Meet Our Leading Practitioners
In the recent consultation, many of you expressed a desire to learn more about different career paths, frameworks and to get an insight into what other health and care informatics professionals are up to. So, we are delighted to introduce you to Lisa Emery, one of the first in a series of interviews with our registered Leading Practitioners.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your career journey so far:
I started out as a Biomedical Scientist in the NHS, working in that role for around 12 years and gaining a MSc in Medical Microbiology. After working on laboratory information system projects during this time, I became more involved in IT and information and moved into a project management role in IT. This led on to a 2.5 year stint in Dubai, implementing clinical systems for the Emirati government. I returned to England to work on the National Programme for IT for around six years, before then moving into an IT Strategy Programme Director role at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust. This led on to me undertaking the IT Director and subsequently CIO roles, which I eventually moved on from in 2018, to join the Royal Marsden NHSFT as CIO, the position I currently hold.
What’s one thing you wish you had known when you began your career?
That science and IT would tie in so well together and would be accessible careers for me.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to advance in the profession?
Work hard (obviously) but take chances, try new things and build a strong network.
What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?
So many. People, of course - in our line of work there are so many generous colleagues who will share learning and wisdom. Carefully used, the internet and social media.
What is the one common myth about your field that you want to debunk?
Although getting so much better, busting the notion and breaking the barriers that these are careers anyone can aspire to is really important. We have more to do. In terms of a myth though, you don’t need deep technical knowledge to be a CIO - you need enough, and you need the right team.
What do you think is going to have the biggest impact on health in the next 5 years?
The application and exploitation of technology and the right (accurate, safe and transparent) use of data and information.
How do you continue to learn in order to stay on top of things within your role?
Learning from colleagues at all levels, listening, engaging with webinars, blogs and conferences.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for the profession and how should we overcome it?
There are many challenges. Building a strong sense of profession with the right frameworks is really important to me. That and working out how we are going to bring through the next group of leaders in healthcare IT.
Lisa has been CIO at the Royal Marsden since August 2018, overseeing a comprehensive programme of digital transformation, having previously been CIO at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust from 2014. She started her career in the NHS as a Biomedical Scientist (Microbiology) before moving into a variety of technology roles within healthcare, including a stint in Dubai.
Lisa is currently Chair of both the London CIO Council and the Digital Health CIO Advisory Panel.
We hope you find the insights into the various health and informatics career journeys interesting and will join us in thanking Lisa for sharing some excellent advice.
We look forward to introducing you to more of our Leading Practitioners as the series continues.
(Ps If you are a Leading Practitioner and would like to be involved in the series yourself, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org).