As Ireland’s national eHealth programme develops, there is a growing need for clinical leaders to take a step forward to guide digital transformation. Rolling out Ireland’s eHealth programme requires consideration of national and local requirements across integrated platforms. Clinicians within hospitals, primary and community services will know the clinical workflows that are required to provide integrated care to the local population. A clinical service in the heart of Dublin will differ from a remote community based service in Donegal. As we already know, tailoring a digital healthcare system to the local workflows and needs of the patient and service user is key to realising the benefits of health information technology and making best use of digital systems for the benefit of patients.
An open day was held in the Galway Clinic on the 7th of September 2017. This open day showcased the excellent progress being made digitally to progress information technology to support delivery of healthcare. Sinead Hanley, Director of Nursing, welcomed the audience of approximately 40 people to the Galway Clinic. Raphael Jaffrezic, Chief Information Officer at the Clinic opened the day with an overview of the systems and change taking place to digitise health systems in the clinic. He spoke of the 33 months it took from contract signoff to GoLive and the team it took to make this a success. He focused on the clinical components such as:
How do we as nurses know we are providing the best care possible? We ultimately want to improve the patient healthcare journey. In 2010, Mandie Sunderland (CEO of the then Heart of England Foundation Trust) spoke to Irish nurse managers at a national conference about her worries in the provision of care by all her nurses in her Trust. She spoke of assuming care was okay unless told otherwise. She reassured high level managers that care delivered by nurses was up to the proper standards. After the Mid Staffordshire Report showed severe deficiencies of care in a neighbouring Trust, she felt she needed more than assuming care was meeting standards in her Trust and set about developing “metrics” to measure the fundamentals of care. Metrics highlighted improvements she needed to make immediately to support nurses to ensure care reached the required standards. When Mandie spoke to Irish nurse managers, she was candid in saying that the reality of care delivery was far from rosy.