Scottish GPs call for GP system choice

GP representatives in Scotland will this week hear criticism of government plans for an integrated primary and community care system and calls for Scottish GPs to have an initiative to guarantee IT system choice.

I have a lot of sympathy with the GPs, but there has to be some guarantee of interoperability between software packages. We need to have an agreed set of programmable interfaces so that primary care, hospital, community and centralised software packages can talk to each other. And then the onus should be firmly on the software *developers* to build products that comply. The current situation is that there are no standards of interoperability and 3rd-party software developers charge for each new interface. Not a good arrangement, I’m sure you’ll agree. The standards need to be independent of the software packages which implement them, not designed to suit whatever is currently in use. Once we have NHS standard interfaces, only those software products which correctly implement them would be approved for purchase.