You can use your existing Medical Independent, MediLearning or PharmacistCPD account to log in. is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

The benefits of registering: only registered users:
  • receive the ecCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • have automatic access to our free CPD sites.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.

Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

Download the new Mindo app for both IOS & Android.

  • Get notified when a story goes live
  • Access Premium Content
  • Read Offline
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public"]

You are reading 1 of 2 free-access articles allowed for 30 days

Thinking outside the box

By Dermot - 14th Sep 2016 | 2 views

Where does the ability to innovate truly come from for health tech to become the catalyst for change it has the promise to be?

In healthcare globally, there are multiple examples where the delivery of health has looked to businesses elsewhere for inspiration that has often been instrumental in change. The example wheeled-out regularly is the experiment that Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK made in the 1990s to consider how a McLaren F1 pit-stop ‘business process’ could be applied to the operating theatre. An increase in safety and a huge development in the concept of the safe theatre came from this experiment. Health can see how business processes like those applied through the Lean concepts by Toyota can truly reform the way health is delivered in a more efficient and safe manner. In the last decade in the UK, the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) adopted Toyota’s lean processes and applied them to the way in which permission to start a clinical trial is put in place. Under this initiative, the start time went from over 120 days to less than 15 days in under 12 months, all supported by digital solutions that learned and continued to learn. 

Throughout the definition of a modern healthcare system and how it can be achieved in the UK, Australia and the US, we have seen comparisons made to Uber, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, AirBnB and LinkedIn. All truly disruptive to how their relatively uniform businesses have been delivered for years. 

It is a really difficult concept though, to consider that the wealth of knowledge inside medicine and healthcare delivery may need to look elsewhere to learn lessons and then consider how to apply them. However, when we look at digital health, then the lesson-learning ought to be easier, particularly in Ireland, where the digital community is so huge. Why would the agencies responsible for the delivery of health in Ireland not look to other digital-first organisations to provide advice, guidance, lessons learned and experiences? It should not matter whether the experiences of those organisations are in media, entertainment, IT delivery or indeed in global health — they will all have something we can learn from and help us build an ecosystem that is robust and ready to truly place the digital experience at the heart of the delivery of care.

Creating an ecosystem will not always be something that we can make happen for no cost. Resources will sometimes need an incentive to become part of it. That is relatively easy when we are talking about people in health, but the altruistic motive of those who are ‘in the know’ when it comes to digital may not always be at the forefront. With that in mind, a minimal cost may sometimes need to be placed on the value of the experiences and knowledge. After all, we don’t expect architects to give us free advice on how to build a new primary care centre, so why would we expect digital experts to do the same for a national IT solution?

The role of an IT professional, I have always said, should be business agnostic within reason, and yet I have personally been in healthcare technology for 20 years. My peer group of CIOs though ranges across a width of technology backgrounds, and that, as described already, is the only way I believe we will be successful.

As Rear Admiral Grace Hopper is often quoted as saying: “The most dangerous phrase in the language is, ‘we’ve always done it this way’.”

eHealth Ireland and the team delivering digital solutions in the HSE are here to do it differently.

Leave a Reply

[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]
Latest Issue
The Medical Independent – 24 June 2021

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

[the_ad_placement id="main-mpu-public"]
Most Read
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]