We caught up with Jan Hoogewerf, Head of Health and Care, BCS, ahead of this year’s HETT Show (26-27th September, ExCeL London) to find out more about her role, how we can tackle some of the most pressing challenges in healthcare and what she is most looking forward about HETT Show.
Thank you for taking the time to have this interview with us, Jan. Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to take on the role?
I am fortunate to have worked in health informatics for most of my career in many different care settings at both local and national levels. Working in informatics, with the lack of professional recognition enjoyed by many other professions, clinical, accounting, HR etc. many of us have ‘imposter syndrome’. This spurred me to join a professional informatics body to support and promote the development of the profession. I joined the Faculty of Clinical Informatics in 2019 and helped to build the organisation in its early years, to provide a home for clinicians working in informatics. I have recently joined BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, as Head of Health and Care as I am passionate about supporting the self-development and recognition of all those working in health informatics roles.
We're looking forward to you joining us at the HETT Show, specifically for your session around Working to Design a Healthcare System that can Effectively Leverage the People Power Behind Technology, in the Workforce, Adoption and Productivity theatre, why are these such important areas of focus for BCS?
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is the professional body for all those working in data, digital, technology and information roles. We are a charity with a Royal Charter to ‘make IT good for society’ which means promoting and advancing the education and practice of computing for the benefit of the public. We recognise how vital digital transformation is to ensuring a safe and effective health and care industry now and in
to the future. Digital transformation cannot be achieved without a skilled, ethical and competent digital workforce and the development of the workforce is a core part of the BCS role at all career stages.
What is your best advice for those looking to build their digital health careers and develop new expertise?
Join a professional body! They offer fantastic learning and development opportunities, such as networking, events, learning resources, mentorship and coaching. You can visit the FEDIP website which has information on all the professional health informatics organisations to help you decide on which one is right for you. Also, make sure that you set aside time for professional development and that you have recognition for your professional skills, such as a professional registration.
What is your perspective on how we can tackle some of the most pressing challenges in healthcare at the moment?
The shift to integrated health and care systems and ambitious aspirations for digital transformation in the NHS create a pressing need for more specialist digital skills, but there are major issues with recruitment, progression and retention.
To address these issues, there are opportunities through Integrated Care Systems to share skills across organisations – this means looking across the system at where there are skills gaps, what skills are needed in the future, identifying where they are available now and how they can be developed. There is a need to grow a talent pipeline, which can start from the earliest stages of T-levels, which offer a practical work-based alternative to A levels, through digital apprenticeships, which provide entry into a range of digital careers. Also, offering refresher and foundation training for those wanting to re-enter the workforce and developing the skills of those in operational and clinical roles so that they can contribute effectively to technology enabled transformation.
Supporting the development of the digital workforce is key to both encouraging good people to join an organisation and retaining staff and there needs to be an expectation of Continuing Professional Development at all levels. Organisations need to provide support for staff by encouraging professional development and protecting development time.
What are you most looking forward to at HETT 2023?
I am looking forward to learning from the interesting and informative speakers, meeting up with old friends and making new ones.
Find out more about BCS and Jan Hoogewerf at this year's HETT Show, 26-27th September
Jan will be sharing more insights at this year's HETT Show, 26-27th September, ExCeL London. Jan will be joining the session 'Working to Design a Healthcare System that can Effectively Leverage the People Power Behind Technology' which will explore:
- Addressing skills gap across the whole health and care ecosystem including mental health, Community, Social Care, Primary Care and ICS/ICB partners
- How to create an environment where transformation improves productivity during implementation not decreases
- Using data to inform the direction of service transformation as well as the human-centred lived experience of delivering technology-enabled care
- Shortage of expertise across both public and private sectors, leveraging technology partnerships to share capacity