With only 10 days left, informatics professionals are being urged to join Health Education England’s online debate on building a digital ready workforce.

In particular, NHS Chief information officers (CIOs) and chief clinical information officers (CCIOs) are being urged to take part in the online workshop and encourage colleagues in their organisations to do the same

The workshop, commissioned by Health Education England and NHS Digital and run by innovation and crowdsourcing agency Clever Together supported Digital Health, aims to ask the widest possible cross-section of informaticians and digital experts about how the digital readiness of English health and social care workforce can be improved.

Its results will inform how the National Information Board’s Building a Digital Ready Workforce Programme will prioritise and invest £6m over the next four years.

For Jon Hoeksma, editor of Digital Health, it is absolutely crucial for CIOs and CCIOs to get involved in the conversation – and to encourage their colleagues to do the same.

“CIOs and CCIOs are digital leaders and speak on behalf of the digital transformation happening across their organisations at all levels,” reasons Hoeksma.

He says while the response to the online workshop has been strong so far – hundreds of people have already registered, and key debate threads are already emerging – there is a need for more CIOs and CCIOs to get involved and to encourage their colleagues to take part.

“We want them to encourage and inspire lost tribes of health and care informatics professionals – people who don’t describe themselves as informatics professionals yet work with digital tools and information. We need the help of CIOs and CCIOs to reach those diverse range of individuals.”

And there are number of ways in which people can engage in this exercise, he explains.  They can start their own discussion on a topic, make a comment on an existing post, or use the voting options to like or dislike ideas.

The workshop is open 24/7 and accessible from any smartphone, tablet or computer, thereby giving people the flexibility to participate at anytime from anywhere.

“It is an evolving consultation,” points out Hoeksma.

“Even if you have visited before, come and see how things have changed and motivate your colleagues and team members to take part.

“The underlying message being this is your opportunity to help shape a digital ready workforce: what does it mean, what are your priorities and what support do you and people you work with need to achieve this.”

James Freed, chief information officer of Health Education England, agrees, describing the online workshop as a great way to “put your best ideas into action.”

“Please don’t just stand by and observe the conversation – come and get involved. This really is your opportunity to help to shape the future of the digital ready workforce.”

To join the workshop and share your ideas, register here.

The online workshop has four ‘breakout groups’ in which contributors can share ideas and offer thoughts on posts from others:

  1. Imagine you woke up tomorrow and data, information, knowledge and technology were used to their fullest extent. How do you envision health and care could be different?
  2. What must digital experts/informaticians start, stop or do differently to better realise the potential of data, information, knowledge and technology, and why?
  3. What must other professionals and the system more broadly start, stop or do differently to better realise the potential of data, information, knowledge and technology, and why?
  4. What tools and methods have you seen directly help improve digital literacy/readiness/maturity of colleagues and organisations? Do you have evidence of the impact of these?

If you want to know more about what people are saying about these topics, share your views or start your own conversation thread, join the workshop at bit.ly/2hw71f0.