The Council at the Future Health Summit

Time to catch up! The recent Future Health Summit 2017 was awash with international Health IT experts, and we were delighted to hear from them at the Council’s session. However before we go abroad, I’d like to highlight two local projects which were presented to us, showing that Ireland is already innovating and developing. So take a couple of minutes to read through this resumé of the event, and make a note of what might excite you!

Suzanne Dunne, Head of Strategy at UL Hospital Group, told us about UL’s Robotic Assisted Programme. She outlined the rapid progress being made and illustrated the benefits already being seen by patients, staff and organisation. Technology is improving patient care, reducing bed days and making savings for the hospital. There were challenges and a learning curve, but these can be overcome and the experience can be shared. Like many of our projects, this is the beginning, not the end!

Jeet Kalsi, Consultant in Emergency Medicine in University Hospital Galway, told us about his need for a safe system to track patients through his department. So working with local IT, he has developed a Patient Tracker for the Emergency Department in Galway. This has been done at low cost, but with a view to scalability and interoperability, and continues to be work in progress. Jeet’s presentation showed what can be done by an interested clinician together with existing local IT resources. There are limitations but this is an exciting initiative which should be thought provoking and inspiring for CCIO members.

Having highlighted this great work being done in Irish hospitals, let’s have a rapid run through some of the other presentations. We were delighted that the meeting was opened by Ain Aaviksoo, Deputy Secretary General for E-services and Innovation in Estonia, a country of similar scale to Ireland but who are further down the road of their eHealth journey. There was much to be learnt! Andrew Watson, Surgeon in Pittsburgh but also Medical Director of the American Centre for Connected Health showed us that the age of digital medicine is well advanced in certain centres in the USA.

Friend of eHealth Ireland, Dr. Saif Abed talked to us about Clinical Risk and Enhanced Workflows including the “Single Sign-On” – music to the ears of anyone using IT in delivering health care. Brian O’Mahony from Storm Technology gave us examples of how Visual Analytics can make sense of all those numbers; increasingly important as we accrue more and more data. Jason Hess from KLAS research shared valuable insights into their work, getting the true consumer feedback about the solutions offered by vendors

Finally from across the water, Rosemary Kay told us about the e-Health Cluster in the Liverpool area, and Adrian Byrne from the Digital Centre of Excellence in University Hospital, Southampton gave us an insight into developing their patient record.

It has been impossible to do justice to all of the interesting presentations that we received. Indeed we struggled to get through them all on the day! We will make as many of these presentations as possible available to you online, however if there is anything that is particularly relevant to you, a Google search can work wonders! Thank you to everyone who joined us.

Conor O'Shea

About Conor O'Shea

Conor O’Shea is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, and has been a GP in Drogheda since 1998. He is currently National Co-ordinator of the GPIT group, which has overseen the ongoing development of IT usage in general practice in Ireland. He is also secretary of the HealthOne user group, which is Ireland’s longest established GP software. His strong belief is that IT for clinicians should be both user-friendly and of value in improving clinical care.

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