NHSNet – we have the technology, we have the links, but will we ever have the education?
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NHSNet – we have the technology, we have the links, but will we ever have the education?

Peter J. Murray Lecturer, School of Health & Social Welfare, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

When discussing the potential future use of the NHSNet for educational purposes, the answers seem to vary with who you talk to, and there are certainly conflicting answers from within the NHS Executive’s Information Management Group. It is therefore very difficult to speculate, at this stage, as to how (and indeed whether) the NHSNet and NHSWeb will actually develop as a vehicle for educational provision; there are still too many unanswered questions. Many of the issues still to be resolved are (at least at face value) grounded in issues around security of the network, and the potential for unauthorised access to clinical or business data. Within this short article, I will outline some ways in which the potential of the NHSNet might be used for education, in particular from the viewpoint of a distance education model. After a brief consideration of the current apparent impasse which prohibits access to the NHSNet by most current education providers, I will assume that these problems have been overcome, and present a short overview of distance education models followed by several brief scenarios to illustrate some of the ways in which current technologies can be used for distance education provision.

Nursing Standard. 11, 21, 1-2. doi: 10.7748/ns1997.02.11.21.1.c2440