Last year was without a doubt an extremely turbulent year, not just in my own life, but also in the global world of politics; the world of entertainment (loss of so many famous people) and in the world of our environment (learning of the real impact of global warming).
We, as humans though, can often look back, reflecting on the all the negatives, but sometimes, I feel, it is better to focus on all the positives that happen. I personally faced extreme lows in 2016, but in keeping with my last post related to my New Year resolutions, I decided to remind myself of all my own personal highs…
In just one year I am glad to say that:
I became the International Ethical Governance Lead of the World Health Innovation Summit
I was interviewed on The Business Show (RTE); Ireland AM Breakfast Show (live TV), iRadio (and many local stations) and had an article about my work published and shared by HER.ie, and many local newspapers
I became an International Fellow of the England Centre Practice Development [ECPD], Canterbury University and became a patient reviewer with the British Medical Journal [BMJ]
I got into the top ten businesses in my category in the Virgin VOOM awards and presented to their teams in London
I was a rapporteur for IPPOSI regarding EHR’s and eHealth
I participated in, and facilitated, many workshops and projects including: Global Village Health Translation; International #fabnhsday guide for Colostrum; NDRC – Business Mentor for Health Tech Start-Ups; Facilitator for SOUND, ICAN and SUGRU; Patient Representative for HSE working groups – National PPPG Framework; National QI Programme Prevention VTE; Paediatric Early Warning Score System (PEWS) ; National Sexual Health Strategy; National Maternity Strategy; National Medical Card Form; National Health Service Vision 2026.
I worked with DCU on a literature review commissioned by the Department of Health on Public Patient Involvement.
I met with the HealthXL team and produced an article related to Medication Non Adherence solutions
I visited Google HQ and Virgin HQ in Dublin
I also keynoted and spoke at many conferences including: eHealth Ecosystem (Lighthouse Projects); IADT (Social Entrepreneurship); Maynooth University (eHealth); SOUND Charity AGM; Rotunda Hospital (Thrombosis Day) and the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) Cumbria to name but a few..
But the biggest highlight, for me, was launching my own project, the MediStori, at the prestigious Royal College of Physicians [RCPI] last June.
I had been working on this project for nearly four years. This piece of work meant so much to me on a personal level as it was built initially for my dad, and then progressed out of a sheer need to change our system – and not a need to make money or profits. I learned along my entrepreneurial journey that this is one of the main characteristics of a social entrepreneur. I strived to make the world a better place, through simple processes and tool-kits which would empower both patients, carers and health professionals alike.
Even still though, after winning numerous awards and accolades, I was determined to validate this work through a national research project.
I knew that when people met me and saw the product they were often empathetic and nice to me, upon hearing my personal story, but I was wary that this would not truly validate the toolkit in hand. So I reached out to the HSE, and with their support, I was able to commission a researcher from NUIG, Dr Padraig Mac Neela, to externally validate the project in hand.
After a year of working with two national acute hospitals and numerous national charities; going through ethics committees and designing surveys, I was proud to say that we had successfully validated the MediStori.
The Time 2 responses were an endorsement of the potential for the MediStori to have a positive impact on patient outcomes. Three quarters (79%) of participants said that it had impacted on their management of medications; eighty per cent said it had impacted on how they managed health care appointments; nearly 80% indicated it had an impact on how they communicated health care information to health care professionals. For over two thirds (77%), the MediStori had had an impact on how they felt in their ability to manage their child’s condition. In combination with positive perceptions of the MediStori’s usability, the Pilot Study findings are indicative of a strong potential for making a contribution to health care practice as ninety three percent of all participants had used the Medicine Memo to write down their child’s medication and the times the medications were given. Similarly, 100% of those who responded indicated that it was a good idea to have the MediStori to manage their child’s medication. [Mac Neela, 2015]
So many people were involved in this project and it was a great pleasure when many of whom turned up on at the launch and many others accepted my invitation to speak on the day also.
Speakers at the launch of MediStori included:
Mr. Stephen Mc Mahon – CEO Irish Patients Association
Mr. Richard Corbridge – CIO for the HSE; CIO eHealth Ireland
Dr Padraig Mac Neela – Senior Psychology Lecture NUIG; Researcher MediStori
Dr. Amir Hannan – GP, Manchester [NHS] and Chairperson of the World Health Innovation Summit
Ms. Deirdre Munro – Founder Global Village Networks; Midwife, Researcher and Lecturer
Mr T.J. Hughes – Senior Development Advisor, Enterprise Ireland
Ms. June Boulger – National Lead Public Patient Partnership Acute Hospitals, HSE
Dr. Rupert Fawdry – Founder WISDAM Project; Lead on Maternity Records [NHS]
Every person had something valuable to say about their own work in the domain of healthcare and this added to the vision I have – that healthcare crosses all spectrums.
I have to say my own highlight of the day [with obvious bias!] was when my beautiful 13 year old daughter, and patient, Micaela spoke to the audience.
Micaela finished the day talking about what it was to be a young undiagnosed patient in Ireland and the difficulties that it in itself can entail. I was so very proud of her as it was not easy to stand in front of so many and tell her story.
And this is what I do in healthcare.
I aim to empower others to share their stories, to not feel isolated or ashamed or to feel like their voice is too small to be heard.
Toolkits and processes can help with this, but more importantly when people work together, this is when real movements and change starts.
I am so grateful for every single person who has helped me on my journey , especially the teams in the RCPI for helping me with the launch, and am looking forward to more highlights in 2017. I aim to push the MediStori Movement to the next level and I know this can be achieved with the right people supporting it.
Thank you to all involved and if you would like to read more about this project please see www.medistori.com/proof
For more on my blogs or posts please visit www.oliveoconnor.com
Upcoming events I am in involved in for 2017:
- National Primary Care Conference, Ireland
- Canterbury University, UK
- National Sustainability Summit, Ireland
- WHIS Ireland, WHIS Cumbria
- National Health Summit, Ireland
- DCU Framework Public Patient Involvement