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Find out why technology is so important to the future of Northumbria Healthcare from Dr Karen Connelly

Monday, 23 November, 2020
Find out why technology is so important to the future of Northumbria Healthcare from Dr Karen Connelly

As well as working as a consultant in critical care medicine at Northumbria Healthcare I’m also one of the Chief Clinical Information Officers for the organisation.


Along with Dr Nikhil Premchand, I work closely with the IT and information teams to make sure clinical staff are making the very best use of technology to provide patient care.


This is a really exciting time because we are now working towards an exciting digital future in Northumbria which will mean significant improvements for doctors, nurses and support teams – all of which means better care for our patients.


Our new digital strategy is really tightly focused on linking the work of clinicians with technology and better ways of working so that patients can see a real benefit.


Technology is vital in modern healthcare because we’re now collecting so much data about patients we need the very latest systems and processes to manage this effectively. New digital technologies that can improve healthcare and medicine are coming on stream all the time, so the more we can integrate into our work, the better it will be for everyone.


However, these rapid changes also require changes in behaviour from everyone working in the NHS and this can be very challenging. Often processes or procedures have been done in a certain way for many, many years so any change in that is difficult.


However, in Northumbria we’re really confident that our digital strategy will provide an excellent basis for moving forward. We need to engage and work with as many clinicians as possible to get feedback about how we can make the technology work for them.


Things like digitising patient records, searchable electronic notes, virtual appointments and electronic diagnostics are all really exciting and will make things much better for doctors, nurses and patients.


The NHS response to covid has seen the whole sector moving very quickly and accelerating progress on some of the national digital projects showing just want can be achieved by adopting new technology at pace.