Jargon Buster

The SCATA Jargon Buster is a compilation of many of the confusing terms and acronyms used in Health Informatics. It was compiled from various sources and is maintained by the SCATA membership.
If you are are a SCATA member, you can add and edit jargon terms from the member's area
Non-members can use the contact page to submit a new term or acronym, or to update an existing one.



























Term or Acronym




Authorized Clinical Service Provider

a clinician of any title who is permitted to perform the focus procedure. This role may be played

by an anesthesiologist, physician, nurse anesthetist (CRNA), nurse or other qualified person. Permission may be assigned at a federal, state or local level. This role is assigned to the care team member who performs the procedure.


Active Decision Support

Function within an electronic record that uses ‘if…then …’ rules to evaluate data held in the record and automatically provide relevant information to assist clinicians in making decisions.


Admissions, discharges and transfers



Anaesthetic Information Management System

Anesthesia Information Management Systems (AIMS) allow the automatic and reliable collection, storage, and presentation of patient data during the perioperative period. They are specialized forms of electronic health record (EHR) systems that in addition to providing basic record-keeping functions, typically provide end users with ready access to summary data that can be used to facilitate quality assurance and research functions.


Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation

An organisation founded in the USA in 1984 with the mission to “assure that no patient shall be harmed by the effects of anesthesia”. See .

Arden Syntax

Arden syntax is a markup language used for representing and sharing medical knowledge

A programming language for Medical Logic Modules / sophisticated Clinical Decision Support.

Arden syntax was formerly a standard under ASTM, published in 1992, and is now part of Health Level Seven International

Arms Length Bodies


NHS organisations that work at “arms length” from the main functions of the NHS, e.g. the NHSIA, PPA, NHSU, Modernisation Agency. A review by the Department of Health plans to reduce the number of ALBs from 38 to 20 to save £0.5billion per annum.

Audit Trail


The mechanism whereby changes to a document or database can be identified, along with who did what and when.



The amount of data that can be transferred along a digital connection in a given time period - usually measured in Megabits per second (MB/s). A typical Broadband connection in 2007 had bandwidth between 2 and 8 MB/s.



Losing your job ( the IT sector) to cheap labour outsourced to another country e.g. India.



Considered by some to be the Holy Grail of modern security, biometrics allows personal biological information (fingerprint, iris scan etc) to confirm an identity. It derives from Greek bios, life and metron, measure.)


IEEE 802.15.1a

Short-range radio technology that allows devices to communicate with each other wirelessly. The name alludes to Harald I of Denmark (c.910-85), nicknamed Blåtand or 'bluetooth', who is credited with unifying his kingdom in the way that Bluetooth seeks to unify bluetooth-enabled devices. Healthcare Special Interest Group exists.



Collection of compromised computers connected to the Internet, termed bots, that are used for malicious purposes.

Caldicot Guardian


The person within an NHS Trust who is responsible for the systems that protect patient data, often the Medical Director.


College of American Pathologists

The CAP created SNOMED, now SNOMED CT


Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart

A CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether the user is human. Trademarked by Carnegie Mellon University, a CAPTCHA involves a computer asking a user to complete a test. While the computer is able to generate and grade the test, it is not able to solve the test on its own. Because computers are unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human. The term CAPTCHA was coined in 2000 by Luis von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Nicholas J. Hopper (all of Carnegie Mellon University), and John Langford (of IBM). A common type of CAPTCHA requires that the user type the letters of a distorted image, sometimes with the addition of an obscured sequence of letters or digits that appears on the screen.


Chief Clinical Information Officer

The Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) is a position that exists within the healthcare industry, that combines the expertise of a long-practicing medical clinician with the IT knowledge of a CIO role.


Clinical Data Repository

A real time data store that consolidates data from a variety of clinical sources to present a unified view of a single patient. It is optimized to allow clinicians to retrieve data for a single patient rather than to identify a population of patients with common characteristics or to facilitate the management of a specific clinical department. Typical data types which are often found within a CDR include: clinical laboratory test results, patient demographics, pharmacy information, radiology reports and images, pathology reports, hospital admission, discharge and transfer dates, ICD-9 codes, discharge summaries, and progress notes.


Clinical Decision Support System

Clinical (or diagnostic) decision support systems (CDSS) are interactive computer programs, which are designed to assist physicians and other health professionals with decision making tasks. See for more information.


Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection.



