The role of the National Information Board (NIB) is to put data and technology safely to work for patients, service users, citizens and the professionals who serve them. The NIB brings together national health and care organisations from the NHS, public health, clinical science, social care and local government, along with appointed independent representatives to develop the strategic priorities for data and technology.
The purpose of the NIB is to:
- provide leadership across health and care organisations on information technology and information;
- design and develop the vision, strategy and direction for the health and care system through engagement with partners and stakeholders, including industry,
- ensure priorities for investment and delivery are clear; and
- provide the annual commissioning priorities for NHS Digital and turn these into an agreed delivery plan.
Work-streams and recommendations
The NIB seeks progress through the work of its partner organisations. It also sets priorities, and publishes work-stream road maps to support its agenda. Some of its work-streams and recommendations are as set out below:
Supporting patient access to health data
- NHS.UK to be enhanced with further interactivity and personalisation;
- ‘patient facing services’ to be developed so that more patients use the internet more often to: order repeat prescriptions, access their GP record, book GP appointments and communicate with their GP;
- citizens to be able to record their own comments and preferences onto their record;
- end of life digital care record standards to be established; and
- mobile care records controlled by patients to be trialled.
Backing high quality health apps
- Health apps market to be reviewed;
- health app regulation and NHS endorsement to be considered;
- nhs.uk apps library to be enhanced; and
- health apps innovation prizes to be introduced.
Releasing comparative data about healthcare providers
- Care provider data (and the data standards associated) to be agreed to support commissioning and transparency;
- proposals to be published to support that key data should be recorded once only and can then be re-accessed;
- pilot to take place in which some patients to use their view of health outcomes to help determine, in part, how much a provider is paid; and
- MyNHS will to be further enhanced giving citizens the ability to easily assess the quality of their local health and care providers.
Analysing health data to make new treatments available more quickly
- Genomics working group to work with NHS England so there is capability for supporting the future agenda on genomics, and dealing with the large datasets involved;
- DHSC to engage with relevant parties to make greater use of data assets already held by NHS Digital and others; and
- technology funds should be used to support existing service providers to implement significant digital service change.
Endorsing data standards
- Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) to work with system suppliers to promote and implement health and care heading standards, fully defined with coded content;
- establishment of the Informatics Design Authority (IDA) and Informatics Portfolio Management Board (IPMB) to provide technical review and support on proposals for data standards;
- Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI) to have its processes and arrangements revised; and
- an overarching strategy to be developed to improve data standards.
Promoting a paperless and interoperable NHS
- All patient and care records to be digital, real-time and interoperable by 2020;
- the Digital Maturity Index tool to be further developed for care providers to assess the effectiveness of their use of IT;
- regional interoperability communities to be established to support local sharing of integrated digital care records;
- local digital care collaboratives to be established in 2016 to promote the paperless agenda;
- National Patient Record Locator service to be created so that care providers can have a national index to support location and retrieval of a citizen’s records which sit under multiple health and care settings;
- adoption of “Standards for the clinical structure and content of patient records”;
- support of health professional uses of mobile technology; and
- universal adoption of NHS number to continue.
Promoting IT training and expertise amongst health and care professionals
- Proposals to support the professionalisation of health informatics roles;
- core curricula and knowledge frameworks to be reviewed and adjusted to encourage the workforce to embrace information and technology; and
- the Code 4 Health programme to be further developed in which clinicians and others are encouraged to get involved with coding and testing open health and care software.