I say what I see…

Does Ireland Need the Constitutional Right to Health?

Why should health professionals have to shout from the rooftops that their patients may be harmed or die because they are under resourced/funded? Why should patients or carers (often sick themselves) have to set up their own advocacy groups out of serious concerns for themselves or their loved ones? Why should ordinary people have to … Continue reading Does Ireland Need the Constitutional Right to Health?

Mobbing as a form of bullying – in school and in work.

I collect my daughter from school. I know she is not herself. She is quiet, withdrawn and won't make eye contact with me when I ask her how her day was. I know something is wrong. She is usually a witty, happy-go-lucky child with a charming sense of humour that would make even the grumpiest … Continue reading Mobbing as a form of bullying – in school and in work.

Closure through Open Disclosure: Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right.

Many years ago, I remember walking into the playroom to find two of my daughters screaming at one another - my younger daughter was in tears. Using a firm, but much lower tone than theirs, I requested both of them to stop screaming. They did. At just seven and six years of age at the time, these little … Continue reading Closure through Open Disclosure: Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right.

Branding and Buy In: Business (and Buyer) Beware – and Be Aware.

As an an entrepreneur now for almost 16 years, one of the most important elements of my work has been building brands that resonate, not just with local customers and staff, but with global audiences too. People can often think a brand is just a name for a product or service, but it is so much more … Continue reading Branding and Buy In: Business (and Buyer) Beware – and Be Aware.

Gut Instinct in Healthcare: “I just feel something isn’t right”

"I really feel something is just not right". "My gut instinct is telling me something is seriously wrong" I have spoken about reassurance and concern before, but I want to reiterate just how important this topic is. Reassuring patients at the first point of care, could potentially not just save lives, it could also save money, time and … Continue reading Gut Instinct in Healthcare: “I just feel something isn’t right”

Leaders Need Encouragement, Experience and Effective Education

So, it was just after finishing my Leaving Certificate [way back in 1999!] when I became ecstatic to learn that I was accepted into college to study electronic engineering. I was so eager to get started but unfortunately this feeling was short-lived as I had taken very ill and had been hospitalised for a length … Continue reading Leaders Need Encouragement, Experience and Effective Education

Unhealthy Competitive Cultures Can Impact Negatively on Patients

My Problem As a carer to my dad leaving hospital after a nine week stay, the doctor shows me his prescription – a whopping twenty two separate drugs are on his list – many of which are not pills but are inhalers, injections, patches, liquids and gels.  Items which a pillbox cannot help me with. I quickly … Continue reading Unhealthy Competitive Cultures Can Impact Negatively on Patients

Doing it with us, not for us…

“Taking account of the perspectives of patients and their families is crucial to articulating the reality and identifying the gaps between patient safety measures possible and the levels of safety being experienced by patients.” Building a Culture of Patient Safety, July 2008 Staff Guide to Patient and Public Participation, Cork University Hospital In the last … Continue reading Doing it with us, not for us…

A Day in the Life of a Patient Attending an Outpatient Clinic: The Problems and Solutions

I arrive at a hospital I haven't been to before. I have been told in my appointment letter to go  directly to the outpatients desk to let them know I'm here. I look around - there are three reception areas - but which one is  for outpatients? I logically choose the one nearest the front entrance, wait in a queue … Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Patient Attending an Outpatient Clinic: The Problems and Solutions

Are “Self Management” courses worth the paper they’re written on?

A 46 year old man stands at the kitchen counter in his house staring blankly at the two bags of medicines he has just collected from his pharmacy. Maurice - his heart full of regret; his head racing with anxiety. Feeling unhappy, scared about his future - and feeling, oh, so alone. Suddenly he is stirred from his … Continue reading Are “Self Management” courses worth the paper they’re written on?

When patients have no choice but to be innovative…

Patients and carers across the world are constantly coming up with new ideas in relation to the management of medications, achieving daily tasks with limited mobility, tracking symptoms and even finding ways to remember medical information. I myself even came up with the MediStori - a personal health organiser - while caring for my dad who was … Continue reading When patients have no choice but to be innovative…

The Christmas Retail Saga: Exploiting consumers experience rather than creating it.

Yet again another Christmas shop opens. A video posted shows a large retailer in Ireland selling its Christmas decorations - in August. Yet again, I sigh. I sigh not because I have yet to pay upcoming fees for my children going back to school (and I don't want to be hounded about Santa just yet) nor do … Continue reading The Christmas Retail Saga: Exploiting consumers experience rather than creating it.