Community Health Index

The unique patient identification number used in NHS Scotland


Clinical Information Modelling Initiative

Mission: Improve the interoperability of healthcare systems through shared implementable clinical information models.


Chief Information Officer

A senior NHS manager responsible for Information Services in a Trust, Strategic Health Authority etc.



Any of the 5 groupings of Strategic Health Authorities in the NHS in England used for the award of LSP contracts as part of the NPfIT. They are:

  1. London
  2. South East and South West
  3. West Midlands and North West
  4. North East, Yorkshire and Humber
  5. East of England and East Midlands


Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts

The insurance scheme for NHS Trusts that protects against legal liability for clinical negligence claims. The amount of the premium depends on the sort of work undertaken, the number of beds, and the meeting of specified criteria that are judged to reduce clinical risks.



The secure NHS email and directory service, developed specifically to meet the requirements of the NHS and BMA for a secure email service for transmission of clinical information between NHS organisations. Despite this it is the policy of some NHS Trusts not to permit the use of email for the transmission of patient-identifiable information.



Cookies are data that is sent by a website and stored on computers browsing that site. Cookies allow websites to identify a returning visitor and hold information about them, for example, their login name, or what they have put in their online shopping cart.


Clinical Product Reference Source.



Care Record Development Board

“The Board will bring together patients and service users, the public, and social and healthcare professionals. It will identify the values, principles and processes of care and ensure that these are taken into account in the implementation of systems in NPfIT.”


Care Record Service



Clinical Terms v3

A collection of over 200,000 terms developed during the Clinical Terms Project in 1992-5 and includes Read codes, ICD10 and OPCS4



Acquiring an Internet domain that should rightfully belong to someone else (e.g. a well-known company) with the intention of forcing them to buy it from you.

Data Controller


A term used in the Data Protection Act to describe anyone who controls the use of personal data.


Data Dictionary Task Force

A task force set up in 2001 under the aegis of the APSF to develop a standard terminology for anaesthesia. The DDTF has been formally adopted as an official SNOMED CT extension group and has now transmogrified into IOTA. See


Department of Health (for the NHS in England )

Responsibility for healthcare in Scotland and Wales is devolved to their national assemblies


Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine

A communication standard for handling digital images, mostly relevant to diagnostic imaging, e.g. X Rays.


Dictionary of Medicines and Devices

the new name for CPRS. A mechanism for codifying all clinical products in use in the UK . The dm+d aims to deliver a standard electronic vocabulary (terminology) and identifiers for clinical products (medicines, appliances and personal medical devices). This dictionary will facilitate electronic transfer of data on clinical products between systems and provide a route by which knowledge to assist decision making can be accessed for the relevant product.


Data Set Change Notice

A formal notification from the NHSIA of changes to mandatory data sets. These has now been superceded by ISB notices. (qv)


Diagnostic and Treatment Centre.

See Treatment Centre


Diagnostic and Treatment Centre

A new initiative within the NHS in England. Treatment Centres are designed primarily to do routine, high throughput, elective surgery, e.g. hip replacements, cataracts. Commonly set up using private finance and sometimes employing teams of clinicians from overseas.


Electronic Government Interoperability Framework

A set of regularly updated technical standards designed to enable interaction between public sector systems. Compliance is a mandatory requirement of new systems in the NHS.

e-Referral Service

Booking system for NHS appointments

This has replaced Choose and Book. It is intended to allow patients to book outpatient appointments at a time and place on a date that suits them.


European Computer Driving Licence

A test of competence in the use of computers and (mostly Microsoft) software.


Emergency Care Summary

The NHS Scotland equivalent of the C4H Summary Care Record. A small nugget of health information including alerts, allergies and current medication. An explicit consent model is required for access to the summary by Out-of-Hours, A&E and Acute services.


Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport

A standard supported by the United Nations for the electronic exchange of structured messages. Used for Central Returns and Pathology messages in the NHS. About to be replaced by XML as a messaging standard.


Electronic Health Record

A term introduced in IfH and now superceded by NCRS and the Spine. The concept of a cradle to grave record of health and health care maintained in the primary care arena.



Egton Medical Information Systems, GP Clinical Administration System


Enterprise Master Patient Index

A patient database used by healthcare organizations to maintain accurate medical data across its various departments


Electronic Patient Record

Superseded by NCRS but still in common use. The electronic equivalent of the hospital notes folder but with added functions.


Electronic Record Development and Implementation Programme

A series of pilot projects exploring various aspects of electronic patient records.


