Main

June 14, 2006

Real Innovation in Healthcare Delivery is Driven by Clinicians?

I took part in a light-hearted debate at the UK's Healthcare IT 2006 conference in March, which I reported in a previous posting.

The British Journal of Healthcare Computing transcribed the debate PDF (96K).

April 16, 2006

Commanding Voice: combining telephony and wireless

vocera.jpgNow I am a sucker for a cute gadget, especially one finished in black and silver that combines telephony and wireless. No surprise then that I spotted the Vocera badge on Telindus' stand at HC 2006. Vocera's system combines software with the badge to integrate PBX, pager, cellphone and push to talk.

Continue reading "Commanding Voice: combining telephony and wireless" »

April 09, 2006

Connecting for Health: awaiting the winds of change

Connecting for Health faces the winds of change.Political and technological winds of change whistle through NHS Connecting for Health's National Programme for IT (NPfIT). They may erode the notion of a single, comprehensive, monolithic system serving GPs and acute, community and mental health care settings and deposit the spores of innovation, clinical inspiration and supplier diversification.

Continue reading "Connecting for Health: awaiting the winds of change" »

March 27, 2006

Views of a Hybrid: clinician and informatician

Picture of surgeonSimon Dodds is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon. He refers to the debate reported in this FHIT entry. I am posting this extract from an email he sent me with his permission.

With my clinical head on I rant about the informaticians that never actually come and see what frontline healthcare delivery entails, never experience for themselves what the problems are, or help tease out the information requirements from the rest of the process (i.e. write the information requirement specification), then offer simple, workable, quick, cheap options based on existing technology, then help choose the most viable options, then quickly design and build prototypes that are usable, then test options and find those that actually work better than what we were doing before, then implement the best seamlessly so we never really even notice it's there (until it goes away and we suddenly realise we can't do without it).

Continue reading "Views of a Hybrid: clinician and informatician" »

March 24, 2006

Clinicians Thrash Informaticians

On 21 March 2006 the BCS London and South East Health Informatics Group sponsored a lively and light-hearted debate at the HC 2006 conference:

“This house believes that real innovation using ICT in healthcare delivery is driven by clinicians rather than informaticians.”

Simon Dodds and Mark Outhwaite proposed the motion and Ian Herbert and I opposed with Keith Clough in the chair.

I argued that healthcare in the UK was facing illness because of a shortage of cash and qualified staff and an aging population that is likely to lead to an increase in chronic disease. Never has healthcare needed ICT innovation more—but who will provide it?

I tacitly accepted that clinicians and informaticians must work as a MDT, but I was speaking against the motion. I had three main arguments:

  • Clinicians are experts in patient care, informaticians in ICT;

  • Informaticians have a broader view of healthcare than clinicians; and

  • Innovation is not about ideas, it’s about the implementation of ideas.

Cyber means “art of steering” in ancient Greek. Informaticians would be the cyberanauts building the pathways and finding the passages that led to a coherent, patient-centred healthcare system.

All to no avail, I'm afraid! After contributions from the audience—one of whom said he thought clinicians should be leading ICT innovation, and asked why then they didn't get on with it—the motion was carried by 18 votes to 9.

Rod from Informaticopia also wrote an official blog entry on the debate. In addition, Simon Dodds, a Consultant Vascular Surgeon and Innovator, is allowing me to use some comments that he emailed me in an entry to follow.

Reposted by FHIT on 29 March 2006 adding the hyperlink to Simon Dodds' entry.

March 23, 2006

Healthcare IT 2006

I apologise for not posting recently. I spent the first part of this week at Healthcare IT 2006, the annual conference and exhibition in Harrogate UK, listening, presenting and visiting suppliers.

This year the event lacked energy. Major suppliers were missing, as were exhibition visitors—I have never known the halls so deserted. Perhaps the purpose and format of the event must be revised, because it risks falling into terminal decline—which would be a great shame.

In the next few postings I will write about a debate in which I took part and a few interesting things I noticed on suppliers’ stands.

Rod from Informaticopia was at the event and here is his entry in the official blog about a tutorial I gave on RFID in healthcare.