The HSE intends to fill the role of Director of Digital Transformation and Open Innovation following the resignation in January of the previous occupant, Mr Martin Curley.
A HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that the role of Director of Digital Transformation and Open Innovation would continue and was “currently being filled in an acting capacity”.
“In parallel, we are actively seeking to recruit permanently to the role”, they added.
The spokesperson said “all aspects of the role and brief of the Director of Digital Transformation and Open Innovation are currently being considered and, at present, the brief is being covered by the HSE National Director, Change and Innovation [Ms Yvonne Goff].”
“Mr James McGrane has been appointed as General Manager, Digital Transformation, to manage day-to-day activities.”
Mr Curley was appointed as HSE Chief Information Officer (CIO) in 2018. However, in 2019, he took the new role of Director of Digital Transformation and Open Innovation and Mr Fran Thompson became CIO in an interim capacity. Mr Thompson is currently CIO on a permanent basis.
As previously reported, the HSE also plans to employ a new Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Chief Technology and Transformation Officer (CTTO).
The HSE spokesperson said the CISO and STTO “will work alongside” the CIO “in technology transformation”.
However, the HSE noted “no recruitment campaign is running for these roles currently”.
The HSE also confirmed to MI that there has been no eHealth Ireland committee meeting since 18 September 2019 and that the committee “is no longer in place”. The minutes of the meeting of the committee on 18 September 2019 do not note this would be its final meeting. However, the HSE told this newspaper that a technology and transformation committee, which was established in June 2022, has now replaced the work of the eHealth Ireland committee.
Separately, the issue of information technology and e-health was a significant topic at the National Health Summit in Croke Park last month. Addressing the issue during a questions and answers session, IHCA President Prof Robert Landers praised some IT developments in the health service, such as those associated with the roll-out of the Covid and flu vaccine. However, he told this newspaper there is room to improve.
“It is frustrating and the pace of digital change within the acute hospital system is just painfully slow,” Prof Landers told MI.
“We really are looking for this to be accelerated, right through the system it seems like other Government departments can do it, like revenue services, it has also been done in education. Health just seems to be lagging behind. So we really need a real focus now on digital transformation of the entire healthcare system, but including the hospital system.”