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CiLN Award 2019 Winner: Rebecca (Becky) George

Tuesday, 15 October 2019  
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Rebecca (Becky) George, clinical lead allied health informatics, Canterbury District Health Board


Judges’ comment


“Rebecca George has demonstrated strategic and ongoing leadership at local, regional and national level in allied health informatics.


"Her efforts have achieved on-the-ground benefits for clinicians and patients, as well as informatics infrastructure that benefits the wider health system. She has been a visible champion of allied health informatics.”


Nominator quote


“The impact Becky has had in the allied health space in New Zealand is phenomenal. She has created an upswell of interest in data and digital across the allied health community.”


“She provides clinicians in the digital community with support, mentoring and a willingness to always step up and help people. Her knowledge, networking skills, communication style and experience are unique in New Zealand.”




Becky George has been instrumental in leading allied health in the informatics space across New Zealand.


She has a wide range of connections and networks – local, regional, national and international – that has enabled her to grow the passion for data and digital in New Zealand.


In her role at Canterbury DHB as clinical lead for allied health informatics, she has championed the importance of multidisciplinary teams in hospitals.


At a national level she is a superb advocate for her profession of allied health informatics and a powerful voice for DHBs and their information needs on behalf of patients and communities.


National leadership


Becky has demonstrated a commitment to best practice and improving patient care through a number of contributions.


In her role as a member of the Health Information Standards Organisation, she has contributed to the development and publication of many successful standards for the health and disability sector.


These standards have covered a variety of subject matter, from ethnicity data protocols to information governance, medical device identification, SNOMED, notifiable diseases and many more. She was particularly instrumental in the work to establish an allied health data standard.


Her work in HISO has secured a common platform to collect, measure and compare data across DHB allied health in New Zealand, where previously there were 20 different ways of classifying and describing clinical activity undertaken for patients by allied health services.


By leading New Zealand to create its own tier one data set, aligned with the SNOMED-CT, she has enabled allied health in New Zealand to contrast and compare with colleges internationally.


Becky had a vision of connecting allied health clinicians across New Zealand to share the work being done with HISO, but also to enable a community of practice of interested and passionate allied health clinicians and managers to share and learn from each other.


She co-founded and is now chair of the National Allied Health Informatics Group, which has 53 members.


She has been key in raising the profile of allied health with her work on the HiNZ Board. She drove the creation of the eAllied Health symposium linked to the annual HiNZ Conference and is a key organiser of the event, utilising her network and connections to ensure a wide-ranging and interesting programme.


Becky also supports the HiNZ Board to understand the clinical user needs and engagement as chair of its Clinical Technical Advisory Group and she represents both allied health and CTAG as a member of the newly formed Clinical Informatics Leadership Group's advisory panel.


Local leadership


Becky is the project lead for Allied Health Inpatient Digital notes at CDHB where she has led the governance, co-design and build across seven professional groups.


She supported staff in the design, streamlining and standardisation of documentation that engages with smart digital technology, reducing duplication, saving significant time and evolving the collaborative culture of allied health staff.


She led the provision of digital devices for allied health staff on Canterbury’s acute site, ensuring that they met needs appropriately and aligned to the dynamic resource model of staffing.


More than 150 staff now use devices that give them access to the programmes they need wherever they are – enabling versatile working for the clinicians and the patients.


By leading a collaborative approach, Becky has ensured that allied health has been ready for every specialty that has rolled out digital notes.


Engagement with the introduction of this system has raised the profile of allied health professional groups across digital projects and innovation design, facilitating increased inclusion and participation at all levels.


Becky’s work around sharing of key information between allied health groups provides significant time savings with the removal of rework and duplicate information collection.


Incorporating data collection for the National Allied Health Data set within the digital notes has removed the need for additional devices and time-consuming periods of data collection across the allied health professions.


Patients also benefit from this governance model, saving their time and reducing their length of stay in hospital influenced by allied health services.


A visible impact


Becky is a hands-on leader. She empowers staff with knowledge which, in turn, has developed a strong working allied health partnership group for CDHB.


The high level of organisation of allied health has been an example to other services, which has also ensured that the goal of working as multidisciplinary teams is accepted as best practice across the CDHB. This has genuinely changed the way care is delivered.


A good example is the strong multidisciplinary focus of the Cortex platform for inpatient care.


Initially a tool for medical teams, through Becky's influence, this became a platform for multidisciplinary teams, encompassing a circle of care, team communication and digital notes from all specialities.


By ensuring that multidisciplinary care, and ideally interdisciplinary care, is the goal to which our system should aspire, Becky is helping to push the evolution of healthcare in the right direction.


This profile is an edited version of the nomination/s.


If you would like to provide feedback on the above feature article please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.


Read more CiLN Award 2019 finalists:

David Ryan

Robyn Whittaker

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