Berwick Partners’ IT & Digital leadership practice recently held a round table dinner event in Manchester for CIO’s and IT Directors from the region’s healthcare sector.
A mixed crowd encompassing senior IT leaders from across Acute, Community, Mental and Tertiary healthcare providers, plus some individuals involved in re-shaping the regional health economy, ensured a lively debate around the table.
Despite operating in one of the most challenged and demanding sectors, the tone of the group was universally upbeat. The traditional picture of a risk-averse, clinical population resisting technology adoption seems to have moved on. Patient-demand, rising digital maturity levels amongst clinicians and growing evidence of the tangible benefits of technology adoption means medics are increasingly engaged. Formalising clinical engagement via the recruitment of Chief Clinical Information Officers (CCIO’s) was also increasingly popular, if not without its challenges given the demands on time-poor clinical staff. The infrequency with which IT leaders are represented on the board of healthcare organisations seems also set to change, judging by the sentiment in the room.
The unique opportunity presented by Manchester’s impending shift to devolved funding was high on the agenda. The level of collaboration between the city’s organisations, at all levels, seems to have increased markedly as a result. Forward looking initiatives, fostering greater access to data for patients and clinicians, are surging ahead in the city as stakeholders and sponsors can be rapidly mobilised.
IT leaders are increasingly working in new and innovative ways within their own organisations. Digital start-ups and the utilisation of agile, iterative development techniques incorporating live feedback from clinical users, are all bearing fruit for leaders in the room. Nevertheless the group acknowledged that whilst the region has made a strong start, the next two years are key if tech is to genuinely deliver improved patient care.
Thank you to all who attended the dinner and contributed to the thought provoking discussions.