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Helen Hughes is a member of the HIMSS Future50 Class of 2021.
Patient Safety Learning
People in health information and technology have an overwhelming desire to be a force for good, regardless of profit objectives. Even in competitive situations, people collaborate in groups – such as those at HL7 – to seek the best ways to solve challenges. On the negative side, innovation is too fragmented. Too often, we reinvent solutions without applying what we learned from the experience of implementation. We see this problem in patient safety, too. We need to be better about sharing innovations and learning to deliver better and safer patient care and treatment.
There is significant venture capital funding pouring into health, but developing innovations/products remains slow. In the U.K., taking an idea from concept to mass adoption in healthcare typically takes 15 years. I would like to see the innovation cycle drastically shortened. When doing this, we need to ensure that patient safety is embedded at the heart of digital innovation, so we know that the solutions delivered will be safe in both use and design. Poorly designed health information technology can introduce risk to patients. Well-designed and delivered technology can reduce avoidable harm.
I would highly recommend it. Like any career path, it is never wholly without issues, but it has the real potential to improve lives and help prevent avoidable harm. Innovation in digital technology is moving faster than it ever has before. It is the most exciting time to get involved, and I would urge people who are tech-savvy and want to be a force for good in this world to consider it.
“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
At HIMSS, our vision is to realize the full health potential of every human, everywhere. Be part of the community that’s transforming the global health ecosystem with courage, curiosity and determination.