Robert Madelin, Director General for Information Society and Media at the European Commission then gave a European perspective from which it appears that the UK is less than optimally engaged in collaborative endeavours on the continent.
He was followed by Dr. Charles Gutteridge, National Clinical Director for Informatics (DH Informatics Directorate) whose observations touched on the use of clinical data entry systems in the consultation setting - referring to his own personal use of what appeared to be a Cerner product (Dr. Gutteridge oversaw the implementation of Cerner Millennium at Bart's of which we had personal experience!) he noted that others in his practice on the Whitechapel road were not so committed to using these systems and that there was clearly work to do in encouraging clinicians to take this kind of informatics activity seriously.
He also talked about the health messages the public receive from their environment with special reference to the dense clustering of fried chicken outlets and off-licences on the Whitechapel road - and how we need to make the data we capture as clinicians more readily available and comprehensible to the patients who are its source and end. Dr. Gutteridge has been championing the Summary Care Record this year - “I think one of the changes for the next five years is where and how patients use web accessible systems to talk to medical and health professionals about their health.” - see eHealth Insider's article here from May.
See our next post for our own perspective on this - something your blogger ought to have asked about in the Q&A session at the end of the afternoon - as one of the few present eligible to ask a question in the under-35-year-old category! Time constraints and the role of informaticians in facilitating data capture by clinicians.
From perspectives on the future, the second session of the afternoon moved to the coalface - "Rooted in Reality" was the theme.
Marlene Winfield, Director for Patients and Public (outgoing) in the DoH Informatics Directorate spoke as a patient - asking for patients' endeavours in managing their own healthcare and being industrious enough to seek out information on their conditions to be encouraged by clinicians rather than dismissed (apparently some patient notes are branded with sticker "Internet User" as a warning to other clinicians that this patient is self-educating about their condition - to clarify, the sense is pejorative). She made a comment which really stuck with us: other industries (banking, supermarkets, airlines) have figured out how to use their customers as cheap labour - why not healthcare? "Allow me to access the tools and information to manage my own health". She also adduced the RCP document - The Future Physician.
More to come on talks by Prof. Martin Severs and Dr. William Dixon in the next installment...