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28.01.14

Nesta analyses GP innovation trends

Open data can offer huge potential for GP innovation, a new report by Nesta suggests.

The research identifies when and which GP practices across England have taken up innovations, based on analysis of open datasets from the HSCIC and demographic data.

GPs have the potential to become early adopters of innovation, Nesta said, but few are serial early adopters. Larger practices tend to be in a better position to adopt new innovations, and fellow GPs and national guidance are influential sources of information for doctors looking to adopt.

The Academic Health Science Networks and CCGs also have an important role to play, the report recommends, and calls for public services to use this information to improve, adapt and change.

Professor Richard Barker OBE, director, Centre for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation (CASMI), said: “It's widely accepted that the NHS does not adopt effective new technologies fast enough. This study points the way to better performance. The recently-formed AHSNs have an important role to play. Building on the lessons in this is report, they can champion earlier adoption of important new medicines, diagnostics and IT tools.”

Jo Casebourne, director of public and social innovation, Nesta, said: “Advances in treatment options and new IT processes need to be taken-up and used by GPs if we are to improve the quality of NHS care. Now it is easier to see who is doing what and where in our public services thanks to the greater availability of open data. This knowledge is powerful. It will allow those working in healthcare to make real changes and will help us all to encourage more doctors to take-up tested new ideas.”

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