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Meet the Buccaneers: An interview with Yvonne Goff

The Chief Clinical Information Officer discusses digital learning networks, leadership challenges and The Proclaimers…

Yvonne Goff is the Chief Clinical Information Officer of the Health Service Executive. A radiographer by background, she has over 20 years of experience in the Health Sector with five of these directly involved in Informatics. Having been a key driver of one of the largest eHealth projects in Ireland to date, Yvonne has developed an expertise in project delivery in difficult environments. She has proven ability in driving process change and meeting targets, while at the same time possessing an understanding of the clinical and patient needs for such developments. Recently, Yvonne was appointed as one of six health IT disruptors on the Silver Buccaneers advisory board.

Published by
Rory Bibb
PR and Marketing Executive, Silver Buck

What is a typical day for you at work?

It sounds cliché, but there really isn’t a typical day. I start at my Inbox but every day is different. I could be meeting with senior leadership, clinicians, service users or checking in with my own team, engaging with vendors, presenting at a conference, or rolling out a data dashboard. Anything can happen!

How do you keep up to date on health IT news?

I read the national newspapers and some of the health IT magazines, and I also visit their websites. LinkedIn and Twitter are also great for keeping up to date on health IT news. And, as well as that, eHealth Ireland’s Ecosystem allows me to meet lots of companies and to constantly learn.

Other than increasing funding, what would you do to improve NHS IT?

Funding and resources are always a significant challenge. It is crucial that we develop a workforce of trained clinical informaticians and give them the appropriate resources and authority to deliver credible strategies, which minimise the disruption to service delivery. We need to organise digital learning networks that can support the implementation and improvement of our services, leading the readiness to go digital.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your current role?

Setting the scene for leadership is important because it is very context driven. You need a different kind of skill set for different challenges. As CCIO, I put emphasis on strategy by aligning technology with health and social care requirements. eHealth should be given the tools and skills necessary to enable our health and care services to become digitally enabled and become a data-driven organisation. This is critical; if we don’t get this right, nothing is going to happen. We are not going to see the changes that we need to make on behalf of the patients, the public, and the consumers who deserve an efficient, affordable and timely health service.

If you could only pick one health IT conference or event to attend, which one would it be?

The best advice I can give any CCIO is to strengthen and grow their network with clinicians, others trained in clinical care and informatics, and other health IT professionals; therefore, I always recommend attending the CCIO/CIO Digital Health Summer Schools.

If you wake up in a bad mood, what song would you play to cheer you up?

The Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

If you could be anybody for one day, who would you be and why?

James Corden while he is filming Carpool Karaoke – he is extremely witty and looks like would be great craic to be around.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I have a few reality shows that I would describe as guilty pleasures, oh, and Ugg boots!

If you could have any super-power, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to control time. There is never enough time in the day to get as much done as I would like.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I grew up on a farm so I always liked the idea of farming (in the summer), although I’m afraid of cows so maybe that wouldn’t work out! Other ambitions were to become a doctor or a hairdresser.

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