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HC 2005

Healthcare Computing Conference

Harrogate 21-23 March 2005

A personal review by Rod Ward

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These reports are written on the fly during the conference and posted on the web on a daily(ish) basis, as there are 5 concurrent themes I can not attend all sessions so these comments are based on my own experiences and views. This year I am attending the conference as a member of the press for the journal Computers Informatics Nursing.

Most of my immediate comments/thoughts/photos etc will be posted on the conference blog which I have pioneered with Peter Murray. You are welcome to comment on items on the blog or register & have more flexibility over what you post.

The official conference web sites is at: http://www.health-informatics.org/

Day 3 Papers and presentations

My comments on the papers & presentations for day 3 will appear here.

A group of interesting presentation was given by mebers of the Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit.

Robin Mann described the processes they use to deliver front line clinical engageenet in health informatics. Three examples were used; the first was hte development of record keeping standards, which underwent an iterative process of research, draft standards consultation and education (developing the "layign the foundations" pack avaiolable from http://hiu.rcplondon.ac.uk/education/layingthefoundations/.

The second presentation by Dr Giles Croft discussed the work of the RCP Information Lab (iLab) which helped embers extract and interpret their routine activity data from HES/PEDW linked to consyultant activity codes - enabling the data to be used in appraisal activities and fed back to local trusts.

The team were unable to answer the question which was raised from the audience, about how they would manage a Freedom of Information Act request for this data - along the lines of that recently disclosed for Cardio Thoracic surgeons fater a request by the Guardian - they suggested that these would be refferred to the English or Welsh Health departents - and discussed the problems of use and interpretation of raw data.

These were followed by a humerous description of the experience of junior doctors in handing over patient information and moves to improve this process by Dr Shaibal S. Ray who has recently joined the RCP. He talked about his personal experience and mechanisms developed at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham to help overcome the problems he had experienced and were highlighted in the BMA report "Safer handover : safer patient."

Ian Watmore Ian Watmore, the governments Chief Information Officer, gave a keynote address in which he outlined the forthcoming government IT strategy, at the highest level. He followed his personal potted CV (full of government IT "disasters") with a video message from the prime minister Tony Blair - emphasising the importance of IT to the modernisation agenda. He highlighted the importance of professionalism amongst IT staff for "mission critical projects", with the development of an academy approach. The new strategy will move forward the process of putting the citizen at the centre of the process, and increasing the use of shared services, while ensuring sustainability of the IT sector. He described his concept of the project cycle with traffic light colours from green through orange to red and back up through orange to green on completion, and suggest a black or "rouge-noir" category should be added. He described most projects as entering a red phase where initial expectations are not yet turned into products and services - and during which bad press is attracted. He described the NHS NPfIT as currently being at orange on the downward slope - but expressed his support and optimism for the National Programme. His finished with exhortations to highlight successes and joined the campaign for the word "Bouncebackability" to get accepted as a word in dictionaries.

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My reports of HC 2001 conference , HC 2002 conference & HC 2004 are also available

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To discuss any of my comments please mail: rod@rodspace.co.uk

Page Created: 10.3.05

Last Updated: 24.3.05