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Going digital in health: implications for leadership
  1. Sam Barclay
  1. IM&T Department, Whittington Health NHS Trust, London N19 5NF, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sam Barclay, IM&T Department, Whittington Health NHS Trust, London N19 5NF, UK; sam.barclay{at}

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The question I am most often asked as a Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) working in an NHS Trust is “what does a CCIO do?” With time and a variety of experiences under my belt, my answer has evolved. Initially I replied simply “I act as the translator between the IT department and the clinicians,” while recently I have found my reply to be “I am the clinical lead for digital transformation responsible for co-ordinating how patients, clinicians, managers and IT department interact on different healthcare projects within the Trust.” In this description, note how I don’t say “digital” project but “healthcare” project instead. The National Health Service (NHS) has undergone and will continue to undergo constant change, and there are now rarely projects which lack a digital element. Conversely to see a healthcare project as purely digital is a dangerous territory to be in, as it risks isolating the very stakeholders you are trying to assist.

As described CCIOs do not work alone but in tandem with and lead a diverse group of staff and on each new project; for example, implementing e-observations on inpatient wards as part of the Global Digital Exemplar Programme, the clinical informatics team will assess a few basic questions that need to be answered before they can commence the …

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  • Contributors SB was the sole contributor to this editorial.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.