Posted by: ayrshirehealth | October 13, 2012

A day in the life of an eHealth leader! by @markfleming1

What is it he really does!

Have you ever tried to explain to your mother or father what you actually do at work?!  Or even your wife (sometimes that is more challenging in my experience as she is a “REAL” nurse unlike me!)

For some people it is reasonably straight forward e.g. I am a nurse, I am an NHS manager or even the wide statement of “I work in IT” but what if you are a nurse, an NHS manager and work in IT, how do you describe that?

I personally have been faced with this dilemma on several occasions trying to explain how the roles of nurse, manager and IT person merge together.  I even of course had to try and do it during the rounds of Agenda for Change pay review to define the roles and responsibilities that I have within my job in NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

Valued Team Member

When asked to contribute to the new daily blog in October 2012 I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to try and define for people exactly what it is that I do on a day to day basis.

Not that I feel I need to justify this of course as I do feel like a valued member of the team.

My next challenge of course was to explore the best ways to do this rather than just telling a story.

I will give examples of real life scenarios within my working day, however I am keen to relate them to a model that could define them within a quality or leadership framework.

NHS Leadership Academy Framework Overview

After some internet searching I decided to use the NHS leadership academy framework as the basis for my walk through and I will relate my daily experiences to their framework.

The Leadership Framework (LF) is based on the concept that leadership is not restricted to people who hold designated leadership roles and where there is a shared responsibility for the success of the organisation, services or care being delivered.

Acts of leadership can come from anyone in the organisation and as a model it emphasises the responsibility of all staff in demonstrating appropriate behaviours, in seeking to contribute to the leadership process and to develop and empower the leadership capacity of colleagues.

My role as Programme Manager for mental health and eHealth services encompasses the management of the following work programmes.

  • FACE clinical information system for Mental Health directorate and Child Health Services
  • Development of EMIS web for Community Health Services
  • Development and implementation of Mental Health integrated care pathways in line with standards from Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

I will utilise some of the sections within the model in describing my day.

Creating the Vision

Our early morning get together in the office allows me to meet with the team over a cup of tea to explore what the main items of the day are. On this particular day I fed back to the FACE/EMIS teams on a workshop I had been on the day before where I presented on FACE – our mobile forms development but also heard about some exciting work other boards were doing on iPad and PC pen implementation in community areas. I feel some of the key aspects of leadership are about being available, visible and acting as a role model to create your vision within your work colleagues.

This is embodied in the “creating the vision” and “working with others” aspects of the framework and I see our morning sessions as key to delivering this across the teams.

The characters around the table often make me think of the family and the kitchen table in the old Bread comedy programme from the BBC

– but I had better not define who I think everyone is!!.

My first meeting of the day is hosting a workshop with clinical and service managers to evaluate progress on our FACE/Integrated care pathways programme in mental health and set the scene for the work programme for the next year or so. My clinical background in mental health mixed with my eHealth expertise allows me to closely work with clinicians and managers to advise on how their care pathways can be developed to meet national ICP standards and how our FACE system can be developed to support them in achieving these standards.

In this “setting direction” segment we can apply the knowledge and evidence, together identify the changes required, jointly make  decisions and explore how we can use information to evaluate these improvements to patient care.  The segments of working with others, and improving services will also feature highly in facilitating this workshop with some of our most senior managers and clinicians.

Lunch gives me another opportunity to engage with my team, be available to support them and provide them with any direction where required.

I have 2 tasks in my diary for the afternoon which will not be completed but I have allocated some time to these today.

Coding systems – moving from free text

Firstly I was working on the coding of a clinical assessment in the EMIS web community system that we have just purchased. This entails trawling the READ and EMIS codes to try and match them with the clinical requirements. This is the output of a piece of work where we worked with our new community wards service to define their care process and assessment framework.

I had to advise on them moving from a very “free text” assessment framework to one that was coded and structured and allowed for a patients information to flow in support of care as well as the production of clinical outcomes information. Again features of improving services and working with others within the leadership framework.

Applying the Vision

My afternoon finishes with some more input to our mental health eHealth strategy and action plan document.  Here I have to apply my vision to a service framework and the technologies available to define our strategy and plan for the next 3 years.

This will of course be signed off by the executive team and senior staff but it takes someone to put it all together.

Clearly this relates to the vision and strategy sections of the framework however it is never a single person input so I closely work with others on its development.

Hopefully this has given you a flavour of the complexity of the role and how the clinical and eHealth expertise link together.


Tomorrow’s blog comes from @mz_kimb discussing learning styles and reflecting on person growth, day 3 of 7 in the series.



  1. […] A day in the life of an eHealth leader! by Mark Fleming on the  Ayrshire Health Blog. […]

  2. […] A day in the life of an eHealth leader! by Mark Fleming […]

  3. […] you want to know more about what Mark does, read ayrshirehealth […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: