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Ministry supports Clinical Informatics Leadership Network

Tuesday, 11 June 2019  
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Video: editor Rebecca McBeth interviews CiLN member and healthAlliance clinical process analyst Anna-Marie Scroggins. editor Rebecca McBeth

The Ministry of Health data and digital directorate has lent its support to the new Clinical Informatics Leadership Network as “key partners to inform the development and implementation of local, regional and national solutions”.


Deputy director data and digital Shayne Hunter says the Ministry has seen the enthusiasm of clinicians wanting to be a part of transforming the system with data and digital solutions.


“The role clinicians can play is varied and all data and digital initiatives in health should consider engaging with CiLN or with CiLN members at an early stage of development,” he says.


CiLN is a New Zealand-based, multidisciplinary and responsive health network for people with a clinical background and interest in data and/or digital.


The network is growing at pace with more than 170 members nationwide and a range of clinical backgrounds, including around 60 doctors, more than 50 nurses and 20 allied health professionals.


Supported by Health Informatics New Zealand, the network held its second national meeting in Christchurch on 20 May where members confirmed its three key roles.


The first is to “act as an easy way for clinical leaders to communicate, network and share skills and knowledge about data and digital services from within and outside New Zealand”.

The network also aims to provide a unified and influential clinical voice in data and digital services in New Zealand and will work to raise awareness of the importance of clinical roles in the data and digital sectors.

“CiLN supports clinicians involved in health decision making and those who work with them. Ultimately patients, whānau and communities will benefit from our work,” the
network's mission statement says.


The first CiLN co- chairs are Ruth Large, clinical director information services and virtual health care, Waikato DHB and Karen Blake, regional manager health informatics at healthAlliance.


Blake says clinicians need to be more involved in the procurement and implementation processes for digital health systems.


“We need to shift away from buying solutions looking for a problem, to understanding what problems clinicians and patients have and finding solutions that respond to that,” she says.


Anaesthetist and UK Digital Health Fellow Nathan Kershaw moderates the CiLN online forum which uses Discourse, the same platform used by the UK's clinical informatics leaders.


"Discourse has made it easy for us to share conversations over a wide range of topics freely, and we now have a thriving community which is active online as well as in the flesh," he says.


"This is true nation-wide data and information sharing, in the very way that we would like to see it shared across the health system."


CiLN member Anna-Marie Scroggins, clinical process analyst at healthAlliance, says the network is also important for being able to advocate as a group.


“More clinical informatics staff are needed and so having a body of people who can advocate, and also for stakeholders to engage with around clinical informatics, is of immense benefit,” she says.


Apply to join CiLN here.


Watch this video to find out more about CiLN, as Rebecca McBeth interviews key influencers in the digital health sector: 


Related content:

Clinical IT leaders create national network 

CiLN: Nursing director takes lead on EMR project

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