Camping Showed me the True Spirit of Community

I started packing bags, folding sleeping bags, filling flasks, writing lists of things I needed, topping up the car with Diesel and checking our travel emergency bag to ensure it had every medicine known to man in it - just in case. Yes, we were going camping. On the spur of the moment, I had decided that I was bringing … Continue reading Camping Showed me the True Spirit of Community

Speaking at the National Patient Forum 2015

At 7.30am last Tuesday, I found myself talking aloud in my car, en route to Dublin, practicing for a presentation that I would be delivering at the National Patient and Service User Forum that same morning. Looking back,  I was really getting into it and I quite animatedly corrected myself when I went off track … Continue reading Speaking at the National Patient Forum 2015

Overcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]

This is how I told my story at Heart Children Ireland’s National AGM… “Hi my name is Olive, and I am a mum of three girls; Micaela Nicole and Mackensie.  I was going to tell my story spontaneously , but every time I practised doing it this way, my emotions took over and I forgot … Continue reading Overcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]

The Stigma: Anxiety Caused by Disclosing Anxiety.

Please Note: I will be disclosing personal information in this post. I am terrified in doing so, but here goes anyway. I care too much about breaking the stigma surrounding the mental health agenda. This post was originally posted on LinkedIn for professionals. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Always. People think I'm always happy. Bubbly, outgoing, fun. People think I'm always strong. Hopeful, helpful, … Continue reading The Stigma: Anxiety Caused by Disclosing Anxiety.

Do you judge peoples ability to do their work by their tastes in clothes, hobbies or music?

"It was during an informal conversation over a cup of tea with a business associate that led to a discussion about our various music tastes. I confidently declared that Beyoncé was one of my favourite artists. I was immediately taken aback when I was met with an arched eyebrow; a patronizing smile and the statement – “Oh really, … Continue reading Do you judge peoples ability to do their work by their tastes in clothes, hobbies or music?

Virgin Awards: First update – I have entered! Can I do it?

I have over 4,000 connections and interested to see what percent of you will engage... Okay so two days I eventually got the courage and I submitted my social ethical enterprise into the @Virgin Media Business VOOM IMPACT Awards! Okay so I know I should have started it a few weeks back but honestly this was a … Continue reading Virgin Awards: First update – I have entered! Can I do it?

Engagement – don’t talk the talk; walk the walk…

Now you would think with the eagerness of people sharing, exploring and connecting information that it would be relatively easy to find government employees work email addresses, phone numbers or even basic work locations. But this is not always the case, and most of the time, I feel this is okay, as it is after all, … Continue reading Engagement – don’t talk the talk; walk the walk…

Yes, I challenge society as a whole. Yes, I challenge you as a person.

I challenge you. I challenge you to not be ignorant.  I challenge you to inform yourself. I challenge you to think of people, not in their masses, but as individuals. I challenge you to take this thought and apply it to yourself. I challenge you to think what it might be like to have people … Continue reading Yes, I challenge society as a whole. Yes, I challenge you as a person.

Virgin Media Awards: Update 3

Who would put a Boeing 747 on a river? Who'd design paper health records in today's world? None other than 2 Irish entrepreneurs in the #VOOM awards! ***HUGE NEWS*** **Quirky Glamping and MediStori - Community Collaboration at it's Best!** Quirky Nights Glamping Village [yes the crew who brought the Boeing 747 unto the River Shannon!] … Continue reading Virgin Media Awards: Update 3

Codeine and Cigarettes. Why it’s easier to smoke than get pain relief…

A few weeks back, myself and the hubby decided we'd take a much needed break from all the running around in work and so on the Friday, we jumped in the car with the kids, not minding the oncoming four hour road trip because we knew we'd be able to relax at the other end … Continue reading Codeine and Cigarettes. Why it’s easier to smoke than get pain relief…

World Health Innovation Summit: The Platform for Patients and Professionals, with the Purpose to Partner.

With hundreds of health events being launched every single day across the world, I often hear people say, “Oh, conferences – they’re just a money making racket” or “Health professionals feel they have to go to them, to earn learning credits”, or “They’re just excuses to get out of work and go out on the town afterwards”. Often … Continue reading World Health Innovation Summit: The Platform for Patients and Professionals, with the Purpose to Partner.

Virgin Awards: Update 2 – Silicon Republic, HER.ie, iRadio and WHIS are talking about MediStori!

