This month we spend five minutes with Dr Wu Yi Zheng. Wu is a postdoctoral human factors researcher whose research focuses on improving digital health technology to reduce medication errors and improve clinician workflow. Wu was also an integral part of eHealth@Sydney 2020 planning and production.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m Wu Yi and I’m a postdoctoral human factors researcher (understanding the interaction between people and their environments) in A/Prof. Melissa Baysari’s team at the University of Sydney. I am an one-eyed supporter of the St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL (not going too well this year), the Sydney Swans in the AFL (also struggling a bit this year), and Sydney FC in the A-League (won the Premier’s plate on the weekend). For the die-hard sports fans in the network, one out of three is not too bad!
My research focuses on improving digital health technology to reduce medication errors and improve clinician workflow in the hospital setting. I design and carry out evaluations to assess the impact of health technologies on prescribing (doctors), dispensing (pharmacists), and administration (nurses) of medications. In addition, I am interested in the impact of technology on clinical tasks such as medication reconciliation. My main goal is to produce research evidence that can be used to improve clinical practice and the care people receive in hospitals.
How do you define digital health?
To me, digital health involves the implementation of technology to deliver safer and better quality healthcare. For example, introducing electronic medication management systems, automated dispensing cabinets, and barcode medication administration to reduce medication errors in hospitals. For any implementation of health technology to be successfully, it is vital that end-users (doctors, pharmacists and nurses) are consulted and involved in the implementation process from the beginning.
What do you think will enable digital health projects and innovations to succeed?
Firstly, we are extremely lucky to have access to knowledge, experience and expertise from a wide range of professionals and researchers. It is the multidisciplinary nature of teams that will enable digital health projects and innovations to succeed.
Secondly, emphasis has increasingly been placed on user consultation and engagement. Research has shown that digital health technologies are most effective when end-users are involved before, during, and after implementation.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing digital health at the moment?
From a practical perspective, I think research in digital health can be better supported and fast tracked if researchers are able to work with research ethics and research governance to further streamline the application and approval process. Hopefully there will be opportunities in the future for this to occur.
Do you have any interesting resources or helpful networks people should know about?
I think the DHIN is a wonderful network which provides members with access to resources and contacts. For those interested or curious about human factors, a resource for healthcare professionals is now available.
Connect with Wu:
LinkedIn: Wu Yi Zheng
A very big thank you to Wu for being our July newsletter feature!