Gerry Bolger, chief nursing information officer (CNIO) at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust believes that delivering on its global digital exemplar (GDE) vision will be the biggest achievement over the next year for the London trust. His fantasy dinner guests include a famous Victorian nurse, and involve sitting down with a homemade Thai green curry. 

Why did you become an NHS CNIO?

I realised a long time ago that digital and technology was going to be the key enabler in health and I want to be part of it.

Within your organisation, what is the most significant digital achievement of the past 12 months?

Being digital in “name and nature” and opening up our portal (Care Information Exchange)  for patients to access across our health economy.

What will be the most significant of the next 12 months?

Delivering our GDE vision.

What’s the biggest barrier to being a more effective CNIO?

A big agenda in a constrained health economy.

What’s the biggest barrier the NHS faces overall in achieving digital transformation?

Interoperability – information moving seamlessly for patients and clinical teams, once addressed we overcome a major hurdle.

If you have one piece of advice for other NHS CNIOs, would it be?

It’s never personal and you must strive for patients.

Who in the NHS do you admire the most and why?

Annie Cooper, she’s combined the unique skills of leadership and digital together. She also actively shares her personal experience of care in a way that makes us think about what we are here for.

If you were given £30 million to spend on digital transformation within your trust, where would that money go?

I’d say investing in the transforming healthcare and patient pathways across the across the continuum of care ensuring it’s truly joined and multidisciplinary. Having a standardised integrated digital approach will reduce unwarranted variation in outcomes of care and help manage expectation of all.

What is the most over-hyped digital innovation in the health?

Apps, which are supposed to support management of your health, it’s the wild west out there and citizens can’t work out easily the good from the bad.

What is the most under-rated digital innovation in the health?

Personal Health Records – as allows them to have in a place what they think is important.

And a few non-digital questions, what’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why?

Pass! None sticks out, they’ve all had variations of bad in them.

If you could invite three people, alive or dead, to dinner who would they be and what would you serve them?

Mary Robinson (UN Ambassador and former Irish President), Florence Nightingale (the first nurse informaticist) and Simon Sinek (author Start with Why), a great dinner list with wine and homemade Thai green curry and a healthy discussion.

What’s the background image on your home computer?

A picture of my son who we adopted three years ago.

What’s your favourite piece of technology at home and why?

DAB radio, there is so much information we have over radio that’s missed

If you could have any other job, what would it be?

Hard one, but something where I could share my knowledge and skills with others.

In a film of your life, who would play you? 

Liam Neeson, gritty Irish straight to the point.

The star of Taken, Liam Neeson, is a popular choice amongst informaticans to play them!