So just nine short days ago I bit my lip and thought "Can I do this?" I was so hesitant. But then I remembered an image that a good friend had once messaged me: And so - I did it - I entered the Virgin Media #VOOM Awards!  Little did I know what a journey it would be in such … Continue reading Virgin Awards: Update 2 – Silicon Republic, HER.ie, iRadio and WHIS are talking about MediStori!

The Patient’s Perspective on eHealth Ireland’s Ecosystem.

Last month, I was both delighted, and honoured, to be invited to keynote the 4th National eHealth Ireland Ecosystem meeting, as chaired by the first CIO of the HSE,Mr Richard Corbridge. When I was told that this particular get together was focusing on an initiative called the "Lighthouse Project" my first thought was – "I can't wait to see their projects!" and … Continue reading The Patient’s Perspective on eHealth Ireland’s Ecosystem.

I’m Not Driven by Profit – I’m Driven by Cause. I’m a Social Entrepreneur!

Who is a Social Entrepreneur?  Social entrepreneurship is what lies between the two poles of government-led and business-led transformation.  The authors present a framework for thinking about social entrepreneurship as a process with four stages:  1: Understanding the world. The paradox of social transformation is that one has to truly understand the system as it … Continue reading I’m Not Driven by Profit – I’m Driven by Cause. I’m a Social Entrepreneur!

“Don’t hire him – he dropped out of school.”

Everyone at some stage will have a regret in their life. It could be something they said or didn't say; or something they did or didn't do. It might be something that happened in their childhood, their teens - or even just a few weeks ago. Touching base with the past can help us move … Continue reading “Don’t hire him – he dropped out of school.”

The Farmer and the Sheepdog [aka the CEO and the Manager]

Throughout my various careers I have both experienced, and come across, some interesting scenarios in relation to that of the perceptions of front line managers and their overarching bosses. Much of the time (and especially in times of dilemmas/difficult decisions/delicate situations) the manager is the person out front dealing with it.  Unfavorable presumptions and accusations about this person … Continue reading The Farmer and the Sheepdog [aka the CEO and the Manager]

Reassurance – Often written, rarely verbalised.

As I came in from another long day at work, my three girls (and three dogs, I might add!) all came running at me - just before I got a chance to glance at the post that had arrived that day. After seeing their happy faces and hugging them tightly, I felt so reassured that they … Continue reading Reassurance – Often written, rarely verbalised.

Presenting and attending at the National Medicines Forum 2015

Last Thursday, on the 30th April 2015, the 3rd National Medicines Forum was held in No.6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2 – also known as the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.  Upon walking in the doors of this truly remarkable building, you honestly feel like you’ve stepped back in time – you can feel the depth of history and can … Continue reading Presenting and attending at the National Medicines Forum 2015

My dream in life? Not just world peace, but inner peace.

As I drove home in the car with my three beautiful girls last night in the back seat, I felt that little feeling in my tummy - that feeling that we all experience every now and again - that little moment of sheer inner childlike happiness. I had put on a Disney CD as we set off on … Continue reading My dream in life? Not just world peace, but inner peace.

Endorsed by Irish Government

My work was always about making our society a better place, and helping the most vulnerable people, especially patients. So it came as no surprise to me when An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny, told everyone that "MediStori will save our health service millions". (He also called me "young" which I greatly appreciated!!) https://youtu.be/a2dKc57p4Cc

Advocacy for Advocates – Silence is Not Always Golden.

*Warning this is a long blog post - I'm not apologising for it's length, I'm just giving you the heads up.* Even writing this blog I feel myself shaking. Fear reaches peak as I wonder if my story will lead to even more negative repercussions for me. Anxiety flows through me as I recall events that … Continue reading Advocacy for Advocates – Silence is Not Always Golden.

Speaking at MedTech (and many more!)

When I talk to those in the tech industry,  I usually get asked – “But why is  the MediStori not an app?” And the answer is simple – I asked my customers what they wanted, and this is what I was told. Additionally, there is the major point that most acute hospitals and GP’s do not have public Wi-Fi access … Continue reading Speaking at MedTech (and many more!)

Winning New Frontiers Investment with Enterprise Ireland

In 2013, nearly 100 entrepreneurs applied for Phase One of Enterprise Ireland's prestigious New Frontiers programme in 2013. Thirty of these were selected and all of whom presented in a "Dragon Den" style pitch to get on to Phase 2. Our company, presenting the MediStori as our first product, were one of 13 to get … Continue reading Winning New Frontiers Investment with Enterprise Ireland