CCIO: Crossing the Chasm

In summer 2011, E-Health Insider luanched the Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) Campaign. It called for NHS organisations to consider appointing a CCIO to champion Information Communication Technology (ICT) projects and the use of information to improve healthcare.

On the first of September 2013, I took off my cloak of clinical manager to don a new set of responsibilities under the title of CCIO. I have crossed the chasm and decided to explore relatively unchartered territory in my organisation. In my first month in the new role, I have noted that the role of CCIO is still shrouded in a veil of mystery due to its infancy in UK healthcare.

I have therefore created the below infographic to hopefully give a flavour of what I am tasked to achieve:Continue reading “CCIO: Crossing the Chasm”

Do Better

Its been one of those hectic weeks with plenty of surprises. Most of the clinical team that I manage have been on summer annual leave so I have had the pleasure of stepping in their shoes to offer clinical support to the people using our service.  I have to say that this was a good week simply because of the opportunity to immerse myself in the experience of the people who use our service and the clinicians who work in the service.

It was also a week of a lot of learning and celebration. On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of bringing together the ‘My Journey‘ app project team for a photo shoot as we have been shortlisted for the E-health Insider Award  ‘Excellence in Mobile Health’ award. It was wonderful to catch up with the project group and in particular, the young person who previously used the Early Intervention service and has been involved with the project. A few of us caught up over some coffee after the photos were taken and he informed me that he is due to be interviewed by Surrey’s Eagle Radio after being nominated as Surrey’s local hero for all his hard work.  I really can’t think of anyone who deserves this accolade more.Continue reading “Do Better”

The Power of Connection

I think it’s a very exciting time to be working in health and social care. Nurses, Doctors, Social Workers and Allied Health Professionals are often the first point of contact for anyone in need of health and social care around the clock, 24 hours the day of every week for 365 days every year.

Recent research shows that a person with a severe and chronic illness will spend on average 12 hours a year with health and social care workers. Whereas an individual who has transient or mild illness will only spend on average 4 hours a year with health and social care professionals. The remaining 5000 hours a year are spent socializing with peers, work colleagues and alike. The interaction that happens during these 5000 hours not only provides social support but more and more, evidence shows that these interactions influence individuals’ health choices and behaviours.Continue reading “The Power of Connection”

The Trials & Tribulations of Developing Health Apps: Part 2

Developing a Mental Health App: ‘My Journey’

Why Did We Build My Journey?
In my role as a mental health nurse I have been entrusted with young people’s deepest fears and hopes about their mental health. Several of those accessing our Early Intervention in Psychosis service expressed their wish for a way to identify mental health issues earlier and to have an accessible service on hand. It is an open referral service, so the better the information about how to seek help, the better the chance of being able to intervene early in the course of a mental health problem. Many of them felt that the journey into our service had been complicated by a lack of relevant and attractive information.

Over time this feedback coalesced into an expressed wish to be able to use their mobile phones as part of the services they received from us. Some of their ideas were about being able to get appointment reminders, medication reminders, track their mood and share the progress they were making with people who they deemed important in their recovery. It was clear that this could bring significant benefits and that we needed to make it happen.Continue reading “The Trials & Tribulations of Developing Health Apps: Part 2”

The Challenges of Digital Engagement in Healthcare at HC2013

I was recently given 60 seconds to comment on the challenges of digital engagement in healthcare. I offered my 2 pence on the matter (please see the video above). I also thought of what is happening online in 60 seconds and I think this inforgraphic illustrates the vast amount of digital activity really well.

The Role of the Clinician in Digital Healthcare

As a self professed geek, I have to say that I am pleased to see so much interest in technology’s role in healthcare a.k.a e-health. One of the things that I like about the current direction of travel is the increasing involvement of clinicians in informing and driving e-health.

I am also aware that others are not so keen on the increasing use of technology in healthcare, for various reasons. Instead of widening the gap between those of us who do and those who do not believe that technology will revolutionise healthcare, I have made a personal and professional choice to share my experiences of driving efficiency and service improvement using technology. I am doing this in the hope that it will open up channels for more dialogue and debate to explore the drivers and barriers to wider adoption at scale.

Having just recovered from the E-Mental Health Conference that I helped to host last month, the coming months are going to be very interesting as I present the ‘My Journey’ Youth Mental Health App and hear others’ experiences of using technology in healthcare. I am going to be listening and speaking at the following events:

  1. HC2013 National Health IT Conference on 17th April where I will be speaking about the evidence for mobile health at the ICC Birmingham;
  2. Royal Society of Medicine Using Apps to Transform Healthcare on 18th April;
  3. Live Information Exchange Webinar with Vancouver Island Health Authority on 23rd April (Password: Youth);
  4. The Nursing Stream of the Chief Clinical Information Officer  Campaign in London on 13th June;
  5. Medicine 2.0: Social Media, Mobile Apps and Web 2.0 in Medicine, Health and Biomedical Research  taking place in London on September 23-24;
  6. International Youth Mental Health Conference which will look at how young people are influencing services and the role of technology in youth mental health;

I hope I get to see some of you at the above events or engage with you via my Twitter handle: @S_Amani.

“My mother is 93 years old and has an iPad. She wants to know why she can’t FaceTime the practice nurse. So do I”

Harnessing the Power of Digital for Better Mental Health

Three months ago, I received a call and my mission, if I chose to accept it, was to bring together thought leaders who are active in the mental health digital and social media arena. It was with total and unashamed glee that I accepted this request to arrange an event to explicitly celebrate the increasing role of technology in mental health care.  

It just so happens that I had been working with some inspirational leaders to drive for the first UK E-Mental Health strategy, so the timing couldn’t have been better.The details were scant enough to allow my creativity to guide how this event would play out.Continue reading “Harnessing the Power of Digital for Better Mental Health”

Human Bandwidth is an Asset to Be Treasured not Buried

bored staffAccording to Forbes, staff engagement is “the emotional commitment that the employee has to the organisation and its goals.”

Some might rightly ask: ‘Why does that matter? Why do my staff need to be emotionally committed to the organisation and its goals to do their work?’

The simple and scientifically proven answer is this:

Engaged Staff Get Better Outcomes

How does employee engagement lead to better outcomes? The ROI of engagement comes from:

   Higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to…

      Higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…

           Increased Business (repeat referrals), which leads to…

            Higher levels of profit, which leads to…

               Higher returns ”  Kevin Kruse, Forbes (2012) 

I am a firm believer in staff engagement. This might be due to my discovery that it actually works! It may also be related to my cultural ethos: as an African saying goes:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together

Understandably, some people find that the time and resource needed to engage staff is a huge challenge. This can lead to those with power, essentially foregoing the engagement and forging ahead with their plans without staff input.

Several weeks ago, I was sitting on my desk after a particularly challenging day and I checked my twitter (I do this to re-energize) and saw a welcome tweet from Dean Royles (CEO of NHS Employers) to announce a new guide for NHS Employers to effectively use social media. I remember sitting at my desk thinking that this is a great step in the right direction: an informed approach to using social media in health care for a host of uses, including staff engagement.

A week later, I was approached by Nursing Standard to comment on the growing use of social media in health care.  My response is shown in the below article: