This article is the first in a series that explores the growth in the use of, and reliance on, information management systems in health and social care. Its aim is to help nurses understand how effective information management systems can improve their practice. Problems faced by nurses in the past, when they have been required to use these systems to record, store and retrieve information, tended to be generated by poor or inappropriate systems. The series offers examples of how the vital role that nurses play in increasingly information-intensive healthcare environments can be developed. This first article sets the scene and considers the health and social care information agenda in light of the Department of Health (2012) information strategy.
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