When a piece of technology works does an organisation relax and design systems around it, rather than customers?
In the medical profession Doctors still write letters to each other as a means of referring patients, getting blood results around, etc. These letters are now often sent by fax. This is because it is perceived to be more secure than sending by e-mail. It is also cripplingly slow and inefficient when doctors have digital data in their surgeries which at the press of a button could be sent both to the patient and colleagues.
All of this is done to protect the security of my data. But on balance I value speed of treatment over a belt and braces approach to my data security. Others may take a different view so why doesn’t the health system offer a choice. If you want to opt in to e-communications then you simply tell your GP and they start sending stuff by e-mail . If you are concerned about your data then carry on with letters and faxes.
Given the embededness of the letter/fax combo in the NHS and the understandable reluctance to build any more big national IT systems I am wondering how exactly will the system change, or will we be using faxes forever? One way is to change the rules and invite people to consent to e-mail and enable customers to decide whether speed trumps the perceived security of their data.