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CXIO network gains ground in Australia

CXIO network gains ground in Australia

Date: 1 October 2018

Australia’s Chief X Information Officer Network has more than 160 members and a thriving online forum, the chief executive of the Health Informatics Society of Australia says.

Louise Schaper will present at the 2018 HiNZ conference in Wellington on 21–23 November on the digital health workforce and professional advancement in Australia.

HISA launched the CXIO Network in May this year with seed funding from the Australian Digital Health Agency and it now has 167 members who get access to an online community and members-only events and webinars.

Schaper says the aim of the network is to “raise awareness of digital health and provide a common platform to get clinicians of all shapes and sizes to come together and learn from each other, network and explore what the future of our health system may look like when it comes to digital informatics”.

Anyone trained as a clinician and who still works in healthcare can join the network and Schaper says the online forum has been particularly successful with lively discussions around current events and even a book club.

She tells that HISA has always had a strong focus on clinical leadership as it was founded by clinicians. However, while there are a lot of clinicians getting into digital health, the majority “have variable awareness or understanding about what’s happening in terms of all the things digital”.

Clinicians with an interest in informatics are sometimes given roles and become the “person who knows about computers”, but can feel quite isolated and unaware of the industry and network of people specialising in digital health, says Schaper.

“Time and time again we have got clinicians saying ‘I have got this job but I’m not sure what I should be doing, can I have a chat with someone?’,” she says.

“It’s about increased recognition that the skills and experience people have in these roles is incredibly valuable and organisations need to value and grow that capability across their entire workforce,” says Schaper.

She says the trend is positive in terms of more formal CXIO-type roles being established and better understanding about why they exist, as well as greater competition to fill them.

Some Australian organisations have a suite of digital health roles for different health professional groups, but that is still a rarity. Part of the role of the network is to help build the case for these positions to be established and funded, explains Schaper.

“Without clinical leadership and input into these change programmes they are going to have limited success because clinicians are on the frontline, they know the problems and can assist in solving or addressing those issues,” she says.

To read more about the 2018 HiNZ Conference click here >>


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