1. What are your key areas of interest and research?
Helping to drive the future evolution of electronic health records (EHRs) to be a rich, holistic and smart information resource to all players involved in healthcare and research. My present areas of focus include semantic interoperability, enabling meaning to be understood by people and computers when data are shared between different information systems and different health settings and information governance, especially developing best practices in the trustworthy re-use of health information for research.
2. What are the major challenges in your field?
Serving many different purposes and stakeholders, which often pulls investments in health systems and development of standards in different directions. Unfortunately those needs which are closest to the care of individual patients can easily be overshadowed by the needs of those who need to make high-level management decisions. ICT systems are often better at management reporting than they are at supporting the documentation of care about individuals and the delivery of useful information to guide care decisions about individuals. We must work together to advance EHRs and their semantic interoperability at a global level.
3. What is your top management tip?
Unless healthcare IT systems deliver for patients and healthcare professionals, everybody else will have poor quality data, poor evidence and make unwise management decisions from it.
4. What would you single out as a career highlight?
The long-term championing of the vision for great electronic health records and great value from good quality, interoperable health information.
5. If you had not chosen this career path what do you think you would have become?
My original career path was as a general practitioner. I like to think that, if I had not fallen in love with health informatics, I would have played leading roles nationally and internationally to ensure that this profession always strongly promotes the best interests of patients, healthy citizens and populations, as well as being a good personcentred GP to my patients.
6. What are your personal interests outside of work?
Before I left London and moved to Brussels I had just discovered how wonderful it is to play golf! Now I need to take this up again.
Health data, care, hospitals, efficiency, research, cross-border, privacy protection, health services, Zoom On ‘The potential of healthcare data has not been fully tapped’. Meet Dipak Kalra, President of the EuroRec Institute.