Scrapped national EHR program will cost U.K. billions

The U.K.'s attempted national electronic health record system, abandoned by the government two years ago, will still end up costing more than 10 billion pounds (about $16 billion), according to an article in The Register.

The bungled U.K. National Programme for IT (NPfIT) project, created in 2002 and slated to cost 12.7 billion pounds, was axed in 2011 without delivering the promised nationwide EHR. The vendor was U.S. based Computer Sciences Corporation. 

When the British government announced the dismantling of the project, it noted that it would retain some national health IT programs--such as its Summary Care Record and Electronic Prescriptions Service--but also acknowledged that it needed to "move on from a top-down approach, and instead provide information systems driven by local decision-making."

In March 2013, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Health Service announced a three-year collaboration to exchange health IT knowledge and experience. NHS stated last month that it is looking into creating its own version of the VA's open source EHR.

EHR adoption varies considerably in Europe. The Nordic countries have been using electronic records for more than a decade, but adoption in the U.K., Germany, France and Spain is "on course" with adoption in the U.S., according to a report published last fall by Kalorama Information. The issues spurring EHR growth in Europe mirror those in the U.S., including longer life expectancies and technological innovation.

To learn more:
- read The Register article