Changing IT Systems


We migrated to a new IT system a short time ago. Much angst – gnashing of teeth. The move to electronic records makes sense though. For one, I’m glad to be rid of piles of paper that linger around my general desk area – occasionally creeping onto my ‘neighbour’s’ desk much to her annoyance.

The frustration though is not at the system itself – which seems a lot better than our previous version, but the lack of synchronicity between the different systems that we use. The new system is an NHS one but we have to allay this with our Social Services system. As Social Services try to move away from paper records, we, who are seconded out to mental health teams, haven’t got full access to the same network that our colleagues working in social services offices use.

It leads to some gnashing of teeth as we try to explain, again, to the direct payments team or the specialist rehabilitation team that we can’t use their lovely ‘one-click’ referral system as we are locked into the NHS networks.

I know it is a matter of network security that keeps the two systems from talking to each other so there isn’t really any logical way around it. For very obvious reasons, the security has to be exceptional as there is a lot of very sensitive personal data swilling around in these systems.

I know this is a pie-in-the-sky idea, but wouldn’t systems that could actually talk to each other be fantastic…

On the positive note though, I think I made our IT person’s day when I told her that I really thought the new system was rather good. And it is. There’s no point in being negative just for the sake of it. Sure, it takes a bit of time to get used to it and I might begin to hate it after a few months but for now, it’s wonderful to be able to see notes being updated from a variety of sources immediately. I much prefer typing notes of visits up rather than.. handwriting in files which I was doing up to a few days ago.

Possibly because my handwriting veers dangerously into the ‘illegible’ category.

My hope is that any time spent on trying to work out new systems can off lay the time spent actually writing (I type faster than I can write!) and wandering around the office in search of paper files while stopping off for a chat with a couple of people on the way! It might be a much more effective use of time..

image gsdi10 at Flickr

2 thoughts on “Changing IT Systems

  1. Thought provoking post. I think it is symptomatic of the country as a whole, systems not talking to each other. The ones I have to use – (as a farmer) have the same issues. RPA won’t talk to CTS online etc. I think Defra are trying to streamline it all and I hope all the orgs get their heads round IT. It is only by the people using it speaking up that the IT people know about it and can fix IT. Grassroots. Power to the People.
    Well done.

  2. There was much angst in our hospital when we went to electronic charting…some people were quite opposed to it. I loved it from the start. And now I think everyone loves it. It’s quite freeing, actually! I’m glad for the time it has freed up for me!

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