined with the standardized use of electronic systems has improved the quality of healthcare services. However, the complexities of the operating environment have increased in tandem. The need for rapid information accessibility and sharing, of multiple data types, and for easy information manag