In this issue – assumptions, openness, apps, collaborative working and a new editor

Simon de Lusignan

Professor, Primary Care & Clinical Informatics, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT under Creative Commons license


Things not to take for granted

Prior to the UK making plans for leaving the European Union, so-called ‘Brexit’, your Editor took supply chains for granted.1 This issue includes a paper from Nigeria about the contribution that visibility and analytics network principles can apply to the supply chain. Maybe useful reading for the UK’s Brexit minister.2 Our second paper is one I co-authored, at an attempt to comprehensively survey sources of routine data across Europe. Whilst we conceived the perfect survey that would capture the relevant data,3 only 56 of the 531 databases we contacted gave complete information.4 By way of complete contrast, we hear about a framework for comprehensive data management for newborn children.5

Advantages in openness

We include a systematic review protocol of an ambitious project to try to answer the important question as to whether open source offers more benefits than risks over proprietary software in health care.6 We next learn that mental health patients are generally happy for data owners to share their health, social and economic data if the purpose was transparent and if the information would inform and improve health policy and practice. This is a very important finding, supporting the open sharing of data.7

Persistence with apps and integration of app data into medical records

Readers in clinical practice are well aware of problems with persistence with medication; even in diabetes, many patients don’t persist with their medication.8 Persistence may be even worse with health apps, though slightly better if promoted by your clinic. We hear how persistence with an app to support self-management of asthma was only around a month.9 We also hear how the integration of app data into computerised medical record (CMR) systems remains largely aspirational.10

Time to mandate collaborative working

Social media provides many opportunities for discourse and discussion. However, in computerised medical practice, GPs may spend a long time sitting with their CMR systems – working in isolation. Your Editor and the Chair of the Australasian College for Health Informatics both come from parts of the world where GPs are in short supply. We speculate whether hours of sitting in isolation in front of a computer screen, seeing 100s of records in a day is a part of the reason that general practice is less popular? This is for both of us a new phenomenon. At the start of our careers, there was much more collaborative work. We, therefore, wonder if it is time to mandate that tools for collaborative working should be built into CMR systems.11

Change of Editor

After 11 years as Editor-in-Chief, Simon de Lusignan steps down and enthusiastically welcomes Dr. Philip Scott as the new Editor. The journal will continue as BMJ Informatics in Health and Care with the next issue under this new title. Please continue to support our journal.


1. Iacobucci G. Brexit: ministers are running out of time to secure drug supplies, industry bosses warn. BMJ 2018;363:k4484. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k4484

2. Ottih C, Cussen K, Mustafa M. Building strong health supply chain systems: the visibility and analytics network approach to improving the Nigeria immunisation supply chain. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics 2018;25(4):199–206. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v25i4.944

3. Leppenwell E, de Lusignan S, Vicente MT, Michalakidis G, Krause P, Thompson S, et al. Developing a survey instrument to assess the readiness of primary care data, genetic and disease registries to conduct linked research: TRANSFoRm International Research Readiness (TIRRE) survey instrument. Informatics in Primary Care 2012;20(3):207–16.

4. Liyanage H, Jennings E, de Lusignan S, Michalakidis G, Krause P, Sullivan F, et al. An instrument to identify computerised primary care research networks, genetic and disease registries prepared to conduct linked research: TRANSFoRm International Research Readiness (TIRRE) survey. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics 2018;25(4):207–20. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v25i4.964

5. Ayatollahi H, Karimi S, Ahmadi M. Newborn screening data management: proposing a framework for Iran. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics 2018;25(4):221–9. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v25i4.985

6. Akhlaq A, McKinstry B, Sheikh A. The characteristics and capabilities of the available open source health information technologies supporting healthcare: a scoping review protocol. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics 2018;25(4):230–8. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v25i4.1022

7. Satinsky E, Driessens C, Crepaz-Keay D, Kousoulis AA. Title: Mental health service users’ perceptions of data sharing and data protection: a short qualitative report. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics 2018;25(4):239–42. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v25i4.1033

8. McGovern A, Tippu Z, Hinton W, Munro N, Whyte M, de Lusignan S. Comparison of medication adherence and persistence in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 2018;20(4):1040–3. doi: 10.1111/dom.13160

9. Hui CY, McKinstry B, Walton R, Pinnock H. Strategies to promote adoption and usage of an application to support asthma self-management: a qualitative observational study. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics 2018;25(4):243–53. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v25i4.1056

10. Cresswell KM, McKinstry B, Wolters M, Shah A, Sheikh A. Article I. Five key strategic priorities of integrating patient generated health data into United Kingdom electronic health records. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics 2018;25(4):254–9. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v25i4.1068

11. de Lusignan S, Pearce C. Time to mandate systems that promote collaborative working with computerised medical record systems, at a time of general practitioner shortage. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics 2018;25(4):260–2. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v25i4.1140


  • There are currently no refbacks.

This is an open access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or their institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal starting from Volume 21 without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open accessFor permission regarding papers published in previous volumes, please contact us.

Privacy statement: The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

Online ISSN 2058-4563 - Print ISSN 2058-4555. Published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT