Glossary & Definitions

Term Definition
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges brings together the expertise of the medical Royal Colleges and Faculties to drive improvement in health and patient care through education, training and quality standards. The Academy published best practice standards for clinical record content, discharge summaries and outpatient letters
Adverse Event Any undesirable experience associated with the use of a medical product in a patient.
AHP See Allied Health Professional
Allied Health Professional Allied Health Professionals are healthcare professionals, distinct from doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists, who work as key members of multi-disciplinary, multi-agency teams, bringing their rehabilitation focus and specialist expertise to the wider skills pool e.g. physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, radiographer, occupational therapist, podiatrist.
Allergy / Intolerance A damaging immune response by the body to a substance, especially a particular food, pollen, fur, or dust, to which it has become hypersensitive.
Antimicrobial Stewardship Antimicrobial stewardship initiatives aim to improve the prescribing of all agents, whether they target bacterial, viral, mycobacterial or protozoal infections.
Audit Trail A record of the changes that have been made to a set of data, likely in a database or file.
Authentication The process or action of verifying the identity of a user
Automatic Identification A process that automatically verifies the identity of a patient.
Barcode Technology A machine-readable code in the form of numbers and a pattern of parallel lines of varying widths.
Benefits Management The process of ensuring that the organisation fully utilises the benefits afforded to it by any initiative, programme or asset.
Benefits Realisation The process of utilising benefits from any initiative, programme or asset.
BNF  British National Formulary.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) BYOD, or bring your own device, refers to employees who bring their own computing devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to the workplace for use and connectivity on the secure corporate network.
British National Formulary A pharmaceutical reference book that contains a wide spectrum of information and advice on prescribing and pharmacology.
Business Continuity Collective term for activities, strategies and plans designed to ensure continued operations under adverse conditions, such as natural disasters, cyber attack or pandemic health threats.
Business Owners A senior manager with responsibility for the delivery of benefits in accordance with a business case to which funding is usually attached.
Business-Critical Digital Services Any systems or digital processes without which business as usual may be able to continue for a short period of time, but not indefinitely.
Care Pathway A multidisciplinary outline of anticipated care, placed in an appropriate timeframe, to help a patient with a specific condition or set of symptoms move progressively through a clinical experience to positive outcomes.
Care Plan An individualised plan to guide all health and care professionals involved in delivering a person’s care about actions required.
Care Summaries A document summarising details of a person’s transition of care, as well as certain details about his/her clinical condition and current treatments/care plans.
CBT Cognitive behavioural therapy
CCIO See Chief Clinical Information Officer.
Change Management Collective term for activities designed to bring about change; usually, this includes user training, monitoring, coaching and other instructive activities with a view of ensuring staff fully adopt new systems or processes.
CHI Number Community Health Index Number. See Community Health Index Number.
Chief Clinical Information Officer A senior member of the clinical team assigned to IT and/or informatics functions to ensure that any programmes are beneficial from a clinical viewpoint.
Clinical Applications Computer software products that coordinate and integrate all the inherent activities involved in the management and running of a healthcare facility. E.g. Electronic Health Record systems, order entry systems and e-prescribing systems.
Clinical Decision Support A health information technology system that is designed to assist physicians and other healthcare professionals with clinical decision-making tasks.
Clinical Governance Clinical governance is the system through which NHS organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which clinical excellence will flourish.
Clinical Information Information about a patient’s health history, past and current treatments, prescriptions etc.
Clinical Safety Assessment A framework within which the clinical risks associated with the deployment and implementation of a new or modified health IT system are properly managed.
Co-morbidity The presence of one or more additional disorders (or diseases) co-occurring with a primary disease or disorder; or the effect of such additional disorders or diseases.
Community Health Index (CHI) number A unique 10 character numeric Scottish health identifier.
Contraindication Conditions under which a certain drug or treatment should not be used.
Control Objectives for IT (COBIT) An IT governance framework and toolset that allows managers to bridge the gap between control requirements, technical issues and business risks.
Cranfield Process of Benefits Management A benefits realisation management methodology aimed at managing how time and resources are invested into making desirable changes.
Cyber Security Collective term for processes and methods designed to protect it systems against malicious access.
Cyber Threat Collective term for malicious or unauthorised use of IT systems.
Data Extraction Data extraction is the analysis and crawling of data to retrieve relevant information from sources (e.g., databases) in a specific pattern.
Data Protection by Design Systems and technology should be designed and implemented in such a way so as to ensure that: (i) data processing is limited to what is necessary for the purpose for which the data was collected; and, (ii) only those within an organisation who need to access the personal data can do so.  
