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Two HSCIC projects in the frame to win prestigious award

Two NHS wide technology projects have been shortlisted for a prestigious HSJ Value in Healthcare Award 2016, recognising innovation and the hundreds of millions of pounds of savings they have made for the NHS.

The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) and the Spine are both finalists in 'The use of information technology to drive value in clinical services' category. Both projects are run by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), and teams will showcase the many benefits of their programmes in a presentation to a panel of judges, on 15 April, in London.

HSJ Value in Healthcare awards EPS enables prescriptions to be sent electronically from a GP surgery to a dispenser of the patients' choice and then on to the NHS Business Services Authority for payment. In 2014/15, EPS made efficiency savings in excess of £115m. For prescribers, efficiencies include bulk signing repeat prescriptions, the ability to cancel prescription items and the reduction of lost prescriptions. Dispensers no longer need to transcribe paper prescription information. Standardised information reduces queries and the likelihood of the wrong medication being dispensed and makes the end of month claim process more efficient. Prescriptions are sent straight to the dispenser of choice, minimising patient collection time. EPS is now live at 6,128 GP practices (78.9%) and 11,595 pharmacies (98.6%). 18.1 million patients have chosen an EPS pharmacy and more than 42% of all prescriptions are EPS transmitted.

Spine connects clinicians and patients to essential national services including demographic data confirmation and updates, EPS, Summary Care Record and the e-Referral Service - allowing the delivery of safe and effective care to patients. The final stage in this ambitious programme saw the transfer of the whole of Spine from external to in-house management. The 18-month transition project to entirely rebuild and redevelop the Spine was achieved without disrupting the service it provides to 28,000 organisations and enabled the secure transfer of almost 150TB of data, including the demographic details of 80m people. It is believed to be the biggest IT project of its kind.
The HSJ Awards recognise and promote the finest achievements in the NHS, and showcase them to the service's most influential leaders.

HSCIC Chief Operating officer, Rob Shaw, said: "Having two projects shortlisted for an HSJ Award is a major success for the HSCIC. It is particularly impressive to be nominated in this category as much of what we do as an organisation is aimed at providing cutting edge information technology to support clinical services and, ultimately, patients. The nominations recognise both the innovative nature of these projects, and the fact they deliver value for money to the taxpayer, which saves the NHS valuable funds. Whatever the outcome, both teams should be proud of their excellent work and we wish them luck on 15 April."

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