Posted by: Tony Shannon | November 17, 2014

Medical Leadership/Complex Systems/Open Data- Presentation to University College Dublin/Ireland East Hospital Group

After several years away, I was back within my alma mater, the environs of University College Dublin Medical School at the Mater Hospital in Dublin earlier this month to present at an interesting Contemporary Issues in Hospital Practice workshop for their emerging Ireland East Hospital Group organised by my colleague Dr Leo Lawler.

My own presentation entitled “Medical Leadership: Complex Systems: Open Data”was aimed at stirring up some thinking in a few areas;

Starting by acknowledging healthcare under pressure/in crisis in Ireland and across the globe. Then the related “Doctor Crisis“, with the medical profession being adversely impacted by this healthcare crisis. As Healthcare is now a team effort we doctors need to forgo some of our sacred clinical independence for the greater good. In essence there is a need for medical professionals to better understand the science and art of effective management and work with both nursing and management colleagues to achieve change. Indeed there is a real need for medical professionals to lead the changes required in healthcare from the front and even be prepared to take on roles such as the CEO of the hospital in line with international medical leaders elsewhere.

Healthcare needs to be understood as a complex rather than just complicated system (note a brief introduction to Cynefin), and in doing so we should look for simple patterns that can be harnessed for change. An example is the universal people+process+technology elements needed to achieve any change – such as the 4 hour standard in Emergency Medicine in the NHS/ the ATLS approach in Trauma Care/ many other service designs in healthcare.

Within healthcare we need to appreciate the value of open data in driving change. “If you cannot measure it you cannot improve it”. To deliver on that what is universally needed to transform 21st Century Healthcare is an “open platform” centred around the patients healthcare (i.e. not around a single institution). Finally a suggestion to my UCD colleagues to think about joining forces with other international leaders in this field and help lead on this approach within the Irish system and across the globe.

Related Slides available here

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