Decision Support A health information technology system that is designed to assist physicians and other health professionals with decision-making tasks.
Demographic Data See demographic information.
Demographic Information Basic person information, for example name, address, gender, age, date of birth, phone number etc.
Diagnostic Test A test to aid healthcare professionals in diagnosis. Most common types are radiology/imaging and lab/pathology.
Digital Agenda A summary term for any plans, strategies, policies, objectives or initiatives aimed at improving the use of digital technology.
Digital Alerts A message delivered to its recipient digitally. This usually refers to messages generated automatically by systems based on pre-defined rules.
Digital Asset Tracking The process of managing the assets of the organisation digitally.
Digital Assets Collective term for digital systems, information, processes and services.
Digital Care Record A digital collection of documents created in the course of a person’s interaction with care providers, such as diagnoses, treatments, preferences etc.
Digital Clinical Workflow The sequence of digital processes through which patient information passes in the course of providing care.
Digital Formats Collective term for data formats used for digital storage or processing.
Digital Imagery The digital rendition of diagnostic imagery, including digital pictures used in dermatology as well as images from X-rays, CT scans etc.
Digital Literacy Digital literacy is the set of competencies including knowledge, skills, and behaviours involving the effective use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs.
Digital Patient Flow The process of optimising care facilities by managing the flow of patients through stages of care digitally.
Digital Prescribing The process of issuing and managing prescriptions digitally.
Digital Rostering The process of managing staff rotas and shifts digitally.
Digital Strategy The digital strategy outlines plans to digitally enable an organisation to meet its business/clinical objectives.
Digital Technology Technology based on information stored in binary (0 and 1) code.
Digital Transformation Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how the organisation operates and delivers value to patients/clients.
Digital Workflows A sequence of tasks or actions capable of being completed digitally.
Disaster Recovery Disaster recovery involves a set of policies, tools and procedures to enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster.
Discharge Summary A summary of a patient’s details, care activities, prescriptions and other information issued to the patient as well as his/her GP upon hospital discharge.
Drug: drug Interactions Drug-drug interactions occur when a drug interacts, or interferes, with another drug.
Early Warning Score A guide used by healthcare professionals to quickly determine the degree of illness of a patient.
Electronic Patient Record (EPR) Electronically stored patient information in a digital format. These records can be shared across different health care settings.
Emergency Care Summary Emergency Care Summary provides up to date information about allergies and GP prescribed medication for use in care contexts where clinicians do not have access to the core GP record.
Executive Sponsor A board member designated to representing individual initiatives at board level.
Formatted Text Text for which styling information beyond the minimum of semantic elements exists: colours, styles (boldface, italic), sizes, and special features (such as hyperlinks).
GDPR General Data Protection Regulation
General Data Protection Regulation The General Data Protection Regulation is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union. GDPR came into effect across the EU on May 25th 2018.
A standard for producing and reading barcodes.
Handover of Care A type of transition of care; specifically means organisation-internal transition of care.
Health and Care Professional An individual certified/employed to perform health or care activities.
Healthcare Professional See health and care professional.
Horizon Scanning A method of collecting and organising information about emerging technologies.
Incident Management Process Incident management is a defined process for logging, recording and resolving incidents. The aim of incident management is to restore the service to the customer as quickly as possible.
Information Governance Information governance (IG) is the way in which information is handled by organisations to ensure personal and sensitive information is held, managed, shared and processed appropriately in line with legal and best practice standards.
Innovate UK Innovate UK is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Innovate UK drives productivity and growth by supporting businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success.
Instant Messaging A method for sending messages to others transmitted via the internet instantly.
IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) An IT service management methodology.
Kanban Kanban is a lean method to manage and improve work across human systems. This approach aims to manage work by balancing the demands with available capacity, and improving the handling of system level bottlenecks.
Key Information Summary The Key Information Summary is a summary of medical history and patient wishes taken from the GP electronic record. This includes medication; allergies and adverse reactions to medication; care plans; next of kin and carer details; patient wishes; long term condition management plans; preferred place of care.
Lean The main principle of lean project management is delivering more value with less waste in a project context.  
Local Formulary A list of medicines and treatments authorised by the management of an organisation.
Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) MSP is a best practice method for programme management that enables organisations to coordinate, direct, implement, and manage a portfolio of projects that deliver a desired outcome.
Medication Administration The process of delivering/giving medication to a patient.
Medicines Reconciliation A formal process of obtaining and verifying a complete and accurate list of each patient’s current medicines.
