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.
Understanding eHealth & Healthcare Informatics
Having only known a predominantly paper based healthcare system, I have slowly began the journey to untangle the complex world of Healthcare Information Technology, in particular technology enablers to capture and guide the patients journey across their lifespan through the continuum of care. Working as a Nursing Documentation Project lead in Connolly Hospital, I remain on a journey to understand how nursing practice can be reflected in an electronic format.
Putting stories at the heart of healthcare
Cecil Helman was a South African-born GP who died in 2009 of motor neurone disease. He was also an anthropologist whose textbook, Culture, Health and Illness remains a key reference and teaching text for medical anthropology. His approach to medicine, and life, is summed up in the words of one of his obituaries:
A Time for Everything
“There is a time for everything”. It’s not the norm to start a tech blog with a quote from the bible, and I promise not to make a habit of it, but there is a time for everything, and we are certainly in a time of change. I’ve joined the CCIO team to try to help that change; not for the CCIO or the eHealth Ireland team, but for those who work in the Irish Health Service and those who use it. We’re often told that the most dangerous phrase is “That’s the way we’ve always done it”, however waving that at our natural fear of change can be quite unhelpful. So let’s talk about change.