EHI Live

Being keen about tech, when I was invited to EHI Live, Birmingham 2014 - I thought why not, I was keen to see what the state of tech in healthcare is at one of these trade shows. 

The theme of the event was two fold, showcasing the latest in EHR platforms and the latest tech approaches for better care. As someone relatively new the challenges of clinical work, it was interesting to see the barriers to implementing change.

CCIO is a group of clinical technology leaders aiming to steer the NHS towards a more connected and usable environment. Dr Joe McDonald spoke about UX and how is a patient safety factor, as professionals time and ultimately stress can be so influenced by the tech systems used daily. This is something I passionately believe in, so it was great it got a mention as one his visions for the future.

One of the most enjoyable presentations was from Iain Hennesy, Alderhey Hospital (Liverpool) as he laid out their vision of better care. Since Alderhey is being completely rebuilt this presented the opportunity to have the newest technology at its heart. I appreciate this event is rare as purse strings tighten, but it was the approach and set up which made the story compelling. The Hospital staff, including management, have bought into a culture of innovation and improvement of services. This has resulted in a disused ward becoming a centre of innovation, support from management and the resources to turn ideas into reality. The results are staggering in their potential, it will be fantastic to follow their progress. The concept of multidisciplinary working was also core value, as he described "hot housing" which is much like a focused hack event.  

The barriers to this are obvious in time, money and access to resources. Overcoming any of these, requires support, dedicated time and an understanding  of the real needs to be addressed. This forms part of the core values to many new start ups strive to abide by, and many do. The pressures for a large organisation to balance costs are huge (non more so in the NHS!) but arguably the potential benefits in efficiency savings and staff morale outweigh this? Taking that leap of faith will dictate the success and failures of health systems to evolve. I believe passionately that giving staff the power to bring their ideas to life is both smart in using their experience and great to foster ownership at work. 

The conference as a whole, it was really interesting to see the themes of Usability, multidisciplinary collaboration and agile testing. These came through in the speakers and in the clinicians/innovators I spoke to at the event. It was great to meet you! As the internet of things matures, and technology moves forward the hospital of the future will be exciting if the opportunities remain to invent. Something I definitely want to be a part of.