The future of healthcare will be about interoperability between systems and ever closer working between organizations and departments. Open and integrated working delivers better patient care and also important savings in cost and efficiency. This broad scenario is a positive and exciting one.

However, there are also important considerations in terms of security of information and data protection.

The ground breaking Microtest Guru system is right at the forefront of more joined up working in the NHS. Indeed, Cornwall is the only place in the UK where ambulance drivers can already gain immediate access to patient information from their GP medical notes.

However, this brave new open world still needs managing and controlling. Guru, unlike other systems, allows practices to remain in control of their own data in terms of quality and what can be shared.

Security of information is an area where we have pioneered new solutions and we see innovation in this aspect as going hand in hand with interoperability and the drive to open up healthcare.

Meanwhile, another positive aspect of opening up information is that this can help drive up standards across the board.

For example, our Open Evolution system, which can be used by a group of GP practices who may each be using different clinical systems, has a reporting mechanism which enables management information about each individual practice to be compared against others in the group.

The learnings from this will help managers to identify how individual mergers and federations can raise their game.

In this way and many others, web based technology is opening up healthcare and expanding horizons right across the board. At Microtest, we are so proud to be helping make this happen.

– Chris Netherton, Managing Director, Microtest

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