Electronic Transmission of Prescriptions



Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly found on web sites, e.g.


Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources

FHIR is a standard for health care data exchange, published by HL7®



A combination of hardware and software that protects computers from attack by restricting certain types of Internet traffic. A popular software-only firewall is the Zone Alarm product for MS Windows. Many popular routers now come with firewall software/firmware embedded. It is becoming common for vendors to bundle anti-virus, anti-spam and firewall software together as 'anti-malware' products.


General Medical Services

The rules used to manage payments to family doctors as part of the GPs' contract.


Gnu is not Unix, a recursive acronym

Unix is a well-established computer operating system. GNU is the basis of a free Unix-like non-Unix operating system.


(One Googol = 10100)

In June 2005, just 10 months after floating on the NY stock exchange, Google became the world's largest media company, worth more than $81bn (compared to Time Warner's value of c$78bn). The financial success of Google mirrors the effect the search engine has had on the world. Not only is Google now a commonplace verb ('I googled his name', but the search engine has entered into the culture in a number of other ways in terms such as 'Googleproof','Googlestalk' and 'Googlebomb'.



The practice of creating multiple links to a website in order to force that site to the top of Google's ranking. So, for example, in June 2005, Googling ‘miserable failure’ brought up the official White House page for the biography of George W.Bush. By their very nature, Googlebombs are fated to be transient. As more people discuss a Googlebomb on websites or Blogs, that discussion is likely to force the target site off the top slot.



The curious pursuit of finding a pair of words that when entered into Google, produces just one result. As with Googlebombs, their unique quality is transient as the word pair becomes known through Internet publicity. Examples of successful Googlewhacks include: 'episcopal brachiosaur' and 'pimp schadenfreude'.


Global Positioning System

Developed by the US Dept. of Defense, uses a constellation of orbiting satellites to give instantaneous, real-time geographic positions to within c. 10m. Anyone on Earth can access GPS data and it is widely used for car 'Sat-Nav'igational systems.


Graphical User Interface

The visual elements of an operating system that allow interaction with a mouse and other pointing devices.

Health Informatics


‘The knowledge, skills and tools which enable information to be collected, managed, used and shared to support the delivery of healthcare and to promote health.’


Hospital Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration

GPs have been prescribing electronically for many years so it is reasonable to conclude that this could be introduced into hospitals without much trouble. The hard bit is the management of the medicines administration which has to be able to cope with all the complexities of frequent changes to the ‘Kardex’, routes of administration other than oral etc.


Hospital Episode Statistics

These are made up from mandatory returns from each organisation and can be seen on the Department of Health website.


Health Level 7

A standards group in the USA. Often used in the context of ‘structured messages’ used to send clinical information between computer systems, e.g. EPR and RIS. The mission of HL7 is to: “To provide standards for the exchange, management and integration of data that support clinical patient care and the management, delivery and evaluation of healthcare services. Specifically, to create flexible, cost effective approaches, standards, guidelines, methodologies, and related services for interoperability between healthcare information systems.”


Hypertext Markup Language

HTML is a special kind of text document that is used by Web browsers to present text and graphics. The text includes markup tags such as <p> to indicate the start of a paragraph, and </p> to indicate the end of a paragraph. HTML documents are often refered to as "Web pages". The browser retrieves Web pages from Web servers that thanks to the Internet, can be pretty much anywhere in World. See


International Classification of Diseases, version 10



Integrated Care Records Service

Term now replaced by NCRS.


Information for Health

The UK Government’s Information Strategy for the NHS for the period 1998-2005. Updated in Building the Information Core.


International Organization for Terminology in Anesthesia

In 2003, the DDTF joined forces with members of SCATA in the UK and evolved into the International Organization for Terminology in Anesthesia with the mission to create a standardized terminology for the global anesthesia community. IOTA also contains members from the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society and the Society for Technology in Anesthesia. IOTA has contacts with anaesthetists in other English-speaking countries.


Information Standards Board

Established in 2001 to provide an independent mechanism for the approval of information standards in the NHS. ISB notices have now replaced DSCNs for changes in standards. In March 2014 the ISB was replaced by the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI).

