From midwife to strategist to clinical adoption executive, Lorraine Edwards has had quite the proffesional journey. Check out the interview below :)
You've had quite the professional trajectory, from midwife to strategist to clinical adoption executive -- please give us some insights into what are you doing and how did you get here.
Whilst I was working as a midwife, we were using different healthcare systems and paper and writing one thing multiple times in multiple places. When a secondment came up to work on an IT project that meant the clinical staff could enter the information once in real time and it would populate multiple locations, it seemed a great opportunity to try and help myself and fellow midwives by giving them more time to care for our patients. As this was a first of type for the tech company involved, lots of other hospitals were interested in the project, and I was lucky to talk to other midwives and obstetricians about it - not only from other trusts but also other countries.
This then led to a job at Cerner as the clinical maternity lead, helping to deploy and support hospitals with their workflows, benefits and clinical risk. I also helped develop the solution to have a standardised offer to hospitals moving forward and linking to other products to help with integration.
All the knowledge that I gained through these experiences has now given me the great opportunity to work for the System C & Graphnet Care Alliance as a clinical adoption executive. I look after several trusts who use the System C products. I am there to help and support them through their digital transformation process - this can be looking at current workflow and how this will change when using digital mobile applications or as a result of being able to view the whole patient record. This will make it easy for all the clinical staff to see current up to date information whether in the hospital or in the community and therefore make better clinic decisions with the most relevant data available to them.
Talk to us about some of the projects you were/ are involved in in the healthtech space. Anything close to your heart?
I was part of the PRSB (Professional Record Standards Body) maternity and child health initiative to standardise data capture. I think this is just so important to make sure that everyone across the country captures data in a standardised format so it can be used to help with research and to support information sharing between hospitals and assist with patient transfers.
Work-life balance can be tricky for any job - what has it been like for you?
It's always a difficult challenge to have a good work life balance and sometimes work takes over because there is a big project that needs to be delivered on time, but there are quieter time as well and you must make the most of those. To make sure you have a better work-life balance, it’s important to try not to work at weekends unless necessary and to switch the work phone off over weekends, days off and annual leave - otherwise you will go and look at emails and that can be fatal and escalate to more work.
Any (out of the box hobbies) that keep you well?
I have two horses, so that keeps me busy. One is a very large shire horse and the other is 18 months old, so like small children, they do like to push the boundaries.
I also love all things to do with crafting, especially cardmaking, people will always get handmade cards and gifts for birthdays and Christmas.
Cool/ quirky plans on the horizon?
Professionally I am excited about deploying CareFlow Connect, our care coordination platform, across whole health economies - in particular, the Bucks Integrated Care System, one of our customers that I work with. The other element that is exciting is the CareFlow Clinical Workspace, which is the new clinical front end to our EPR.
Personally, getting some chickens, which means some quirky chicken behaviour and fresh eggs.
Some words of wisdom for a younger self.
Don’t ever think that you can't achieve what you want to. It may take longer than you think and there will be pitfalls and issues on your way but through hard work and may be some luck, you can get there. Stay strong and positive.