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NHS Scotland is going digital

8th December 2013

NHS Scotland will use digital technology to improve health, according to Health Secretary Alex Neil as he visits a leading health service in the USA to learn about their online system.

Health Secretary Alex Neil is visiting the Veteran Authority during his visit to Washington DC, to hear how they have pioneered the use of online health records.

NHSScotland has made significant progress in moving away from paper records, but today the Health Secretary has committed to exploring how online records could be shared with patient and their carers in Scotland.

Digital services allow immediate access to health information when and where it is needed.

This will ensure patients receive care quicker and it frees up staff time to spend in direct patient care while decreasing the number of medical errors.

The Veteran Authority oversees the health care needs of over eight million Veterans enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the nations largest integrated health care system.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

As technology continues to evolve, digital healthe tools will play an bigger part of our NHS.

We have made huge progress in improving access to patients health records, with significant investment in modern IT systems since 2008 providing the building blocks to join up online record systems.

However we know that there is more to be done and welcome the opportunity to meet with the Veteran Authority to hear about the management of their system, and the many benefits it has delivered.

Web-based personal health records are one of the best and newest ways patients can keep track of their own care, including lab results and prescriptions.

We will be looking at this project closely to see what learning we can take from it to help us provide the highest quality digital services of the people of Scotland.

An opportunity to share lessons from both sides of the Atlantic, the visit will provide a valuable insight on the significant advances the Veteran Authority has made in online services over the past five years.

The eHealth Strategy 2011-17 sets out six strategic aims that all NHS Boards are working towards through both local and national activities.

The Veteran Authoritys award-winning website, My HealtheVet, offers Veterans secure access to information in their health care records anywhere and anytime. It give users greater control over their care and wellness, helping them become active partners in their health care.

In addition to allowing Veterans access to their records, My HealtheVet lets them save, print and share their health information, order prescriptions online and track their health activities.

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