When we spoke with Dr. Charles Gutteridge, former National Clinical Director for Informatics, Department of Health, United Kingdom, and currently Chief Clinical Information Officer, Barts Health NHS Trust, we learned not only about some of the historical differences between healthcare IT in England and the United States, but also how both countries’ practices and policies are evolving toward a more common ground.
Some of the topics that he outlined included:
(Editor’s note: To hear audio excerpts of this interview, click on the media player buttons that run throughout this article.)
Gutteridge offers a brief history of healthcare IT in England. While listing some differences with healthcare IT in the United States and England, he also gives his perspective of what he views as the initial shortcomings of the United Kingdom’s national HIT initiatives. Gutteridge closes his answer, however, by stating the great promise he sees in his country’s current efforts to create more efficient healthcare IT systems.
When asked if some within Britain’s healthcare system have the mindset that technology often stands in the way of “proper” healthcare, Gutteridge answers that face-to-face medical interactions should incorporate as much technology as possible. To do otherwise, he states, would only perpetuate historically patriarchal dynamics within healthcare. He then lauds the potential benefits of a lifetime health record as well as his admiration for emerging patients leaders in the United States.
Gutteridge suggests that interoperability has been difficult to achieve in healthcare because the process is far more complex than many fully appreciate. However, he states the industry is working toward interoperability in better ways than before. According to Gutteridge, younger generations within the industry have the broader mindset and skills needed to tackle successfully an issue like interoperability. Gutteridge then details how Cerner’s HIE solution positively impacted his own career and how “the language of interoperation” helps his patients.
Gutteridge closes our conversation with his insights regarding the current “drivers of change” who are pushing healthcare IT in profound manners that cannot yet be fully understood.
Please follow and ‘Like’ us