Ten lessons from Digital Health Summer School

The Digital Health CCIO Summer School took place in July. Council members of Ireland had the opportunity to attend the two day event at the University of Manchester. This provided the unique opportunity for CCIOs from Australia, the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and many other countries, to learn, network and build upon the delivery of the very best eHealth solutions. Here are the top ten lessons our Council members brought home.

  1. The Council of Clinical Information Officers must include all allied health professionals.

  1. Security is not just a cost. It enables interoperability: institutions, pharmacy, payment systems, licensors, and regulatory compliance. In terms of systemic security, people are our best resource. Their actions will determine vulnerability or resilience e.g. not opening unknown mail, not being careless with passwords or USB sticks, flagging vulnerable areas in a risk register, etc.

  1. Health is a complex adaptive system influenced by economic factors, political expectations, corporate expectations, public expectations, patient/consumer expectations and clinician expectations. Competitive interests get in the way but using mobile technologies can break down these silos. Digital development enables new ways of working, sharing, communicating, and creating.

  1. The Council of Clinical Information Officers is the locus of progress.

  1. CCIOs and CIOs must be influencing at board level within the next four years. At present they are mainly volunteer groups motivated by realising an improved health service provision.

  1. There is a need to up-skill and train clinicians in IT practices and technology, leadership and change management, and co-creation and design skills.

  1. There is greater public awareness for ransomware following the WannaCry incident. The CCIOs role in this is to change the public’s digital experience of health & care. There is an imperative to raise public awareness in terms of data sharing, data security and cyber resilience, particularly if patient owned data is going to contribute to an understanding of patient’s own health.

  1. We must decrease the gap between the clinical agenda (better patient outcomes) and the political agenda (waiting lists, budgets and access).

  1. Clinical buy-in is vital for successfully embedding technology in healthcare. This includes buy-in from all disciplines and professions. Clinicians have a predominantly clinical focus when making decisions. Technology should enhance those decisions. A simple example is the standardisation of documents and forms. This brings greater control, ability to monitor, aids audit and accountability, helps to guide policy, informs clinical decisions, targets resources, and gives visibility to activities.


  1. Healthcare is moving towards the virtual e.g. patients generating their own data on their own devices, sensors that enable remote monitoring of diseases, and developments towards low cost, high tech, and high accessibility. From a clinician’s perspective this presents an important opportunity to empower patients to use technologies to self-monitor their illness, improve care visibility and data reliability. It was benefits the clinician as greater patient engagement leads to increased time with patients and enhanced data quality.


Thank you to Yvonne Goff, Carole Glynn, Marie Byrne and Kevin O’Connell. Compiled by Hannah Gleave. Drawings by Fintan Taite.









Leave a comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked