Digital Health Network members share their NHS IT nightmares


Digital Health News has been given a spooky makeover today to celebrate all things Halloween and we have asked members of the Digital Health Networks to share their NHS IT nightmares.

Being buried alive under a mountain of paper medical records or hearing the screams of staff having to log into systems multiple times? Here is what some of our ghoulish members had to say:

James “rotten” Reed, chair of the CCIO Network: “Imagining our clinical data being sealed up in a crate and lost forever in a warehouse like the end of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’.

“Being tormented by the ghost of websites from the 1990s taking the form of clinical systems in 2019.

“The undead corpse of legacy systems refusing to be laid to rest despite being staked in the heart with an interoperability platform.”

Ayesha “hair-raising” Rahim: The dreaded forced security update that seems to take ages, forbids me from shutting down my laptop, and ALWAYS seems to happen at the most inopportune moments such as when I am part way through an important presentation, or trying to leave to go somewhere else. Except you can’t. Because you can’t turn it off.

Ade “bloodcurdling” Byrne, chair of the CIO Network: My main nightmare is not being compared on a level playing field. People wonder why folks with similar strategies [to us] take more time to deliver digital maturity. They need to look more not at the method, but how much people spend in comparison.

“My other thing is a fear of the magic beans that people bring back from various conferences. Snake oil is quite venomous.”

An anonymous ghost: The horror of when you’re on a skype conference call with people dialling in from across the country, projected on to the meeting room screen. There are always technical issues – someone’s waiting in the virtual lobby for 20 minutes until someone in the room notices. Someone else skyping in is talking but no-one in the room can hear them. “Have you unmuted yourself Dave?”

“Floods of apologies from the meeting hosts. That’s 40 minutes gone sorting out the tech in a one hour meeting. Nightmare.”

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