The digital transformation of the Health Service Executive (HSE) spearheaded by CIO Richard Corbridge is well underway and some 40 new jobs are to be created by the HSE’s technology arm eHealth Ireland during 2016.
Under Corbridge’s leadership, eHealth Ireland has successfully deployed the Individual Health Identifier, moved 50pc of Ireland’s acute hospitals to an eReferral solution and began the complex journey of modernising the ‘digital fabric’ that supports the health system in 2015.
Before Christmas, Corbridge began a public consultation on the HSE’s plans for a new Electronic Health Record system.
Corbridge explained that the new roles that the HSE now has permission to fill will focus across a range of deliveries with an ultimate goal of ensuring that, wherever possible, digital solutions can improve the way health is delivered in Ireland.
“The office of the CIO is focused on delivering the benefits of eHealth Ireland. The ability to add to the workforce with such a fundamental responsibility indicates the importance Government and the Department of Health are placing on eHealth as a tool for healthcare reform.”
The goals of eHealth Ireland were articulated in the Knowledge and Information plan released in the spring of 2015.
The team then went on to deliver some of the items it considered as bringing the most benefit the quickest in 2015 and creating an operating model that would allow it to reflect the way in which care is delivered in the Irish healthcare system.
Ireland lags behind international averages on spend on healthcare IT, with 0.8pc of the HSE budget being made available for technology compared to an EU average of just over 2.5pc.
New digital ethos at HSE puts patient at centre of healthcare delivery
The HSE begins 2016 with just over 280 people within its workforce working within its technology-focused team.
An additional 40 roles in this team will be focused on assuring that where technology is deployed into health it is done with a patient and clinical focus.
The HSE has had a CIO for only one year, the NHS announced this weekend the recruitment of a chief information and technology officer, the fifth time this role has been filed in 10 years. The key requirement in the job role is described as the person having ‘outstanding’ experience.
Corbridge is seen as a rising star on the CIO landscape and is leading the digital transformation of the Health Service Executive (HSE), Ireland’s equivalent to the UK’s NHS. He is also the CEO of eHealth Ireland, which was established to accelerate innovation created in the process of transforming the HSE.
Prior to joining the HSE in December 2014, he was CIO of the NHS’s National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network where he garnered a reputation for implementing bold new strategies that yielded sterling results.
The HSE CIO says he hopes to attract over 40 ‘outstanding’ information and technology professionals to work with him on changing the way health is delivered in Ireland.
He added that he sees technology being fundamental to the way in which health is delivered with the ‘patient at the centre’ by 2020.