Queensland’s first Chief Clinical Information Officer, Professor Keith McNeil, has started in his new role.
Prof McNeil held a similar role in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) before being appointed Assistant Deputy Director-General, Clinical Excellence Division, and Chief Clinical Information Officer. He has previously held a number of roles in Queensland Health, most recently as the Chief Executive of the Metro North Hospital and Health Service. Professor McNeil said the purpose of his new role, a first for Queensland, was to guide Queensland Health’s journey into a more digitised environment and harness the power of data.
"Queensland is in a very unique position in the world to bring together the power of data across a population of nearly five million people. There is no one else in the world that’s done that. My role is to bring the whole piece together – bring the technology piece together, the implementation piece, the usability piece; so that we can generate that data, and that information and knowledge that can be used to better inform the system."
He said the move towards a more digitised health agenda was driven by the need to transform healthcare. "We need a big disruption in healthcare because of financial pressures, increasing demand, changes in the type and complexity of our patients – we can’t keep going the way we are going because it’s simply not sustainable. We’re adapted at the moment to treating people with single episodic-based care. What we need to do is move to a continuum of care that is not just based on acute hospitals, and we can do that with the power of information."
He said patients would be a key focus for his portfolio. "It’s absolutely about providing better care to patients. This is the biggest investment we can make in safety and quality. Patients benefit through increased safety and efficacy and by providing more sustainability for the system, we can afford to provide better care and thus the patient experience is much better."
"Technology for us is firmly rooted in how we can provide better patient outcomes and better patient experiences in an affordable healthcare environment. That is the ‘triple aim’ of modern healthcare, and together we can make it happen."