Picture of Socrates: is the unexamined health care IT project scarcely worth doing?

Connecting for Health and NPfIT: Socrates on Learning from Experience

“An unexamined life is not worth living.”

At his trial, Socrates claimed that he should be rewarded for inflicting therapeutic pain upon his fellow Athenians. He encouraged Athenians to examine their principles and beliefs by relentless and clever questioning. Socrates compared his effect on Athens to that of a gadfly on a sluggish horse.

Without incurring the displeasure of colleagues, it is essential for the NHS to learn the lessons of previous change initiatives—let’s face it, there have been many.

In most healthcare organizations, there is a wealth of specific knowledge on the experiences of health IT implementations and previous change projects. In addition, there is a wealth of general knowledge from many national initiatives. We recommend that health IT knowledge is put to good use and used in the implementation of NPfIT.

While not proposing to be gadflies, Kinetic can assist in identifying and collating past experiences of health care IT and in presenting them in a constructive manner that promotes learning…

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