It ‘s been a busy few years for the team at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, with its electronic patient record going live and the launch of an AI-driven command centre. On top of all that, the trust’s IT leadership team was named Team of the Year at the Digital Health Awards 2019. Digital Health News speaks to Cindy Fedell, the trust’s chief digital information officer, about the win.

Back in July, the informatics department at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were crowned Team of the Year at the Digital Health Awards 2019.

The team is made up of Cindy Fedell, chief digital information officer, CCIO Paul Southern and CNIO, Kay Pagan.

So what was their response to being crowned Team of the Year?

“It was an interesting reaction,” Cindy says. “The trust was really excited about it but the informatics and digital team said ‘really, we actually won?’, they didn’t expect it.”

Work pride

In September 2017, the trust began the implementation of a Cerner Millennium electronic patient record (EPR), a project that was seen as a massive digital change for the trust.

When asked what projects the digital team at Bradford are most proud of, Cindy nods to the go-live of Cerner – and it’s not just the informatics team who were chuffed.

“All the work we’ve done, we’ve done as a trust,” Cindy says.

“In particular, the EPR roll out, which involved everyone, people are very proud of it.

“It was done together – we knew that would be important and everybody had a job, from finance to the porters, so everyone felt part of it.

“It was a great thing to be part of, everyone working together as a team, carrying out a big change across the trust.”

Sticking with the EPR project, which also involved Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust which went live with Cerner on the same instance, Cindy says that, despite being a success, the trust still faced challenges.

“It involved all 6,000 members of staff and was one of the biggest projects the trust has done,” she adds.

“It was hard to get people motivated and to keep them motivated early in the programme. However, now people are happy it’s done and say they would never go back to paper. We’re still getting positive feedback.”

The biggest lesson learnt from the EPR go-live, according to Cindy, was the value of “doing it together”.

Commanding view

Other recent projects have included a major new AI-driven ‘command centre’ which provides a real-time overview of patient flow and operational bottlenecks.

The trust has broken ground by appointing Dr Tom Lawton inaugural head of clinical AI.

A consultant in critical care and anaesthesia, Dr Lawton will be responsible for helping Bradford to unlock the potential of AI in the safest and most effective way.

Looking towards the future, Cindy says the trust’s next steps will be “being smart about using the data” they have, as well as doing more work around artificial intelligence.

“We will be looking at how do we use the power of the data, in terms of new models of care or working more efficiently,” she adds.

Winning advice

When asked about what advice she would give other digital teams working in NHS trusts, Cindy highlights the importance of working together as “one team”.

“We also really need to incorporate digital more routinely into clinical work.

“There isn’t a CIO on every trust board, which means they’re not using the power of digital because that digital person isn’t contributing to the routine decisions from a digital perspective.”