High quality IT support is essential for the provision and ongoing improvement of every national screening programme.
The NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme is currently exploring the possibility of moving towards a national IT system to find out if it would help improve local diabetic eye screening services in England.
We are now halfway through the discovery phase of this project. This a chance for everyone involved in diabetic eye screening – from clinicians to patients – to tell us what their user needs are. Put simply, this means we are asking people what they would like a national IT system to provide.
We’re looking for feedback both on what currently works well and what people would like improved.
We have already visited several local screening services and will visit more over the coming weeks. Workshops have also been arranged.
Finally, to ensure we get as wide a range of views as possible, we are capturing feedback from both patients and professionals via two electronic surveys that can be accessed here:
- professional survey (for local diabetic eye screening service staff, screening quality assurance service teams and national programme staff)
- patient survey (for people with diabetes who are eligible for diabetic eye screening)
Please encourage as many diabetic eye screening colleagues and patients as possible to complete the surveys. The deadline for completion is Friday 29 January.
Throughout the project we will use an agile approach and work closely with our contractors. This new way of working has already helped us to make rapid progress.
We are capturing user experiences and user needs. We will then refine these into user stories which describe what a user of diabetic eye screening IT needs to do, why they need to do it and the acceptance criteria for their user need. That's a lot of jargon, but the following example will hopefully explain how it works:
- as a screener I want to be able to get a full list of patients who attend the clinic and related appointment notes so that I know who has to attend and if there's something important to take into consideration for each appointment.
- patients list is available on time
- all appointment notes are fully visible
- I don't need to access other pages to view appointment notes
The outputs from this Discovery Phase will feed into any further phases if we are given the necessary approvals to proceed with this national IT project.
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