Monday


Monday20 Mar 2006 05:18 pm

In this session Glyn Hayes and Pam Hughes described the current work on the development of standards and continuing professional development for registration with the UK Council for Health Informatics Professionals (UKCHIP). A wide range of national and international standards have been taken into account and mapped against work in the field. The processes of initial application and ongoing registration are also undergoing development, in moves towards becoming part of the statutory professional regulation with the Health Professions Council.

The need for the CPD monitoring process to be understandable and reasonably easy to complete – particularly for those who also have registration with other bodies was emphasised. During the question and answer session, the importance of clearly spelling out the benefits for potential registrants was also highlighted

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Conference&Monday20 Mar 2006 04:08 pm

A very successful workshop , titled ‘Communities, culture and coercion?’ was held on Monday afternoo. It was organised by the Nursing Specialist Group (NSG) of the British Computer Society (BCS) – www.bcsnsg.org.uk – and followed on immediately from the group’s AGM.

The workshop was attended by about 50 people. It began with a series of short presentations, and concluded with an exercise involving small group discussion of some of the issues raised by the speakers.

Janette Bennett, Team Lead for BT Health Executive gave the first presentation, giving ‘The suppliers perspective’ on issues such as:

  • how do you attract a health informatician

  • how do you recognise a health informatician

  • how do you compare with an existing workforce

  • what qualifications are recognised

  • what does experience or qualification mean to a supplier

  • what skills are used.

She suggested that very few suppliers have a good idea of what they want from clinicians when they seek to recruit them, and that being a good clinician does not necessarily make you a good health informatician.

    Next, Paula Procter, from University of Sheffield, gave a perspective on ‘Nursing and NpfIT’. She asked why, as NPfIT had started in 2003, it had taken until 2005 before the clinical leads were appointed (including nursing clinical leads). She stated that desapite there being over 650,000 nurses registered with the NMC in the UK, making them the largest body of clinicians, there is only one nurse at CfH in the technical office.

    She asked what nurses are learning about NPfIT, suggesting that there is nothing about health informatics in many nursing curricula. She discussed the unique role of the nurse in today’s healthcare, with nurses the only clinical group who are there with patients etc. all the time. She suggested that NPis fiT being built around clinicians who do bits of care, and it is not being built around the unique role of nurses.

    Paula concluded by stating that much of what is happening is the mechanising of processes, and that nobody has done an information flow for health services. She warned that if IT conflicts with practice, nurses will not use IT.

    Ann Adams, from University of Warwick, looked at how IT fits with working relationships, both among clinicians and between clinicians and patients. She looked at factors affecting the work environment, including policy, values, resources, and IT implemenation (which has to interact with the other three).

    Some preliminary findings from research on nurse practitioners’ use of knowledge resources found:

  • trust is a key element – do nurses trust IT? – trusted mediators of information are important

  • nurses did not use many Web resources – tended to use RCN website – used some electronic resources with which they were familiar through long use.

Rod Ward, from University of the West of England, gave the last short presentation, on some research he is involved with on ‘Measuring attitudes to IT in the NHS’. He described a current and ongoing project to develop and validate a UK tool, and that they had found many existing tools, mainly from the USA, unsuitable due to their focus on billing processes. A 70 item Likert scale has been developed and sent to 800 NHS staff in 3 Trusts for test and retest. It will be compared with an existing tool (Stronge and Brodt).

Some key factors beginning to emerge from prelimary data returns are that age and gender are not a significant factor (they are less important than previous studies show); previous IT education and exposure is a factor; whether IT links to current work practices is a factor; the way in which IT is introduced is a significant factor and leads to resistance and obstruction.

Questions in the small group discussion were:

What have your own experiences taught you about:

  1. what your managers did to support a successful implementation of a health informatics project?

Answers included:

Benefits-focused – managers behind the benefits;

Need to have a good system in the first place to ‘sell’;

Have to know what system did in the first place – clinicians often didn’t know what they wanted or what the workstream was;

Managers give staff the time to get involved – clinicians need time to get involved in informatics projects – need to understand the workflow;

Formal partnership with unions to get involvement.

  1. Successful methods for promoting a good/friendly image of health informatics?

Answers included:

‘Is impossible’;

Psychological issues around change management need to be addressed;

Asking people at the ‘coalface’ about their work;

Breaking down barriers between HI and clinical users;

Avoid ‘them’ and ‘us’ – by engaging clinicians;

Celebrate the work done at the coalface.

  1. What clinicians want health informatics to do for them?

Answers included:

(Current) ways of working made easier;

What does HI do for the patient? – must give patients more power and influence over health info., inc. ownership of own records;

Many clinicians don’t have a clue what HI could do as is not in pre-reg. education etc. – so is difficult for them to imagine what something they don’t know/understand can do;

Minimum effort needed for maximum patient benefit.

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Keynotes&Monday&Uncategorized20 Mar 2006 12:33 pm

The conference opened with keynote sessions from Charles Hughes (President, BCS), Richard Jeavons (Director of IT service implementation, NHS Connecting for Health), and Kattie Davis (Director of Government IT Profession, e-Government Unit, The Cabinet Office). The common theme was the need for greater professionalism within the IT professions and their key role in the delivery of public sector services.

Perhaps the most significant comments were from Richard Jeavons, after nine months in his post as Director of IT service implementation, NHS C4H, who urged everyone involved to recognise the changes which have taken place in the NHS since Connecting for Health & the National Programme for IT were created. He described plans to move from 80:20 national to local to 20:80 with power and delivery being nearer to patients and local communities. He used sections of the Departement of Health Document Health reform in England: Update and next steps (published in December 2005) as his basis and recomended everyone involved to examine the document and it’s implications.

Generally the speakesrs were strong on positive sounding phrases, but short on implementation on the ground and when challenged, during the questions session, on the way Health Informatics professionals have been treated under Agenda for Change, were unable to give concrete responses beyond saying it needs to be investigated and that it is likely to be very similar in other sectors.

Rod

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