Reply to post: Turnip

NHS 'paperless roadmap': Fewer dead trees, more data control



Let's face it, most of the projects like this one are thought up by managers, politicians and others with no real idea about how to implement such an idea.

On the surface it sounds like a good idea - remove all the paper and replace it with some form of digital substitute. It saves waste, it saves storage, it saves all sorts of things but in the end it saves money. That's what they are thinking.

If you look across the public services you will see any number of "initiatives" to cut paper use and you will notice three specific things in every case:

1. They were thought up by high level people (executive or higher) who have no technical involvement with the job they seek to change.

2. The budget they put into place is unrealistic. It either causes a failure or is overrun in pursuit of successful implementation, though even an overrun is no guarantee of success.

3. If the project succeeds (something that is becoming rare these days), what is there is normally varies from the original idea, either through necessity or because the original plan wasn't feasible.

As far as this particular project is concerned, it is made that much worse because it is a political flash point that can be used to provide support from one side of the political spectrum but should it go wrong, it can cause a massive loss of support from another side. Either way it uses people's well being as a political toy, something that I find totally unacceptable.

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