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”

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.

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”

How I Use Social Media To Compliment My Work

One of the biggest criticisms of social media is its potential to diminish performance by wasting time & encouraging procrastination. Whilst this is a potential risk, I am going to talk about my personal experience of using social media to compliment my work. I believe that smart use of social media can promote learning, collaboration and improve performance. This recent BBC article on the pitfalls of ignoring social media in any business strategy further affirms my beliefs. I am going to predominantly look at Twitter which I use more so than any other social network.

I signed up for  a personal account on Twitter (see @S_Amani) in 2009 but didn’t actually start to use it until November 2010. The reason being, I just didn’t get what it was about – why were people posting these short sentences – and links? And I couldn’t like their posts like on Facebook. And the whole followers thing. How can a person have 70, 000 followers – why were these people following this person? What are they gaining?? I was baffled.

That changed in 2010 after I signed up for a MSc in Health Care Management. I remember speaking to the professor who was leading the programme at the time and expressing my concern about the lack of time to read & analyse research papers due to my full time job. He had an amused look when I described my typical way of finding, reading & analysing papers. This used to typically involve a mix of library, google and Athens searches then printing papers out, highlighting sections with different colour highlighter markers…you get the gist.

He casually picked up his iPad and showed me his primary source of information: Twitter. This surprised me. At the time, I also remember thinking – this totally blows the whole argument of social media only being for certain generations. By following the right people and quickly scanning the timeline, I was soon able to find papers relevant to my studies. But that wasn’t what really sealed the deal for me – it was the ability to talk to the authors, the researchers and the very people affected by various policies, in real-time.

Another factor that drew me on to Twitter was a new part-time job as a Youth Mental Health Network Lead for the South East of England. I started this job in December 2011 and was tasked with mobilising people who are passionate about the mental health of adolescents and young adults across Surrey, Sussex & Kent. An exciting but challenging task. One of the more effective means of communicating across such a large geographical area has been via the Youth Mental Health Network Online Network (a social network for members) and via the Youth Mental Health Network Twitter account which has grown to 1100 followers in just 5 months (see @Time4Recovery).

My previous posts regards my Emerging Leader Award 2010, Mary Seacole Award 2011, TEDMED 2012 Scholarship etc are further testaments of the potential positive uses of social media – if used wisely & productively. I can honestly say that I would not have been fortunate enough to win these awards had it not been for me being able to access interactive information shared via Twitter.

Social media is not for everyone, but it is an option for those who enjoy working collaboratively and using less conventional means to communicate. For those still sitting on the fence, I say give it a try and lurk around a site or 2 – you might be pleasantly surprised.  Claire over at ClaireOT’s blog has a real handy quick start guide  for using Twitter.  Lastly, the most convincing element of social media for me have been the connections that I have made with a range of people from all sorts of backgrounds – some of whom I have been fortunate to meet in real life. This ability to network with thinkers and doers who pride themselves in making a difference by innovating has been the final selling point for me. I hope you find using social media as enlightening as I have.