Mrs Becky George1
1Ministry of Health, Wellington, New Zealand
Allied Health, Scientific and Technical (AHST) professions are already actively engaging with health informatics and the emerging health technologies; working to fulfill New Zealand’s strategic health and equity priorities to achieve quality health outcomes.
To improve and sustain digital and data capability and capacity, AHST professions require transparent and collaborative leadership, digital up skilling and consumer partnership across the development of new models of care.
The digital transformation that has encompassed global health systems over the last decade, and our response to managing health and disability services within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, has accelerated our pace of digital
integration. The AHST community have a key role to play (Topol 2019) in sustaining the progress gained. With a capability of diverse and wide ranging skills that transcend all parts of a crowded and complex health system, the AHST informatics community can offer unique insights to the digital health discussion. Many of these professionals are in positions of leadership and strategic authority, underpinned by their health experience and holistic perspective.
As a community we have identified 4 key enablers to support the AHST workforce to deliver health and disability services. They are; establishing appropriate leadership roles, whole of system collaboration, co-design participation and developing digital and data skills.
AHST professionals have demonstrated their ability to lead change and improve health care outcome measures. However, services that have been focused on collecting activity information, now need to look beyond counting contacts. Service providers need to listen to consumers and record outcomes, honour their diverse understandings and practices, and consider what it means to them to be well and stay well, where they live, work and have a purpose in belonging.
Becky is passionate about advocating for Allied Health Professions across the health and disability system, particularly within digital health and innovations.
Currently undertaking a DHSc in Allied Health leadership. She provides advice, guidance and thought leadership into national allied health and digital health projects. She is a registered Occupational Therapist and an Associate Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health. She is the elected chair of the Health Informatics New Zealand board and chair the Allied Health National Informatics Group. She co-authored the Allied Health National Data Set Standard is on the Advisory Panel for the Clinical Informatics Leadership Network.
She was honoured to be a finalist in the ITx, IT Awards for Excellence in Digital Health 2018, and in 2019 was awarded the inaugural Clinical Informatics Leadership Award recognising achievements of a clinician working Digital health in New Zealand. She remains driven to raise the profile of allied health and give visibility to their value across health and disability services.