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Observer II

I T systems ?

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Why is it so difficult, if not impossible, to introduce comprehensive IT systems  into our social infrastructure ?    Whilst most folk nowadays are totally engrossed with their mobile phones,  our big social services, like the NHS, seem to struggle with the issue.  EG: why is it not possible to issue everyone with a swipe card that brings up their medical history/records on any computer screen at any Hospital or GP Surgery, anywhere in the UK ?   At the moment, despite £millions having been spent on the issue;  different Trusts have different systems that appear incompatible with one another; so if you have to (as is the new practise), move to different Trusts in search of the shortest waiting list,  it seems patient information isn't easily accessible to consultants, as systems don't appear to be compatible. Perhaps some IT savvy folk could enlighten us ?

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I think the problems are not really technical issues as such because storing and retrieving data from anywhere in the world is commonplace these days. Where I think it probably all goes wrong is all the legal clutter limiting who's authorised to look at what. You can just imagine how many committee this would involve and how easy it would be for them to loose sight of the original goals.

When my company got involved in writing software we developed it based on the main objectives that the clients expected, so from the outset there was a product that worked and did as it said on the tin. If I had to incorporated every oddball  idea that some individual or commitee thought important then it'd probably still be in development now or so full of bugs it'd be worthless. 

Bill :)

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In addition what may not be obvious is that the data may be about you but you don't own it or control it. The various bits of the NHS own it and they don't know who owns all of the rest. Your notion that permission to use all of your data comes from you would be a good starting requirement, but it isn't true today.

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I wasn't labouring under any illusion about ownership of data Con;   with the amount of data swilling around the system, none of us control it.   I just thought that a national data base accessible at any NHS PC by using an individual swipe card would help. 

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Which is why I posed the original question -  we don't seem to be able to provide major IT schemes, which is strange in a world of State hacking etc.  

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I think you may have hit the nail on the head there obs with the comment "State hacking etc", a "centralised" storage system would be a ripe target. you would also need to supply a secondary centralised system as a backup and probably a third as a belt and braces back up just in case the first two get compromised.🕵️‍♂️🕵️‍♂️

Easier option could be an  individual card for each person that can be updated say once every six months for "healthy" or on every visit to a doctor, hospital ,dentist or other medical people for people who are "not so healthy". Said card could hold all the medical information and could be made to be accessible only by medical people. There would still be a need for a " centralised records system though to generate the cards in the first place.

Only problem with that is that it then depends on the card holder to keep the card safe and not lose it.

IT is great when it works but press the wrong button or unplug the wrong plug and chaos ensues, you only need to look at what happens when people have a problem getting a signal on their smart phones. Wandering around like lost souls hands raised with the phone facing them searching for that all important sign from above. (almost a religious experience really)🤳

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Some fair points there Sid;  maybe we should stick with pen and paper. 😉     Seems terror groups communicate that way to avoid being tracked and then taken out with drones.  Whether it's hackers or incompetance,  these IT systems appear far from secure or reliable; still I'll let the next generation worry about it !   😎

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