ISB 0129

Clinical Risk Management: its Application in the Manufacture of Health IT Systems

This standard sets clinical risk management requirements for Manufacturers of health IT systems. It requires a manufacturer to establish a framework within which clinical risks associated with the design and development of a new health IT system, or the modification of an existing system, are properly managed. See also ISB 0160

ISB 0160

Clinical Risk Management: its Application in the Deployment and Use of Health IT Systems

This standard requires a health organisation to establish a framework within which the clinical risks associated with the deployment and implementation of a new or modified health IT system are properly managed. In this respect, many of the requirements specified in ISB 0129(qv)are replayed in this standard to ensure consistency in approach.


Invitation (to a bidder) to Negotiate (a contract)



Javascript Object Notation

A text-based, human-readable data interchange format used to exchange data between web clients and web servers. The format defines a set of structuring rules for the representation of structured data. JSON is used as an alternative to Extensible Markup Language (XML).


Local Area Network

A private or semi-private computer network confined to a defined locality, e.g a hospital site.

Legacy System


Computer system inherited (as a legacy) from a bygone age.


Laboratory Information Management System

Computer system used to manage laboratory processes and outputs


Local Implementation Strategy for IfH

Now superceded by the NCRS strategy.


Local Service Provider

A large multi-national corporation awarded the contract to provide IT services (like EPR, scheduling) for a cluster of Strategic Health Authorities. Details on the award of these contracts can be found on the NHSIA web site.


Managed Clinical Network

A term used to describe electronic joining-up of clinicians and NMAHPs in different geographical areas to provide a clinical service to a wider patient population.


Medical Device Communication

The registered acronym for content of international MDC standards (formerly IEEE MIB) published as BS EN ISO IEEE 11073 series. Technology that facilitates the inter-connection of point of care medical devices such as ECGs, pulse oximeters, automatic blood pressure monitors, etc. so that data can be transferred, downloaded and processed by other (e.g. EPR) systems. Designed to permit ‘plug and play’. URL:


Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Formed from the merger of the Medicines Control Agency and the Medical Devices Agency.


Medical Information Bus

Name for old MDC (IEEE P1073) standards. Turned out not to be a bus!


Master Patient Index

Please refer to Enterprise Master Patient Index


NNN, i.e. New (high bandwidth) NHS Network.

The new fast, broadband communications network for the NHS. N3 is delivered by BT and replaces the existing private NHS network, NHSnet.


National Application Service Provider

A software supplier providing an application that fulfils the requirements of one of the national applications such as electronic transfer of prescriptions, eBooking, NHS messaging, etc.

National Spine


See spine


NHS Care Records Service

A new term encompassing the concepts of both EPR and EHR. Replaces the term ICRS.


NHS Design Authority

The Authority within the NHS ICRS Programme charged with responsibility for setting the framework for the establishment of standards, monitoring their development and evaluating their implementation.


National Electronic Library for Health



National Health Applications & Infrastructure Services

aka the Exeter system. Software used by Health Authorities in the administration of cancer screening call/recall programmes, patient registration and contractor payments.

NHS Care Record


A central database within the NCRS programme that will hold essential data about every patient – i.e. data that has long-term value for patient care. Detailed specification not yet publicly available.

NHS Data Dictionary


The dictionary of all NHS data items, their structure and definitions. It also includes descriptions of most of the Central Returns. See


NHS Electronic Staff Record


NHS Number


Uniquely identifies every individual within the NHS in England and Wales.


NHS Organisation Codes Service

Service within the NHSIA responsible for national policy and standards concerning codes for NHS organisations and practitioners.

NHS Plan


The plan for the NHS, published in 2000.


NHS Information Authority.

A special Health Authority created in April 1999 to deliver the Information Strategy set out in IfH.



The NHS' secure, private intranet


NHS University



National Infrastructure Service Providers

National Infrastructure Service Providers are to deliver a robust infrastructure to support modernised health and social care, e.g.N3, NHS Mail & Directory Services


Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professional

Not strictly IT-related, but a term that is used to refer to staff including physios, OTs, prodiatrists, optometrists etc.


NHS Numbers for Babies

babies never used to have their own numbers.


Also NPfIT. National Programme for IT



National Patient Record Analysis Service

Service intended to support delivery of the NHS Plan by improving the management and delivery of health services through the provision of good quality data to support performance and resource management, clinical governance and audit, planning, research, and surveillance activities.


National Patient Safety Agency

A Special Health Authority created in July 2001 to improve the safety and quality of care through reporting, analysing and learning from adverse incidents and 'near misses' involving NHS patients


National Service Framework

for cancer, heart disease etc. The framework within which services that have been targeted by Ministers are delivered. Includes information requirements and minimum data sets.


