Britain's National Health Service is significantly scaling back its National Programme for IT, a decade-old initiative to implement electronic health records across the nation of about 60 million.

Changes in the program come after spending about $10 billion on the $18.6 billion initiative. The program has been harshly criticized as heavy-handed and even dictatorial: A government agency selected teams--run by prime contractors without core competencies in health care--to implement government-selected EHR products in five regions across the country. The contractors rarely delivered products or services on a timely or quality basis, some contractors were fired and providers rebelled.

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