Healthcare ICT Champion of the Year 2007, Dr Mike Bainbridge.

Over 1000 E-Health Insider readers voted for their Healthcare ICT Champion of the Year last year, with Dr Mike Bainbridge, clinical architect at Connecting for Health, narrowly edging past the competition to take the title.

A former GP, Dr Bainbridge has been active in healthcare informatics for just over 25 years, and is now responsible for England’s common user interface programme (CUI), working in partnership with Microsoft.

Since winning the award, Dr Bainbridge says he has earned international recognition from the healthcare informatics community.

“It’s fair to say that the award is highly regarded all over the world. Since winning, I have been offered a lot of speaker roles at a lot more shows – both in the UK and overseas – and everywhere I go, people still identify me as the Champion of the Year. It’s not something I’d expect people living abroad to know about!” he says.

Dr Bainbridge beat five other nominees to the accolade, which was sponsored by Microsoft and is the only award decided by the votes of the readers of E-Health Insider and its sister titles. He received 302 out of the 1025 votes cast online by E-Health Insider readers.

Nominated by his peers at the BCS Primary Healthcare specialist group, he said he was honoured to have been nominated for the award and proud to have won the title.

“It was a huge honour for me to have been nominated by my esteemed colleagues for such a prestigious award, and I was extremely touched when I heard that so many E-Health Insider readers, most of whom I would also consider my peers, voted me their Healthcare ICT Champion of the Year. I am immensely proud to have received this award,” he said.

A former chairman of the BCS Primary Healthcare Group, Bainbridge has worked in healthcare computing since the early 80s. He helped develop the Read codes GP terminology system, and assisted with the design of two major GP systems.

Since 2003 he has worked for NHS Connecting for Health and developed their CUI, now available worldwide, and he has also helped with the design of the Mobile Clinical Assistant, which opens up the potential to make electronic health records available to mobile health workers.

He said: “Healthcare computing has been a passion for me for as long as I can remember, and I strongly believe it is worth championing. As a GP, I found it to be the most useful asset in doing my daily job and helping patients get the best treatment and advice possible.

“In my new role, I want to take that enthusiasm I have and bring it to all care settings. Health informatics really can make a difference and the work Connecting for Health is doing really enforces that.”

As clinical architect, Dr Bainbridge has worked closely with a number of technology vendors to ensure the systems being offered will help bring the NHS into the 21st century, and offer patients the best and safest treatment possible.

He has liaised closely with Microsoft on the new desktop and infrastructure technologies: Windows NHS and Office NHS. He is also responsible for assistive technology design and support.

Dr Bainbridge said that the award had opened new doors for him to speak globally on the importance of the work Connecting for Health is doing.

“Since winning the award, I have been invited to speak on the ‘architect’ work I assist with at Connecting for Health. All around the world, people are interested in the pioneering work Connecting for Health is doing, and with the added ‘champion’ part to my speaker profile, they are keener than ever to have me speaking!”

This includes being a keynote speaker at the US Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, Australia’s annual national disease management conference and the European Leadership Summit on Chronic Care in Amsterdam.

Dr Bainbridge said one of the reasons for the award meaning a lot to him, was because of the nature of the award itself.

“The thing about the BT e-Health Insider awards is it is the only awards ceremony out there which is solely about IT in healthcare. So to be champion of the year in that situation means an awful lot to me, especially given all the hard work going on at the moment.

“The awards night itself was fantastic. It really brought to light the hard work which is going on all across healthcare and the achievements that IT is helping to bring. Everyone seemed to be having fun, and for most, it was a great opportunity to escape from the stresses of work and celebrate achievements which ought to be recognised,” he added.

He urged EHI readers to (with permission) nominate colleagues they think would deserve receiving the prestigious title.

“As long as no-one else nominates me again, I’d definitely urge readers to put forward a nomination, and help someone who deserves recognition for their hard work, earn it. The category was extremely strong last year, with deserved candidates picked by readers. I would hope to see the same competition, if not better, this year.