Elderly people with several health issues are the major consumers of NHS and social care services. Older patients typically need a range of services from multiple organizations in primary care (e.g. GPs), secondary care (e.g. hospitals), community services (e.g. district nurses) and social care (e.g. care homes). Patient care information has historically been very fragmented across disparate applications, even between departments within an organization. Previous attempts at national IT solutions have largely failed to fix this problem (Greenhalgh et al., 2008).
New organizations called Academic Health Science Networks(AHSNs) have been formed to facilitate regional collaboration between NHS bodies and academic centres, to improve health services, to create research opportunities and to stimulate economic development by the exploitation of innovative solutions (NHS England, 2014; Wessex AHSN, 2014). Several AHSNs are leading regional initiatives to improve information sharing to give better holistic patient information to frontline clinical and social care staff and to provide anonymised data to support analysis for academic research purposes.
Your group has been contracted by Wessex AHSN to produce a high-level technical design and implementation plan for creating and deploying a regional patient data service. The service will be based upon a database populated by extracting and linking patient care data from selected health and social care software applications. Your scope includes planning for adoption and use of the service, not just its design and construction. The client has stipulated that you use PRINCE2 as your overall project management method. You should assume that you will need to recruit additional staff to execute this project.
Conduct additional research based on the references provided. Reflect on the following questions: What is the role and composition of the AHSN? What are the key applications that need to be connected? Who are the stakeholders and are their competing interests? What are the technical issues? What are the human and social issues? What can you learn from previous failed projects? What are your deliverables? What are the dependencies and risks?
Aspects of the scenario and the assigned tasks will be explored during the fortnightly tutorials. If you are unsure whether you have sufficient data for a particular task, consult with the lecturer who will advise whether to do more research or proceed with explicit assumptions. You are not expected to fulfil the entire scope of the scenario, only the specific tasks listed below. See the marking criteria in Appendix 3 for further detail on what is expected.
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