TL;DR: Process mapping the latest COVID-19 return and pizza delivery.

[period ending 11/04/2020]

Going for brevity this period, given I published my 12 month reflections recently.

Who did you talk to outside of your organisation? I joined the N365 User Council call. Colleagues at NHS Digital are negotiating with Microsoft for a NHS-wide Office 365 deal and have a few CIOs on the User Council to give their opinion. Ian and I are are relatively recent joiners, but it’s a good group, with some lively conversation, and the I’m really hopeful of a deal that makes sense for KGH.

Natasha, Ian and I did video interviews for the Head of Coding and have made an offer. This means I’ve now appointed to all of my leadership positions!

What did you learn? I spent quite a bit of time in the COVID-19 incident room — On Wednesday I was the Incident Room lead and then did some work to look at the process of another return. Every day there seems to be a new data return needed, and it’s based on things that are not currently electronically recorded, so it requires a manual collection process. It’s very frustrating because getting that information at ward level adds an additional burden on staff who quite rightly are focused on giving care. It is hard to understand why some bits of data are being collected and why NHSE/I need it for nationwide planning. This disconnect in collection and usage has made me think of some of the data issues in our own Trust, where there is a disconnect between collector and consumer. I think we could to better to articulate why collecting that data is important, what will be done with it, and more importantly, how playing back that data to the ward/area will help them observe how they’re doing and use it to make their own choices for improvement.

What did you enjoy? Going out around the hospital and delivering the food that has been so kindly donated. The reduction in meetings really does mean that we can go and help with things that just need bodies. One example was on Friday where I had time to go onto a ward and see if any patient wanted to try video calling their relatives (the experience this week tells me there’s a lot to improve in this solution…). The photo below is the Red team delivering 100 pizzas around the Trust on Good Friday.

What did you achieve? I shadowed Jo as she went through the process of a new data collection. We then did a retro and worked out what could be improved. Last week we identified that the manual collection of the number of patients on oxygen does not need to be done as that data is already collected through electronic observations. In this return, the electronic observation data was being used, but the way it is presented required some interpretation, we identified that interrogating the raw data to create those result would remove a big chunk of analysis.

COVID-19 Discharge SitRep process mapping — current and proposed

This week we held our first Digital Hospital Committee meeting. The truncated agenda was focused on the organisation’s COVID-19 response in terms of digital.

  • I gave a summary of the work we’ve done to enable more home working, such as increasing our VPN capacity, ordering and imaging more laptops and supporting the various changes to the estate at pace.
  • Kenny assured the board that we were still meeting our statutory reporting duties through this process, and noted a number of collections that have been suspended. He also shared some of the reporting and analysis work his team have specifically created to support the Trust’s response to COVID-19.
  • Suzanne shared the review of the EPR programme and summarised what the plan is for each of the modules; keep going, progress where possible and pause. We’re pausing the EDMS (Electronic Document Management System) project, as this requires substantial clinical engagement to get it right. Had we been 6 months further on with this project, it would have been a Keep Going, as it would have had a massive impact on our COVID-19 response — a reduction of the movement of paper records and access of records from anywhere. I want to make sure this is accelerated when we get the other side of this as I’m sure the benefits of moving to EDMS will have made themselves very clear during this period.

What are you looking forward to next period? We were due to do a Digital Leadership Team away day last week, but deferred it to this coming Friday to have a hour’s meeting this Friday and have a short catch up. Each person has to create a 2 minute quiz to intersperse the agenda items. I better get on with my one on 8-bit microprocessors ...

Interesting Stuff read/consumed:

Books finished this week:

  • Fiction: Lost Light by Michael Connelly. Think that takes me over the halfway line of books in the Harry Bosch crime series. Not a literary masterpiece, but miles better than that rubbish Ludlam thing I read a few weeks ago.
  • Non-Fiction: The Drugs Don’t Work by Professor Dame Sally Davies. Finally finished this little book, which was written in 2013, still seems to offer some lessons on the current crisis in that the small actions taken by all of us will be the thing that will keep us with some antimicrobial resistance. Her reference to the study that said that only 1 in 20 people wash their hands sufficiently after going to the toilet chimes especially loudly.

Currently Reading:

  • Non-Fiction: Sweet and Sour Pork by Jeff Lucas.
  • Non-Fiction: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. Got this at Christmas so delighted to be starting it. We have a couple of the 6 books shortlisted for the Royal Society’s Science Book Prize 2019 of which this is one. Need to get through the list before next year’s nominations is announced!
  • Fiction: Beggars Banquet by Ian Rankin.
  • Fiction: We Are All Made of Glue by Marina Lewycka. I’ve had three books by this author on the shelf for ages, still wrapped in cellophane. This week as I staying in Kettering doing my long days, I grabbed this book as it was smaller than the Rankin book to put in my bag. I remember reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian when it came out, and it didn’t wow me, so I’ve never been in a rush to read anything else by her, but I’m really enjoying this.

Husband. Dad to 3 smashing lads. Cub Leader. MAMIL. Group CDIO for Northampton and Kettering Hospitals. Ex NHS Digital. Views own. Always learning.

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