Metadata A set of data that describes and gives information about other data.
NMAHP Nurse, Midwife or Allied Health Professional. See Allied Health Professional
Online Meetings A method of conducting meetings with others using internet-based telecommunication media, such as Voice over IP or Video Chat.
Online Portal An online portal is most often a specially designed web site that brings information together from diverse sources in a uniform way. Usually each information source gets its dedicated area on the page for displaying information (a portlet); often, the user can configure which portlet to display.
Order A request that another department (i.e. radiology, laboratory, pharmacy) carry out the tasks described in the request.
Order Set A grouping of orders commonly placed together; often also includes links to reference materials, such as formularies or clinical evidence.
Patient Consultation A meeting between a healthcare professional and a patient for assessment or therapeutic purposes.
Patient/Client Preferences Recorded preferences a person may have; usually includes preferences for resuscitation, life support and desired place of care.
Patient Record Forms Document used to record interactions with a patient with the objective of adding them to the patient record.
Penetration Testing Penetration testing (also called pen testing) is the practice of testing a computer system, network or web application to find vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit.
Point of Care The place of interaction between a health and care professional and a patient/client.
Population Health Population health means the health and wellbeing outcomes of a defined group of people, as well as the distribution of health and wellbeing outcomes within the group.
Pre-Population The automatic populating of fields in forms from data already held digitally.
Prescription A prescriber’s request and authorisation to issue medicines or other treatments to a patient.
Prince 2 Prince 2 is a structured project management method and practitioner certification programme.
PRSB Professional Record Standards Body. An organisation that works with the public and with professionals providing care to define the standards needed for good care records and so to improve the safety and quality of health and social care.
Qualitative Benefits Identification The process of discovering and documenting unquantifiable benefits from an initiative.
Quantitative Benefits Identification The process of discovering and documenting quantifiable benefits from an initiative.
Reference Sources Usually third party information underpinning treatment protocols with scientific evidence.
Remote / Virtual Clinical Consultation A clinical consultation where the physical presence of a health or care professional is replaced by a telecommunication medium.
Remote Monitoring A method for continuously collecting data from devices not physically present via telecommunication media.
Remote/Virtual Delivery of Treatment A clinical treatment where the physical presence of a health care professional is replaced by a telecommunication medium.
RFID A technology that incorporates the use of electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the radio frequency (rf) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to uniquely identify an object, or person.
Risk Stratification Risk Stratification can help to identify and support management of patients and cohorts of people in local populations who are at a higher risk of a number of key outcomes.
Self-Directed Support Self- directed support  allows people to choose how their support is provided, and gives them as much control as they want of their individual budget.
Semi-structured data Includes both unstructured information as well as structured data items (and associated metadata) organised in a pre-defined manner (e.g. in databases, information systems, XML files)
Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) A Senior Information Risk Owner is an Executive Director or member of the Senior Management Board of an organisation with overall responsibility for an organisation’s information risk policy. The SIRO is accountable and responsible for information risk across the organisation.
Service Transformation The process of changing how services are delivered from developing a case for change through to implementing new service delivery models with staff engagement and ensuring benefits are realised.
Single Sign-on Access A central authentication system which means that users do not have to remember and use multiple usernames and passwords to navigate between different applications.
Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) SBRI brings together government challenges and ideas from business to create innovative solutions.
Structured data Structured data are organised in a pre-defined manner (e.g., in databases, information systems, XML files). This can include free text sections, but those are complemented by adequate metadata information as well as structured data items (and associated metadata) organised in a pre-defined manner (e.g. in databases, information systems, XML files).
Skype A provider of videoconferencing media.
SNOMED-CT A standardised, multilingual vocabulary of clinical terminology that is used by physicians and other health care providers for the electronic exchange of clinical health information.
Software Asset & License Register A set of records detailing titles, versions, license details and purchase information for software products owned by an entity.
Structured Data Format Collective term for data storage methods that allow programmatic access and use of the data stored; commonly, this includes storing meta data (information about the data stored) together with the actual data.
Telecare Telecare uses discreet electronic equipment and sensors around the home to detect risks such as fires or falls.
Transition of Care The process of transferring responsibility for the care of a patient to another healthcare professional or another organisation.
Unstructured data Data are held in an aggregated form (e.g., Word, Excel, PDF); individual data items are not organised in a pre-defined manner and cannot be accessed programmatically. No metadata is associated.
Videoconferencing A method of conducting meetings with multiple others using audio/video telecommunications media.

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