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Local hospitals appoints its first-ever Chief Nursing Information Officer

Following a robust selection process, Deanne Driscoll has been appointed Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals’ (DBTH) first ever Chief Nursing Information Officer (CNIO).

A new and innovative role, the CNIO is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership in the development, deployment, and integration of clinical information systems for the organisations 3,000 nursing, midwifery and allied health professional colleagues.

Deanne is a Registered Nurse with almost 30 years of experience, who has worked in a variety of wards and specialisms throughout her career. Most recently, she has held the position of Technology Innovation Lead Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, as well as Clinical Safety Officer.

Speaking about her appointment, Deanne said: “The Trust is about to take a significant step forward in its goal to bring an electronic patient record online – this will be one of the biggest and most important investments the organisation has ever made. This is a really exciting time, and I’m really pleased to be part of this journey.

“As a Registered Nurse who has worked in a variety of nursing roles, including as a Matron and Deputy Director of Nursing, I’m extremely passionate about digitally enabled healthcare and have seen the benefits first-hand. I want to ensure our systems are fit for purpose and deliver efficiencies for the colleagues using them. Moreover, I want to ensure that they are clinically safe for patients and provide us with the correct data to help us to drive improvements in patient care.”

At present, the Trust is part of NHSX’s Digital Aspirant Plus programme, with an ambition to implement an electronic patient record (EPR) in the not too distant future.

Electronic records within health settings are safer and more secure than paper records, which are still within wide use at DBTH. The use of integrated EPRs lead to greater efficiencies for clinicians as less time is spent physically moving notes around hospital sites as they are required. It means that health professionals are able to safely access the information they need, when and where they need it, ultimately improving the care and experience of patients.

In simple terms, it means that a doctor, nurse or any other clinician from the Trust will be able to access a patient’s health record using a secure computer, recording diagnosis, recommended treatments or any changes to their condition, at the stroke of a key more readily. The record is always accessible if a patient is transferred to another ward or service, and supports discharge home and follow-up care. Trusts which use EPR systems often report that it aids in better clinical decision making, communication, a reduction in recording errors, better use of staff time and, most importantly, improved care for patients.

In her role, Deanne will be working closely with the organisation’s Digital Transformation team, and Chief Clinical Information Officer, Dr Mike Whiteside, to optimise our current systems and implement the EPR, which will help to enable the delivery of high quality and safe care.

Karen Jessop, Chief Nurse at DBTH, said: “I am delighted to welcome Deanne to the Trust. As we recover from the challenges of COVID-19, there are a number of opportunities ahead of us which we want to make the very most of, for the benefit of our patients.

“The pandemic showed us how important it is to have a resilient and robust digital infrastructure, and I can’t wait to see the improvements we can make with further integration of technology into our daily practice.”

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals is one of only five teaching hospitals within the region, and boasts a range of services across three main hospital sites, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital and Montagu Hospital, serving around 420,000 people across South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire.

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