While the Obama administration is in the process of spending billions on developing electronic medical records, the British government has concluded that its £12.7 billion national electronic medical records system is a failure and that “there can be no confidence that the programme has delivered or can be delivered as originally conceived.” The Telegraph reports that Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said “Labour’s NHS IT Programme let down the NHS and wasted taxpayers’ money by imposing a top-down IT system on the local NHS, which didn’t fit their needs.”
The two parts that have worked and will be retained have been a part of the U.S. health care landscape for some years. The first is a nationwide NHS email system. The second is Choose and Book. Choose and Book lets patients who have been given a password and a reference number by their primary care physician “choose where [one] goes for your first consultation by comparing the hospitals [one has] been shortlisted at” and book, cancel, or change one’s appointment online as well as by phone.