This week, Digital Health News speaks to Rachael Robins, who is an interim CNIO at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and is the first CNIO to be appointed in Wales. Rachael talks about why she would encourage other CNIOs not to be afraid to “speak their mind” and why Spotify is her favourite piece of technology at home. 

Why did you become an NHS CNIO?

It was an exciting opportunity to be the first one in Wales and be the link between nursing staff and informatics experts in my organisation.

Why do you think the role of CNIO is so important within the NHS and the nursing community?

The role provides an essential clinical perspective to ensure that digital advancements have a positive impact on productivity, quality and safety, and also supports nurses to see the importance of data-led care as an enabler for improvement.

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

Being the first health board in NHS Wales to have medical information officers and a nursing information officer – we were a national exemplar in terms of clinical representation in informatics decision making.

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

Single sign-on to all of our systems – it will save staff loads of time and reduce frustration.

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

A lack of business analysis to properly identify and inform where tech can have the greatest impact on patient care.

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

Hardware – having the resource to buy, maintain, provide user support and to keep up with the pace of development of hardware.

Which piece of technology do you think will most help ease winter pressures on the NHS?

Audio, visual and tele medicine system to assess and triage people at home, to reduce unnecessary presentations to emergency departments.

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

Ask lots of questions and speak your mind – even if you think what you are about to say is going to sound stupid in front of a room of informatics experts.

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

Dr Alys Cole-King, consultant liaison psychiatrist, for her endless energy and passion in her work on compassionate care and suicide mitigation internationally.

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

We have a huge geographical area, with remote rural communities, so probably mobile healthcare technology to enable patients to manage their own health more effectively and efficiently.

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

Robotic medication dispensers.

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

The humble telephone.

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

As a teenager I was a chambermaid at a hotel of dubious reputation; changing the sheets – need I say more?

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

Kurt Cobain, David Attenborough and Tom Hardy.

What’s the background image on your home computer?

I don’t have a home computer, but if I did it would probably be a picture of my cats Winston and Wilf.

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

Spotify (other digital music services are available), it helps me discover new music and artists every day.

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

A professional musician.

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

Tom Cruise (because he does all his own stunts).

Tom Cruise