Building on a legacy

Following the resignation of the HSE’s Chief Information Officer Richard Corbridge, eolas magazine speaks with interim-replacement Jane Carolan about her vision for the role.

As head of IT for the HSE, the role of the Office of the Chief Information Officer has responsibility for the delivery of technology to support and improve healthcare in Ireland. The position has a key input on realising the eHealth Health Strategy, defining how citizens and healthcare services and the wider economy will benefit from eHealth.

Interim CIO Jane Carolan was appointed after Richard Corbridge resigned the post to take a new position as chief digital and information officer of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Carolan, a member of the HSE Leadership Team, is the National Director for Health Business Services and will also fulfil Corbridge’s other position as CEO of eHealth Ireland. 

In his three years in position Corbridge was recognised for his contribution to reform of Ireland’s health service through digitisation, including securing the appointment of CCIO’s, creating a national team to deliver healthcare technology and progressing the Electronic Health Record (RHR) to pre-government approval stage.

Speaking to eolas, Carolan paid tribute the Corbridge’s tenure: “Richard [Corbridge] has really shown us a different way of doing things within digital,” she says.

“Digital is the central to how we are going to transform our health services and connect them. I want to continue build on the work already ongoing and what has been achieved, ensuring that the transition is smooth.

“Richard has used the last few years to show that the whole idea of digital is transformational to healthcare.” Carolan, who was speaking at the eHealth Ireland Innovation Showcase, added: “The real opportunity is to gather all these fanatic ideas that we have seen here today others like them and actually begin to implement them.

“I viewed many of the digital solutions on display today in order to gauge the state of readiness of these ideas. Many of them are currently deployed in small areas, so it’s a matter of scaling them up.

“The real issue is that we have so many initiatives on the go at the minute and we need to make sure that we don’t lose any of them. My number one priority is to retain and build upon the legacy that Richard is leaving us with.”

Carolan’s role as National Director for Health Business Services gives her responsibility for providing back office support to business services to the HSE including procurement, estates, finance and HR shared services. Prior to this she acted as Head of Planning and Corporate Performance for the HSE, where she developed a great interest in strategy development and execution.

In a statement prior to his departure, Corbridge said that a clear plan of progression was in place to continue progression until a full-time appointment is made.

“The priorities for the OoCIO over the next short period have been clearly set; moving the EHR programme to procurement, the implementation of the ONE Programme and the continued support for all of the strategic programmes are all a high priority, the delivery of live service and the continued support of every digital system in the health service are all clearly defined as the most important role of the CIO.

“Personally, handing the role of CIO to a talent such as Jane is great for me, the work we have started can be not just continued but developed still further by a friend who has a clinical background, a wealth of experience of the Irish health care system and perhaps most importantly a passion for what can be achieved with digital. I wish Jane all the luck in the world, even as an interim it’s going to be an enjoyable ride.”

Jane Carolan: profile

A Chartered Physiotherapist by profession and a graduate of TCD (BSC Physio), she also holds a MBA from the Smurfit Business School in UCD, a BA in Public Management from the Institute of Public Administration, a Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD and BA in Spanish and French from the Open University. Jane has over 20 years’ experience in senior management roles within the health system.

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