As President of Digital Health Canada, I was also truly honoured to reveal the Women Leaders in Digital Health awards, a key announcement during Digital Health Week. The opportunity to recognize female visionaries leading the advancement of IT to transform health care in Canada was a definite highlight.
A recurring theme emerged during the conference — the need to enable connections in care. However, depending on who you spoke to or what presentation you may have heard, the way those connections were described, varied. Some attendees took a standards-oriented or technical view and emphasized the actions and activities needed to ensure data interoperability so health data can seamlessly flow and be appropriately used by patients, clinicians, and the health system. Others described these connections as a need for a connected health system that recognizes and includes social determinants of health, along with population health and health care delivery. Yet others described it as integrated clinical workflows with improved clinical and patient experiences, no matter where or how they engage with the health system. And finally, others reminded us that connections in care mean compassion and empathy and truly considering the need for ‘care’ in care.
Each of these descriptions and stories presented a clear path for change that truly resonated. They left me feeling inspired to be part of this community, driving towards something bigger and bolder that improves upon where we are at today.
In further reflecting about my experience at the conference, I came to appreciate one additional example of ‘connection’ that really stood out — the power of connections in the room. There with me, were a group of passionate and dedicated people that came together with aligned ideas and a shared recognition of the steps needed to move forward.
Our digital health community is strong and powerful. Our shared vision, our collective partnerships, and the strong connections between us will enable us to drive digital health forward. I am encouraged by the connections I made at the conference last month, and I am excited to continue to be a part of the journey to transform health and health care in Canada.
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