The CIO Show: Vertical series - Digitising healthcare

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In this episode of The CIO Show, we kick off our monthly verticals series looking at the healthcare sector in Australia and how its digital transformation journey is progressing.

For years, the industry had the dubious distinction of being among the least technically savvy, but that has changed dramatically as improvements in computing and communications have brought us closer to a world where our health records and history become completely digital.

Alastair Sharman, chief digital officer at Queensland's Mater Health, discussed the core pillars he has established to drive and guide digital projects while managing some very large moving parts.

Alan Pritchard, director of EMR and ICT services at Victorian healthcare group Austin Health, responds to the somewhat rhetorical question as to whether IT leaders in health have the same ‘freedom to fail’ as their peers in other industries. Yes, as with most questions in health, the answer is rather nuanced.

Both men describe how their respective healthcare organisation are embracing technologies and platforms such as CRMs normally associated with marketing and sales as part of their efforts to improve digital systems for better patient care.

And Sharon Hakkennes, senior director analyst with Gartner, and herself a former CIO in the healthcare space, explains why many organisations in the sector – be they public or private – have a tough road ahead in successfully bringing together all the elements to realise the vision of fully integrated digital care.

You need only look at the slow progress of the much-vaunted My Health Record to understand the scale of the challenge and how fraught it can be.

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