Hi, I’m Olive.
Thank you for visiting my personal website. I hope you’re having a great day today.
By way of introduction, let me fill you in on a little of what I do, who I am and why I do what I do. (If you want to skip this part and get straight to chatting with me please feel free to click here!)
I want safe, equitable and accessible healthcare, for all. I would love to see the principles of the EU Fundamental Charter embedded in our health ecosystem. These are Respect, Dignity and Equality.
I have a passion to drive, promote & educate all decision makers and people working in public, private and voluntary healthcare services on the importance of collaboration and listening to the Voice of the Patient . I work to ensure all citizen’s experiences are heard, and actioned. This is built on a solid foundation of trust.
I care about equality for all. I can work with anyone if their hearts (and heads) are in the right place. I value those who want to create positive changes in their workplace and community. I believe in the power of compassion, respect, honesty, integrity, fairness, safety, care, communication, collaboration and trust. Kindness is key.
Combining these values through courageous Leadership will have the greatest impact on you, your family, your organisation, your team, your stakeholders, your service users – and our society as a whole.
‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’ I aim to reform our health service by bringing everyone together to inform decision makers what the real issues are and what they can do to change it.
My Professional Characteristics
I am only truly comfortable when I know the work I am involved in has a positive impact on the people I am working with, and society as a whole. I am also an active public healthcare advocate – I am not afraid to challenge decision makers, especially in relation to equality and access. I have gotten used to the public eye and have been on many national televised programmes (RTE, UTV etc.) with much of my work published in numerous newspapers, magazines and books (Business Post, Irish Times etc.) . My extensive experience in using social media as a connector and communicator led to my successfully reaching 21 million impressions on Twitter in just one single week period!
With nearly twenty years experience in both commercial and non-profit organisations, I have a track record in design thinking and PX/CX (patient/customer) experience. I have found that there is no major difference between patients and customers when it comes to their experience – except the fact that patients are usually customers by default, and not by choice.
My Personal Characteristics
Extremely attentive to detail, I am loyal, reliable, driven and innovative, and always give one hundred percent for every project I work on. I have a unique capacity to develop policies and processes and organise systems through effective listening and project management. I am a dedicated change agent and design thinker.
I think like a patient, work with teams, act like a customer, and design like an architect. In short, I am an innovative problem solver. You can read more about my personal characteristics and home life here.
My Professional Experience
With a proven track record in public patient involvement I have aided in the design, development and implementation of health related frameworks, projects, processes and products. I have happily shared my knowledge to help organisations “Innovate, Validate and Integrate” their products, projects and processes – safely, economically, effectively and efficiently. My references, multiple awards, published research and media publications are a testimony to same.
My Personal Experience
I am the former CEO of MediStori . This family centred health record was initially created by myself when trying to care for my family, some of whom were on 22 medications. I am also a mom to four daughters who all have complex chronic health conditions and my husband suffered a stroke at age 42. I myself, am a patient too. (Don’t be alarmed – our personal situation never gets in the way with my passion to change our world!)
My Story Led to MediStori
Much like many patients, carers and families, it was my sole responsibility, to self-manage all of our families health conditions, 90% of which was in our home. On top of managing my fathers medications/treatments, I also had the responsibility of managing all of my children’s treatments in the home. To top it off I also had to remember everything – including each child’s medical history, vaccinations, diagnosis, multiple medical appointments, physiotherapy plans etc. A serious call out from a paramedic for my dad made me realise the importance of having this information to hand. Our health records were not joined up – anywhere. And that’s when it dawned on me – I was the missing link. I identified that patient centered care is not just a theory – it is the reality. I was the only common denominator between all of our health professionals and health services. Integrated care started with me – the patient, me the carer, me the parent. And so I started on my journey to creating an integrated family-centred health record, simply named, MediStori.
My mission was simple, I wanted it to be given for free by the health service, at the point of care.
It was extremely important to me that I did not develop this health record based solely on my own assumptions. From design to implementation, I used experienced based co-design, quality improvement and public patient involvement methodologies. I engaged with over two hundred patients, carers and health professionals in it’s design. I brought these principles right through the entire process – from development to delivery; primary/secondary research; product validation and integration in acute and community settings.
It was important that I validated the product before implementation. Our national Health Service Executive, the HSE, funded this research. It was my sole responsibility, as a patient, to lead out on this research; get buy in from all stakeholders; recruit patients, carers and families; and train front-line staff and health professionals on how best promote it at the point of care. I chose to collaborate with NUIG (National University of Ireland, Galway). Together, we co-designed the surveys and co-evaluated the outcomes of same. Together with a small, innovative team, we co-developed all promotional materials, websites and excelled in customer service and experiences.
The research paper of MediStori was launched in the RCPI. It was then published in the International Journal of Integrated Care. I received investment on Dragons’ Den and was one multiple awards for my work as an innovator and advocate. MediStori (under different names) is now, as planned, being integrated into national HSE programmes, given for free at the point of care.
I am now taking on one of the biggest challenges of my life and am running as an independent candidate for the European Parliamentary Elections.
Because I believe it is about time that a patient advocate sits right beside those who makes the policies about our care. Nothing About Us, Without Us.
I am not alone in this journey. Together with two other amazing mothers, Aisling McNiffe and Colleen Worthington we are helping families across Ireland speak up and out.
Together, we are called ‘Families Speak Out’and we represent each Constituency in Ireland.
We represent you. The parent, the patient, the carer, the health professional. The citizen. The child.
We want those who make decisions about us put our Health First.
Check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/familiesspeakout