The Doctors Advancing Patient Safety (DAPS) Global Summit 2015 was a great opportunity for me to talk about the wonderful world of Healthcare UX to a room full of doctors.

I was invited to present by Dr Samah Alimam, a Haematology Registrar and Board member of DAPS Global. She heard me ask a question about Doctors working in IT at an event run by Diagnosis which provides events for Medical Students and Doctors of any grade to learn more about roles and responsibilities that are involved with modern healthcare. She was keen for me to talk about how I’ve transitioned in to Healthcare IT. I was happy to oblige.

The only trouble was I was scheduled to present on Friday November 13th, at the Trent Vineyard Conference Centre in Nottingham. So in order to go I was deputised by my Patient Safety colleagues to discuss some of their work on reducing the occurrence of catheter acquired urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) in South London.

I began my presentation discussing a bit about the Health Innovation Network and where it fits in to the grand plans of the NHS to improve healthcare of the British nation and its guests. I explained how important it is that all healthcare professionals, not just doctors, should be working together to actively look for innovations to work on them to help improve the healthcare of everyone. This built on what was said by Dr Agatha Nortley-Meshe, also a Board member, who showed a French video which showed numerous people walk around or over a plastic bottle right next to a dustbin in a large shopping mall, and then a huge celebration with a good hundred or so stooges celebrate when one lady decided to clear it away. Sometimes it just takes one person to act, but that one action can have profound impact on others, and we should be celebrating when people are willing to do what so many others are not.

Later, I got to talk a bit about what I do as a Clinical UX Designer and the fact I problem solve IT issues the same way I diagnosed patients. The audience was very receptive as they too agreed that we shouldn’t be confused by the clinical systems we use in hospital settings. I had the pleasure of discussing the topic a little more with a few of the delegates. It’s wonderful hearing how some of them are actually learning to code and get involved with web design and app development. Very exciting and refreshing.

A number of delegates, mainly Foundation Trainees, presented projects they have been working on. The projects included optimising the phlebotomy service at a children’s hospital, and creating a trolley with equipment for junior doctors to use whilst doing their jobs. These young doctors took the initiative to improve their environment by asking questions and then being the first to do something different.

Dr Rory Conn gave a presentation on Quality Improvement in Mental Health. A very confident and knowledgeable speaker, Rory told us about the issues people with Mental Health disease face, namely a service which is not being funding enough to meet the expectations set by the NHS’s core values and beliefs. It was encouraging to hear Rory, because he is clearly making a difference, not just by presenting at the Summit or such an important topic, nor writing articles for journals, nor because he writes policies, but because you can tell he is just a great doctor.

The day ended with all delegates putting on their Clinical Commissioning Group hat on and looking at ways to improve a fictitious (albeit very realistic) scenario where a clinical service needed to be improved, but with little time or money. We are really challenged by the scenarios, such as improving waiting times at a GP surgery, especially since we only had 20mins to come up with a solution with 10 people around a desk. Having more people work on the problem was actually making it more difficult! Still a lot of fun though and very informative.

I’m looking forward to the next event!

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