Meabh Smith has recently taken up the role of Digital Health Clinical Safety Lead in the Digital Health Clinical Office of the HSE.
Meabh’s background is in Microelectronics and Computer Engineering (TCD), she holds Masters degrees in Physical Sciences in Medicine (TCD) with two semesters at the University of Patras in Greece, and Business Management (DCU). Although her career began in St James’s Hospital, Meabh has worked for more than twenty years at Beaumont Hospital in a variety of roles within Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, and in the role of Chief Operations Officer, and Hospital Information System Business Continuity co-ordinator. Meabh is a former member of the HPRA Advisory Committee on Medical Devices, a current member of the NSAI Health Informatics Standards Committee and member of the E-Health HSCP Advisory Group.
Meabh has been a long-term member of the BEAI and believes in its pivotal role in the development of the profession of Clinical Engineering in Ireland and internationally. She has been involved in a number of digital health implementation projects and is looking forward to supporting many more. Digital Health Clinical Safety is a big challenge requiring a collaborative approach, so hopefully lots of new relationships to be forged in the near future.
The answer is that we don’t know what Digital Clinical Safety looks like in Ireland. It is a new function, and a new opportunity which offers patients and healthcare professionals a win-win situation. One of the very few good consequences of the Covid19 pandemic was that it accelerated the uptake of new digital health technologies in the health system. ‘Digital clinical safety’ refers to the avoidance of harm to patients and staff as a result of technologies manufactured, implemented and used in the health service.
Digital Health is coming and it is here to stay. Some of the world’s biggest companies are investing in digital health, they are backing it and the public are taking the opportunities. Clinical Engineers have many of the skills necessary to ensure Digital Clinical Safety, but one of the greatest opportunities for the health system is to use the skills of Clinical Engineers to solve problems in the health systems using Digital Health and then to be part of a collaborative to maximise safety and effectiveness.
This presentation provides a vision of Digital Clinical Safety in Ireland.