Professor Jonathan Morris leads the Informatics Cross Cutting Theme and is also a member of Sydney Health Partners’ Governing Council. Professor Morris outlines below what the team is working on in this area, in particular the recent formation of an Informatics and eHealth Steering Committee to deliver an eHealth strategy across the Partnership that aims to improve healthcare delivery and quality of life for patients and the community.
What are you working on?
Informatics and eHealth have the potential to transform all aspects of healthcare and research. This extends from a deeper understanding of the quality of the care we provide from the knowledge gained from integrating data, to how that care is accessed and assessed, how health information is managed, and what online tools and mobile devices are being used to improve and maintain health and wellbeing in a more effective and efficient manner.
Our vision is to harness technology and data to promote wellness, prevent disease, and improve healthcare delivery and quality of life. To achieve this we are developing an Informatics and eHealth Strategy for Sydney Health Partners, and have recently formed an Informatics and eHealth Steering Committee that will drive the delivery of this strategy. I co-Chair the Committee alongside my colleague Professor Tim Shaw.
Why are you undertaking this project?
From the digitisation of patient data into electronic medical records, to the creation of mobile apps that promote healthy living, eHealth and Informatics have potential in nearly every facet of health and wellness. Healthcare is transitioning into an integrated approach, with an emphasis on home centred, personalised care and self-management. This integrated method of care requires a shift in focus from the movement of patients to the movement of knowledge and data.
It also requires an improved understanding of what matters to healthcare users, rather than what is the matter with them. In order to achieve this, we must more effectively use data, informatics and technology, improve knowledge and empower healthcare users. Our Strategy aims to deliver this.
Who are you trying to help?
We are focused on improving quality of life for people in the community. Better integrated care, made possible by greater accessibility to data and eHealth technologies, will translate into improved patient care, experience and outcomes.
How does being part of a collaborative partnership like Sydney Health Partners help you to remove barriers an achieve outcomes through collaboration?
Being part of Sydney Health Partners gives us the platform to collaborate with all of our Partner organisations, and to coordinate all of our eHealth activities. A joint approach will also help improve efficiency, reduce duplication in efforts and unite resources across the Partnership. We know that people move between hospitals and other geographical settings; we have to be more effective in sharing health information across these different locations so that people get the best care possible.
What potential do you see for scaling up your work? How can it reach more people in the health system?
There is enormous potential for a collaborative and coordinated approach to Informatics and eHealth to be scaled up across the health system. The Sydney Health Partners model is ideal for system-wide change to be explored, both at a state and national level. Looking beyond our borders, we also want to share our experiences in a way that can inform eHealth practices worldwide.