Previously on “The Terence Eden Adventures!”
This week – WTF? OMG? BBQ???
I’ve been working for DHSC (Department of Health and Social Care) for two weeks. I’ve made a list of every single new acronym that I’ve heard. Here it is:
- AAC – Accelerated Access Collaborative
- AHP – Allied Health Professional
- BMA – British Medical Association
- CAMHS – children’s and adolescent mental health
- CSU – Commissioning Support Unit
- DDC – Digital Delivery Centre
- DPS – Data Processing Services
- FHIR – Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources
- FN4G – Future Networks for Government
- HUS – Hospital Use Statistics
- HIMSS – This eight-stage (0-7) model measures the adoption and utilization of electronic medical record (EMR) functions
- HSCIC – Old name for NHS Digital
- HSCN – Health and Social Care Network
- HSJ – Health Service Journal
- HSSF – Health Systems Support Framework
- ICS – Integrated Care Systems
- LHCR – Local Health and Care Record
- MHRA – Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
- NPfIT – National Programme for IT
- OBC – Outline Business Case
- OLS – Office for Life Sciences
- PAS – Patient Administration System
- PHI – Population Health Intelligence
- PRSB – Professional Records Standards Body
- PS(H) – Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Health
- RCN – Royal College of Nursing
- STP – Sustainability and Transformation Partnership
Around 3 new acronyms per day. My brain is full.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
There is some marginal gain to reducing polysyllabic phrases – both in speech and in text. But it does feel like it is mostly to provide a Shibboleth. Correct use of acronyms marks you out as part on the “in” group. You’re a full member of society. Those who don’t understand the code are outsiders.
I’ve had great fun calling it out. Stopping conference calls to say “Sorry, I’m new here. What does XYZ stand for?” is a perfectly sensible thing to do.
And, only twice has it resulted in people arguing over what the acronym means.