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CiLN urges clinicians to join conversation online during COVID-19 outbreak

Monday, 16 March 2020  
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Return to home page editor Rebecca McBeth


The Clinical Informatics Leadership Network urges clinicians to join their online community to share knowledge and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak.


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


More than 320 clinicians from around New Zealand are already members and interacting online via a forum called Discourse. Another 92 non-clinicians are participating in the NZ Informatics Forum as Digital Health Leaders.


Discourse was set up by the UK’s Digital Health Networks, which hosts the NHS Chief Clinical Information Officer and Chief Information Officer networks, as well as others.


This means New Zealand members have the opportunity to not only learn from each other, but share experiences and resources with colleagues in the UK.


CiLN co-chair Karen Blake says the forum has been buzzing with activity since the COVID-19 outbreak began, with hundreds of clinicians and IT leaders contributing.


Current discussions include tips on video conferencing tools, COVID-19 resources and information on care pathways for patients with the virus.


“Our ability to learn from the UK, who are a couple of weeks ahead of us in terms of this outbreak, is incredibly valuable,” says Blake.


“And they are learning what’s happening with their colleagues across Europe so it really has developed into an international community.”


CiLN advisory panel member and chair of Health Informatics NZ Rebecca George says Discourse is providing people with up-to-date information on the latest developments and the CiLN community is committed to ensuring that the health sector is developing collaborative scalable solutions in response.


“At this time, all clinicians are seeking creative ways of meeting their patients’ needs and this community can support you in doing that,” she says.


George says CiLN members are committed to using digital solutions to meet the needs of the health sector.


During the pandemic, members are working to:

  • support colleagues and family/whānau, friends and communities to take care of themselves, communicating the public health messages wherever and whenever they can
  • ensure that they are enabling and leading staff and supporting patients/consumers to use digital platforms, eg, telehealth where appropriate
  • ensure that they are leading the reduction of risk to communities and themselves by role modelling social distancing through integrating virtual work platforms and prioritising face to face requirements.

Membership of CiLN is free thanks to the support of HiNZ. To read more about CiLN see our information page and FAQ page.


Apply to join CiLN here.


If you would like to provide feedback on this news story, please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.


Read more news:

CiLN membership passes 300

CiLN Advisory Panel update – March 2020


For more information and resources about COVID-19 go to

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