NHS Strategic Tracing Service

Traces a patient’s NHS number and other administrative details.


NHS-wide Clearing Service

Passes information on activity, HES etc, from Trusts to the DoH and commissioning Authorities.


Output Based Specification

The detailed specification of the outputs required of a computer system or service. Used to define what a supplier is required to provide as part of a contract.


Order Comms, Order Communications System

The electronic equivalent of requesting an X-Ray or blood test or almost anything else that may be required for a patient, e.g a theatre slot, dietetic advice, clinical referrals, anaesthetic services.


Object Data Instance Notation

Previously known as the 'dADL' syntax from the openEHR ADL specifications. It is intended for software developers, technically-oriented domain specialists and subject matter experts (SMEs). ODIN is designed as a human-readable and computer-processible data representation syntax, and can be hand-edited using a normal text editor.


Office of Government Commerce


OJEC Notice

An advert in the Official Journal of the European Community

All major system or service procurements must be advertised in the OJEC and bids invited.


Official Journal of the European Union

All major system or service procurements must be advertised in the OJEU and bids invited.


Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys



The Open Electronic Health Record technology

'openEHR' is the name of a technology for e-health, consisting of open specifications, clinical models and software that can be used to create standards, and build information and interoperability solutions for healthcare. The various artefacts of openEHR are produced by the openEHR community and managed by openEHR International, an international non-profit organisation originally established in 2003 and previously managed by the openEHR Foundation.


Open Source Software

i.e. free or very cheap. Linux is an example of an open source computer operating system.


Picture Archiving and Communication System

Uses DICOM standard. Electronic store for digital images, mostly diagnostic.


Patient Administration System

Deals with appointments, waiting lists, admissions, discharges, and transfers. Also provides information for Government returns regarding hospital activity.


Personal Digital Assistant

A handheld computer designed to be used in conjunction with a desktop PC, e.g. Palm or Pocket PC devices.


Private Finance Initiative

The Government's method of getting private companies and banks to finance public sector projects, e.g building a new hospital. A property developer may, for instance win the contract to build a new hospital. To build the hospital the developer borrows money from a bank. The NHS leases the hospital from the developer for an annual fee. After 30 or more years the NHS will have paid off the developer's mortgage, the developer will have made a decent profit, and the hospital reverts to NHS ownership. The bank loan/mortgage will never have appeared on the Government's balance sheet so the Government has not broken the conditions of the Maastricht Treaty and the European Stability Pact by increasing public spending.



The attempt to acquire (fraudulently) information such as banking details and passwords by masquerading online as a reputable business or organisation. In 2006 there was a huge increase in emails with phishing 'scams'. Some email clients (e.g. Mozilla Thunderbird) have implemented phishing filters.


Patient Identification Service

This specification defines the interfaces of a CORBA Person Identification Service (PIDS) that organizes person ID management functionality to meet healthcare needs. 


PRINCE in name only

Unofficial acronym for projects that pay only lip service to PRINCE 2 management principles.


Patient Master Index

See Enterprise Master Patient Index


Pathology Messaging Implementation Programme




A portmanteau word from iPod + broadcasting, describing how radio stations make programmes available for download onto digital music players.


Plain Old Telephone System



Prescription Pricing Authority

Authority that ensures high street chemists are paid for dispensing prescriptions. Also provides information on prescribing trends, drug costs, etc.


Positive Patient Identification

A term used to describe systems that attempt to tie the patient to his or her electronic record using (for example) bar-coded identity wrist bands or RFID tags.


Projects in Controlled Environments (version 2).

The UK Government's approved methodology for managing complex projects such as implementation of an EPR.


Quality Management and Analysis Subsystem

NPfIT has commissioned British Telecom to develop and implement QMAS, a new IT system, to support the QOF. It will provide reporting, forecasting and payment information for improving services within the Quality and Outcomes Framework.


Quality and Outcomes Framework

As part of a new contract, introduced in 2004, GP practices are rewarded for achieving clinical and management quality targets and for improving services for patients within a Quality and Outcomes Framework.

Read Terms/Codes


Invented by Dr James Read. A system for standardizing the terms used and the coding of diseases etc, originally in primary care. Later versions are still in use but now superseded by SNOMED CT. See also CTV3.


Radio Frequency LAN

A wireless version of a LAN.


Radio-frequency identification

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is an object that can be attached to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification using radio waves. RFID on the Wikipedia


Regional Implementation Director

The senior NHS manager responsible for implementing NPfIT in an NHS region.


