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HSE scholarships available for healthcare innovation diploma

By Catherine Reilly - 15th Mar 2021

Concept of global medicine and healthcare. Doctor holds digital tablet. Diagnostics and modern technology

Applications for HSE and Enterprise Ireland partnership, Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI), and Trinity College Dublin one year Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Innovation are now open for September enrolment.

The programme is the only innovation course in the country that is clinician designed and actively recruits from both the frontline and health industry. Now entering its third year, typical students and graduates come from the Department of Health, HSE, primary care, pharma, and health tech.   These form part of a year-on-year growing network of national innovation champions.

Focusing on new health solutions, students gain a practical understanding of applying new technologies in healthcare.  Examining the role of health economics, quality improvement and the principles of governance in leading effective, innovative health services is a key learning.

The postgraduate course culminates with modules seven and eight focusing on a practical project comprising two phases.  They are supported to identify and implement an innovative solution suitable for each participant’s workplace, that will have a positive impact in Irish healthcare. Some of the innovations that students were supported to develop in the 2019/20 cohort:

·         Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) programme for teenagers experiencing social anxiety.

·         Looking at virtual assistants and smart automation services in primary care.

·         Experimental device for screening of Parkinson’s disease.

·         Diagnostics access platform to support   improving clinical care and disease surveillance in low-to-middle income countries.

As a HSE and Enterprise Ireland partnership, HIHI holds a number of places for HSE scholarships, offering reduced fees. The aim is to reach across levels, grades and disciplines in the health service offering the academic opportunity to all. There are seven HSE scholarships available at reduced fees. The students become part of an action focused learning community focused on accelerating change and innovation within their organisations.

Course Director Prof Seamas Donnelly said: “Speaking as a clinician on the frontline, I know we need to adjust and reset some approaches in healthcare in Ireland and this postgraduate course is part of that effort.

“All of our students share a common vision of creating an innovative healthcare system to change the system and improve outcomes for patients. They come from both industry and the healthcare community and that is a unique aspect to this programme of study. Drawing leaders from across healthcare landscape to drive the national healthcare innovation agenda.”

Current student, Mr John Kelly, Deputy CEO, Tallaght University Hospital (TUH), said: “Innovation is one of the key pillar of the TUH Corporate Strategy which was launched in late 2019. I am completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Innovation Healthcare to provide me with the opportunity to enhance my knowledge and skills to assist me to embed a culture of innovation in a large teaching hospital.”

2021 graduate Ms Caitriona Heffernan, Innovation lead, Cork University Hospital, said: “I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to be an agent of change and innovation within their own expert area of work or indeed at a wider organisational level across healthcare. The internal network of healthcare innovators in Ireland is rapidly growing and this is such an exciting time to get involved.”

Applications close on 16 June for HSE scholarships and 30 June for general applications.

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