John Barrett, eHealth Programme Manager, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Written by Alan Robertson on 25 November 2015 in Feature

For 100 days, Connect is running through our Tech 100 for 2015, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland

John Barrett (@JohnGB16)

Job Title/Organisation: eHealth Programme Manager, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

What does your role involve?

I manage a number of programmes that contribute to the achievement of the Board’s eHealth Strategy. The programmes include the award-winning AYRshare, which is a multi-agency information sharing platform; implementation of an electronic patient record, accessed through portal technology; and various other projects that contribute to the delivery of health and social care.

I also actively encourage personal development and team building through coaching and mentoring of my staff.

What do you consider to be the most imminent challenge in your line of work?

Firstly, to ensure that AYRshare fully supports the information sharing requirements of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 when it comes into force in August 2016. Secondly, provide effective management of a range of projects and initiatives that contribute to health and social care integration.

What has been the most rewarding piece of work you've undertaken?

In recent years it has been my contribution to the design, development and implementation of AYRshare. This involved coordinating the involvement of the three Ayrshire Councils and NHS Ayrshire and Arran to provide a secure platform for information sharing to support Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and the Children and Young People Act.

Social workers, teachers, health visitors, school nurses and other practitioners use AYRshare to share information to help them reduce the risk of harm to children. When I was told that AYRshare had been used to share information that enabled practitioners to intervene to prevent self-harm by a young person, I knew that I had contributed to something that could make a difference to the lives of children and young people.

How can Scotland bridge the digital skills gap?

Align school, college and university course work with the needs of potential employers. Locally, I’ve organised and facilitated visits from Ayrshire schools that have provided insight into how the NHS uses information technology. These visits have been well-received by teachers and pupils, and I hope the visits may encourage young people to consider a career in IT.

Which new technology excites you the most?

The ‘Internet of Things’ and wearable technology may both have a role to play in health and social care. A further challenge we face in the NHS is finding the resources to balance innovation and ‘business as usual’, and this makes it more difficult to explore and exploit new technology.

What's your favourite app and why?

I use OneNote extensively for keeping track of ideas, storing online articles, scanning documents, creating lists (for example, to do lists, things to buy, holiday checklists) and so on.

What, for you, will 2016 be the year of from a technology/digital standpoint?

More use of cloud-based technology and systems integration. But this will need to be accompanied by even more stringent security assessment and provision. 

 

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