Radiology Information System

Computer system used to manage radiology processes and outputs.


Really Simple Syndication

RSS allows Internet users to select data from a wide range of websites and have it delivered automatically to their computer, allowing for customisation and personalisation of regularly updated web content.


Sleep Apnoea Breathing Therapy Equipment

SABTE is defined are defined and modelled in the ISO 11073 Medical Devices standard


Single Assessment Process

Integrated process for assessing the Health and Social Care needs of the elderly.


Supplier Attachment Scheme

The Supplier Attachment Scheme is a new opportunity for NHS professionals to have a direct influence on the future of healthcare by working in one of a range of roles with a Local Service Provider.


Scottish Cervical Cytology Recall System


Scottish Care Information

SCI is a division of National Services Scotland and has delivered a suite of products to support eHealth in Scotland. SCI Store is an information repository, similar in some respects to the ‘spine’, whilst SCI Gateway is a messaging system that is used extensively for referral and discharge.


Scottish Clinical Information Management in Practice


Summary Care Record

The summary information which people in Early Adopter areas will be able to look at is called their Summary Care Record. It includes information like name, address and NHS Number. It also has basic information about the medicines that person is taking, any bad reactions they may have had to medicines and any allergies they may have.


Standard Generalised Markup Language

A page markup language that was initially developed in the late 1960s by the US Graphic Communications Association to permit the electronic transfer of page formatting and layout instructions from publishers to printers. Adopted as an international standard in 1986. The foundation for HTML and XML.


Strategic Health Authorities

The headquarters of the local NHS. Their role is to ensure that the Primary Care Trusts are both effective and efficient in managing the delivery of services.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol

The protocol that governs the sending of email messages. Related acronyms: POP or POP3 (Post Office Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) for receiving email. Plain vanilla SMTP generally runs on port 25. It is possible to use SMTP and SSL (secure sockets layer) for encrypted sending,in which case port 587 is often used.


Systematised Nomenclature for Medicine

SNOMED Clinical Terms.A thesaurus of approved clinical terms and their synonyms, plus their associated computer codes. SNOMED was originally developed by the College of American Pathologists. SNOMED CT represents the combining of SNOMED with CTV3, and is a collaborative venture between the College of American Pathologists and the NHSIA. See and connecting for health web site.


Simple Object Access Protocol

An XML protocol for the exchange of information.



The new language created by spammers where letters are substituted with punctuation to try and fool email filters, e.g. V!agra.



Old term for what is now called the NHS Care Record


Standardisation Committee for Care Information

In April 2015 this replaced the Information Standards Board (ISB) qv. ISB notices still persist.


Standards Enforcement in Procurement.

The standards that must be met by IT products procured by the NHS.


Transfer of Undertakings – Protection of Employment

The legislation that protects employees’ employment rights when businesses change ownership.



Registering domains that are only a few keystrokes from a popular website to draw traffic after typing errors.


User Acceptance Testing

A process for road-testing new software (and new versions of existing software) to ensure that functional specifications have been delivered and are working as they should.


UK Standard Clinical Products Reference Source

A mechanism for codifying all clinical products in use in the UK.


Universal Modelling Language

A technique for modelling processes that is universally applicable and facilitates the subsequent computerisation of those processes.


Universal Resource Locator

An internet address, e.g



A computer program that loads and runs without the users knowledge and serves no useful purpose. Frequently malevolent in its effect. Spread by sharing files or by email.


Voice Over Internet Protocol

Allows the transmission of voice telephony over the Internet. In 2006, many of the major telecom companies began offering VOIP in addition to their traditional voice telephony services. One of the earliest VOIP providers was Skype.


World Wide Web Consortium

The organisation that develops interoperable web technologies. See


Wide Area Network

A private or semi-private computer network confined to a wider area than a LAN but not the internet. The NHS’ private network, NHS net, could be regarded as an example.



The web-enabled BNF.



A variety of a computer a virus that ‘worms’ its way into a system and causes havoc.


Extensible Markup Language

A subset of SGML. More flexible than HTML. Can be used to transmit structured messages, e.g. pathology results. See


Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation

XSL and XSLT are members of the XML family. XSLT is a language for transforming XML documents into other XML documents.
XSL consists of three parts:

  • XSLT - a language for transforming XML documents
  • XPath - a language for navigating in XML documents
  • XSL-FO - a language for formatting XML documents

Here is a good introductory tutorial.