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Prof Curley said the role may be required in light of stewardship, quality, data protection and other issues arising from increased use of patient data in healthcare.
However, a spokesperson for the HSE told MI that currently, “no decision has been made on the need for this position,” when asked for more details about a possible appointment.
Speaking to this newspaper at the Health Management Institute of Ireland Annual Conference at the RDS in November, the HSE CIO said there could be a need for the creation of such a position.
Prof Curley spoke at the conference on the role of information technology and the e-health strategy for the Irish health service. He said that greater use of electronic patient data will be part of this and issues of stewardship and quality will be matters that need to be addressed and there may be the need for the ‘data tsar’ to work on that.
Prof Martin Curley
Speaking to MI after his talk, Prof Curley said: “It’s something we are just starting to float around and I was able to speak about it last week, and it’s something that has good currency and something that is very much needed.”
Prof Curley did not have any more information regarding the role, as he said he had raised the idea only recently, however he did indicate to this newspaper the type of candidates he thinks could possibly fill the role.
“[Mr] Joe Ryan is currently the DPO [Data Protection Officer] for the HSE and somebody like Joe, I think, would be well positioned to be the data tsar. So we are just starting to get some traction on the idea and we will just see where it goes.”