The A to Z of Healthcare IT

A: ASCII – The American Standard Code for Information Interchange is a character encoding system which represents standard text characters as well as a number of terminal control characters used to transmit information.B: BCDR – Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery systems describe an organisation’s preparation for unforeseen risks to continued operations and IT systems to prevent data loss.C: Choose & Book – The national electronic referral and booking system which allows patients to choose and select their preference of when and where they receive their initial Oupatient appointment online or by telephone. It can also be used by all healthcare professionals.D: Data Warehouse – A database holding vast amounts of raw data which are used for analysis and reporting purposes of all aspects of patient information. This data has to be actively managed and collated ready for use.E: EPR – The Electronic Patient Record for a patient, also known as Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Computerised Patient Record. This this an electronic record of a number of key patient demographics in conjunction with assessment, appointment, clinical note, equipment, documentation and discharge information.F: FOI – The Freedom of Information Act aims to make information held by public authorities more accessible to the public and allows individuals and companies to request a wide variety of material.G: GPSoC – GP Systems of Choice is a scheme through which the NHS will fund the provision of GP clinical IT systems in England.H: HL7 – Health Level 7 develop a set of international healthcare interoperability standards. The HL7 language standard created by the organisation provides a platform for the sharing and exchange of information between different healthcare systems.I: Informatics – The science of processing data. Within health and social care, it is used to refer to the processing of data on patients and clients through IT systems.K: KSF – The NHS Knowledge Skills Framework is a development tool which contributes to decisions about pay progression for staff. It is made up of 30 dimensions which form the main components of the framework.L: LSP – Local Service Providers act as “integrators” to ensure that local systems meet national standards and that they facilitate data flow between the local and national systems.M: MPI – The Master Patient Index is a database that maintains a unique index (or identifier) for every patient registered at a health care organization.N: N3 – The New National Network, a private broadband network linking NHS sites in England and Scotland run by BT.O: Open Source Software – A form of collaboratively developed, freely available software or application which describes a more open, networked and user generated way of developing ideas and projects.P: PAS – Patient Administration System records all key patient demographics and can also be responsible for tracking and scheduling Outpatient appointments.Q: QIPP – The Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme which attempts to engage and transform NHS services to improve patient care whilst delivering efficiency savings.R: RTT – “Referral to Treatment” target which defines the maximum wait that an individual should experience for an initial appointment following referral to acute Outpatient services. This was abolished as a formal measure but still exists as a target for Trusts to exceed no longer than an 18 week wait.S: Spine – A central database of all Summary Care Records which is available to all NHS staff nationwide. This forms part of the Care Records Service.T: Telehealth – Healthcare supported through use of telecommunications. This can comprise multiple mobile technologies, and allow staff to remotely access and add to patient records for community and domiciliary care or use video-conferencing.U: UKChip – The UK Council for Health Informatics Professions which enable information to be collected, managed, used and shared safely to support the delivery of healthcare and promote health.V: VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine (VM) running on a hosted, centralized or remote server.X: XML – Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a set of rules for encoding documents into machine-readable form.

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