NHS England selects vendors for future healthcare

NHS England and NHSX have published a list of accredited suppliers of electronic health record (EHR) solutions. The eight companies that have been approved were required to meet wide-ranging eligibility criteria. The move puts into practice part of the 'vision for digital, data and technology in health and care' laid out in October 2018 by the UK's Department of Health.

In that vision, the Department of Health laid out four guiding principles: user need; privacy and security; interoperability and openness; and inclusion. One of the main frustrations aired by NHS staff is the inability of systems to 'talk to each other'. There is also a demand for systems to be modular, enabling healthcare providers to choose from different vendors for each functional requirement, and driving competition between vendors, including new entrants to the market.

The NHS now requires vendors to meet its Global Digital Examplars standards. The eight accredited suppliers of EHRs include Allscripts, Cerner, DXC, IMS Maxims, Nervecentre, Meditech, TPP and System C. They were each assessed by xperts from NHS England and Improvement, NHSX, NHS Digital, Department of Health and Social Care, local care provider organisations, regional teams and national bodies and included stakeholders such as Chief Information Officers, Chief Clinical Information Officers, Chief Nurse Information Officers, Clinical Safety Officers and frontline clinical staff.

Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX, said: "Helping clinicians access and share data effectively is crucial for patient safety. Today’s announcement is about giving care providers the tools they need to achieve this, and a key part of our mission to ensure the NHS benefits from the very best digital services."