Chief Clinical Information Officer network launches
A new network of Chief Clinical Information Officers (CCIO) has been established in our region to provide practical clinical and digital advice and guidance across the North East and North Cumbria. The aim of the group is to build on our long history of collaboration in our region and provide assurance on how digital opportunities are delivered.
The group was informally set up by the CCIOs themselves as a way of bringing together a multi-disciplinary group of professionals to facilitate discussion and move forwards on big digital topics. As connections between our organisations are made, we need to collaborate across the region to make sure the digital services we develop and design work well and that we provide strong clinical leadership to make sure our solutions are fit for purpose.
The group is open and inclusive to clinicians involved in health informatics from any background – and to a range of people who may not fall directly within the traditional CCIO bracket, such as nurses, physiotherapists, clinical safety officers etc. The group established itself over six months ago, and now since the establishment of the Integrated Care Board is now being recognised in its digital governance.
Newly elected chair of the group and a consultant in old age psychiatry, Dr Jonathan Richardson said: “It was the right time to establish the group. We are a mixed bunch of specialties and experience and what that brings to the region is a diverse and specialist knowledge base. Many of digital programmes cut across all our organisations so we need a forum where we can progress and discuss and collectively agree our plans of action.”
Dr Jonathan Harness, a GP and CCIO from primary care is vice chair of the group said: “One of the hot topics at the moment is patient access to records. This is where the value of this group can really take shape. Later this year the NHS App will begin flowing a lot more information for patients to access. Whilst we totally support this, there are actions and safeguards we need to put in place which are not just primary care focused. It’s the GP record that is shared from the NHS App, but as letters and information flow in from different parts of the system such as acute or mental health, we need to support patients. By having conversations at a system-wide level we can identify impacts and take appropriate actions.”
The group will now begin reporting into the ICB’s Digital Delivery Group which is a core part of the regional digital governance. The group meets on a bi-monthly basis and includes representatives from across the NHS – all with different clinical backgrounds.
Dr Richardson concludes: “We know digital programmes only work where there are good links with clinical leadership, this group can now come together to discuss and find solutions which best meet the needs of our patients and the system we work in.”