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Committee calls for technology push among health boards

9 March 2010

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MSPs have called on the Scottish Government to encourage health boards to use an information-sharing databases effectively.

Clinical portals and “telehealth” technology allows doctors to access medical data on a patient anywhere in Scotland.

But a report by Holyrood’s Health Committee said inconsistencies in the use of the system over the last decade means NHS patients are not receiving the best treatments.

It said the Scottish Government has “some serious work to do” in addressing the roll-out of the system, resistance from medical staff in using technology and safeguards to protect patient privacy.

Committee convener Christine Grahame said: “If used effectively and efficiently, technology such as clinical portals and telehealth could make a huge difference to the quality of care and treatment patients receive across Scotland.

“It also has the potential to release much-needed resources in these economically difficult times for front-line patient services.”

She added: “We hope the government will act on our recommendations regarding patient rights, professional standards, funding and staff training by 2014 at the latest.”

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