This month the Practice Analytics Node profiles Aisling Forrest. Aisling commenced her career as a microbiologist, but after gaining an interest in software, she completed a Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development, and quickly moved into the discipline of what used to be known as ‘Health Informatics’. Aisling completed a Masters in Health Informatics in Trinity College Dublin, following which she moved from Ireland to Australia, seeking new challenges. Aisling has now worked in NSW Health for 14 years and is passionate about data and its potential to improve patient care in the Health System. Aisling has a background in informatics, Program and Project Management, and was most recently the Manager of the New South Wales Cancer Registry. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Sydney Health Partners. Aisling was asked five quick questions about Practice Analytics:
What does practice analytics mean to you?
The use of data to optimise the Health System and to help support our clinicians in delivering optimal patient care.
How did you get interested in practice analytics?
Working within the Health system! One of my first roles in a radiation oncology department, involved classifying and coding data in an oncology management information system. I worked with a really smart analyst who could provide all sorts of useful insights back to the clinicians utilising the data from the system (of course the quality of the reports were very much dependent on the quality of the data entered by the aforementioned clinicians 😉) and my interest was most definitely piqued.
What excites you about the area?
The newness of it all! At the DHIN ‘Opening the Vault: Clinical Analytics’, Associate Professor Naren Gunja (Chief Medical Information Officer, Western Sydney Local Health District), said that 20 years ago, we were ‘babies’ in this space, and now our maturity is akin to adolescence. Adolescence is such an exciting time of learning, growth, and navigating previously unforeseen challenges – very exciting times for Practice Analytics!
What are some of big challenges in the practice analytics areas?
I think the biggest challenges will be around data quality, and the liberation and sharing of data among partner organisations.
What is your “blue sky” vision for the area in the next five years?
I would love to see the routine collection of complete and meaningful data sets electronically in health For the Health system in NSW to become a truly ‘Learning Organisation’.
If you want to be profiled for the Practice Analytics Node of the DHIN email: firstname.lastname@example.org