Russell Friend, Standards Development Manager, BCS explains the story so far

In November 2016, I joined BCS with the immediate task to familiarise myself with the world of Health Informatics, soaking up whatever information I could place my hands on. During the first 4 weeks of research I established that it lacked clarity (or I was stupid, which is of course a possibility). Trying to nail down Health Informatics was quite difficult and somewhat confusing.

By Christmas I had engaged with several people, including but not limited to NHS Wales Informatics Services and North West Informatics Skills Development Network. These 2 areas were both very well established, insomuch as they had created a regional identity for Health Informatics. What I began to realise was that Health Informatics is an extremely broad field, which meant developing standards would need to allow sufficient room to capture this wide spectrum.

My next phase was to draw on the relationships I had established to facilitate workshops, through which I could find out the information necessary to start working towards developing a set of standards.

In March 2017, I launched workshops to engage with Health Informatics professionals to gather the necessary information. The workshops were held in Manchester (21 March), London (30 March) and Cardiff (06 April). The level of engagement and discussion at these workshops was fantastic. Working in groups, with regular rotation, often the discussion had to be broken up to rotate the groups and keep within deadlines.

From the information gathered through the various exercises a strawman paper was produced and distributed to workshop attendees in May 2017, with a request for feedback. Work is now continuing to produce a formal paper, which will be distributed widely for feedback, to hopefully set the requirements as determined for the Health Informatics profession, by the Health Informatics profession.