EHI Interview: Alan Fowles (16 March 2011)

16 March 2011

EHI Interview: Alan Fowles

The head of Cerner UK tells EHI editor Jon Hoeksma that NHS reform will depend on far more effective use of information systems.

As few people can have failed to notice, the NHS is facing tough times, with demands to reorganise itself while making efficiency savings of £20 billion over four years.

Yet many of the current pressures will be familiar to Alan Fowles, Cerner’s MD for the UK and Ireland, who would have seen plenty of change during his thirty year career with the NHS.

In an exclusive interview with eHealth Insider, he argues that despite the difficult financial position, trusts will find the money to invest in IT, because “information is an essential tool to manage and delivery change.”

He is also confident that when trusts do find the money to invest, they will look to Cerner, which, he argues, has the scale and experience to help NHS organisations meet the demands on them, from responding to increased competition to monitoring outcomes.

“There is no way that these changes will be made without using technology as an enabler of change management,” says Fowles. “The big issue for us is that we have to be more than an IT supplier. The challenge in healthcare is not about implementing IT, but using technology as a change management tool.”

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