2.2.4 Public services
In the UK, in many NHS trusts, patient records are easily shared between departments within a hospital. These electronic patient records may soon be transferable across the whole health service, so that medical staff can access them from any part of the NHS. In some places, especially remote rural areas, doctors may be able to make use of computer networks to make a diagnosis if they are unable to see the patient in person.
Passenger information is increasingly available via networked computers: for example train timetables, information in stations and airports, real-time information over the internet. Networked communication systems are also crucial in the control of transport systems, from traffic lights and pedestrian crossings to air traffic control and train signals.
Many government services in the UK are now available online. For example, you can renew or apply for a passport, book a driving test, claim benefits, fill in your tax return – you can even report suspect activity to MI5! Local authorities provide information services online, and there are numerous opportunities to learn online such as the many courses available with The Open University.