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CiLN Award 2019 finalist: David Ryan

Tuesday, 15 October 2019  
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Return to home page editor Rebecca McBeth


David Ryan, IS clinical change manager, Waitematā District Health Board


Judges’ comment


“David Ryan has shown ongoing commitment to the advancement of clinical informatics, finding and successfully implementing successful solutions to real clinical problems.  As well as leading from the front, he works closely with individuals and teams from multiple disciplines and across organisations to support them in change.” 


Nominator quote


“David has the uncanny ability to identify areas where there are opportunities to further improve the experience for clinicians and patients and he works hard to create solutions that achieve this.


“His ability to delve into and solve complex technical problems, coupled with his excellent interpersonal skills, makes him a remarkable individual.”




David Ryan has led and developed a team to successfully implement a number of in-house and externally developed electronic systems at Waitematā District Health Board and has played a vital role in managing the clinical change process.


He has been instrumental in the development of several key in-house electronic systems, which are used and accessed thousands of times each day, including the Inpatient Snapshot, Nursing Snapshot, Electronic Resuscitation Status and Ceiling of Care Decision Form, and Electronic Clinical Notes.


Inspiring leadership


As a former clinical pharmacist, David has an innate understanding of the clinical workflow and has a special ability to understand what clinicians want, as well as what they don't want. He is passionate about creating electronic solutions that complement the clinical workflow.


His enthusiasm and drive to improve clinician workflow and patient well-being is infectious and his leadership skills have enabled him to develop a small team of like-minded clinicians and technologists to realise his vision.


David is highly regarded not only at Waitematā DHB, but throughout the region as a leader in digital health innovation through his involvement in the creation and development of many key applications, which have become ingrained into everyday clinician workflow at the DHB.


The applications that David and his team create enable clinicians to spend less time interacting with electronic systems and more time doing what is most important – interacting with patients and their whānau.


Articulating the problem and finding the solution


As more systems have become electronic, clinicians are faced with inefficiencies during ward rounds due to the need to interact with more and more applications. This has resulted in significant wait times when switching between applications, leading to increased frustration.


To mitigate this, the Inpatient Snapshot amalgamates and displays data from around 20 different sources including medications, laboratory and radiology results, observations, documents and referrals.


This has enabled clinicians to view pertinent data about a patient at a glance and has significantly improved ward round times and overall workflow, making clinical decisions safer and faster.


The Inpatient Snapshot is being updated to also become a ‘doing’ platform, where a user can directly launch into various applications in order to perform actions rather than to just view data.


The Nursing Snapshot is an adaptation of the Inpatient Snapshot and is designed with a touch interface. It introduces features more suited to the nursing workflow, including indication of when assessments, vitals and medications are due, and the ability to launch directly into these systems using pass-through authentication so that users only have to log in once.


Users are also able to filter patients based on TrendCare allocations, providing a more personalised experience.


Historically, a patient’s resuscitation status was poorly documented on paper and was difficult to find during emergencies. By creating an Electronic Resuscitation Decision Form, users are able to clearly document and view a patient’s resuscitation status from both current and previous admissions.


The form is available on the Inpatient Snapshot, Nursing Snapshot and Electronic Ward Whiteboards, ensuring that this vital piece of information is easily accessible. It has enabled completion rates to be easily audited to ensure compliance with DHB policy. To date, there have been more than 26,000 decision forms completed.


David and his team’s most recent innovation is Electronic Clinical Notes. The application is designed from the ground up and built in-house to replace handwritten clinical notes.


Historically, clinicians often spent a considerable amount of time searching for paper notes and deciphering handwriting. The application attempts to remove these barriers, allowing notes to be accessed from anywhere within the DHB network, and ensures clarity and accountability.


To date, there are approximately 650 beds live with over 300,000 notes written and it is saving approximately 768,000 double-sided pages of handwritten notes each year.


A significant impact


The applications that David has involvement in are utilised by countless members of the multidisciplinary team and benefit a wide array of staff across the organisation, from clerical staff to clinicians to management.


The Electronic Clinical Notes application alone has nearly 2500 unique users and the Inpatient Snapshot is accessed more than 22,000 times per day.


As a leader, David encourages and supports his team and the organisation to strive for health excellence and innovation. He provides his team members the opportunity to dream big and realise their potential by working closely alongside them.


His passion is palpable and shines through in all aspects of his work.


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 Awards 2019 finalists:

Becky George

Robyn Whittaker

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