HIMSS launches international buddy programme to support NHS digital exemplars


Announcement follows Health Secretary's £10m funding pledge to drive digital revolution within the NHS

HIMSS has launched a new international buddy programme to support the NHS Digital Exemplars in finding a suitable partner to help guide them in delivering innovative approaches to IT-enabled change.

The launch follows Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt’s announcement last week where he named 12 NHS organisations which will become global exemplars and receive up to £10m in funding.

In return they would be expected to help others in the NHS to learn from their experiences.

As part of that commitment Hunt said that ‘these trusts will be partnered with an international organisation of their choice, to take full advantage of their expertise’.

He specifically referenced Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic in the US as interesting organisations to consider.

The new buddying programme from HIMSS will offer a range of services, including working with the exemplars to help them understand their existing level of digital maturity using the globally-recognised benchmarking tool –Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) and Continuity of Care Maturity Model (CCMM).

In addition, HIMSS will work alongside the 12 NHS organisations to help them align and share best practice with the thousands of hospitals across the world who have already shared their data with HIMSS in order to obtain an EMRAM score.

John Rayner, regional director of the HIMSS analytics health advisory services group, and former NHS director of The Health Informatics Service, said: “HIMSS works closely with more than 9,000 health and care organisations across the world, including those in the UK, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, the US and Asia, so is uniquely positioned to help match NHS organisations with those who are leading the way in achieving significant benefits through enhanced levels digital maturity and EMR adoption.

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“Many of the exemplars will have different requirements, potentially based on their current IT baseline position, patient populations, their IT systems, overarching challenges, or ambitions going forward and we hope to share with them the information to ensure they are able to choose the best-possible partner going forward.”