Mums and dads help to shape National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative

Forging ahead with its mission to help make Australia the best place in the world to raise healthy children, and to be raised, the National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative this month held a very successful first workshop for consumer representatives from across the nation.

Patients, carers and families are at the heart of the Collaborative’s exploration of how digital health technology can improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people living in Australia.

Held in Sydney on 18 June, the workshop gave the Collaborative’s consumer representatives the opportunity to share their stories and experiences and to gain a deeper understanding of their important role in the Collaborative.

Australian Digital Health Agency - Consumer Representative Workshop 2018
National Children’s Digital Health Collaborative consumer representatives. L-R: Julie Whitlock, Katie Viviers, Tere Dawson (Facilitator), Jocelyn Neumueller, Alexandra Martiniuk, Darrin Smith, Tania Harris, Harry Iles-Mann, Shantelle Rennie, David Bunker.

“This is such an exciting initiative, and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute my thoughts and ideas to the design of digital solutions and tools that will ultimately impact on my child’s development throughout his life,” said Shantelle Rennie, a first-time mother of three-month-old Harrison, from East Gosford in NSW. “I am all for anything that makes it easier to keep track of this important information about my child’s health and wellbeing.”

Further workshops will be held in coming months to on-board more consumer representatives, with four consumer representatives assigned to each of Collaborative’s governance committee and advisory groups.

Their involvement is helping to ensure the voice of the consumer is central in the design of all of the Collaborative’s digital health initiatives, alongside the voice of clinicians and other key stakeholders.

The role of the Collaborative consumer representatives is to:

  • Add value through representing and promoting consumer views, ideas, suggestions and concerns on antenatal care and children and young people’s health and wellbeing
  • Promote, encourage and support consumer participation at all levels of the Collaborative
  • Review and help to identify consumer requirements for the Collaborative’s initiatives
  • Ensure that the voice of consumers is included in the design of the Collaborative’s initiatives, and supporting co-design between consumers and clinicians

Led by NSW Health in partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency, the Collaborative is currently in a Discovery phase, engaging with clinicians, nurses and IT staff in the pilot locations to learn about the current work practices, the people involved and the systems used.

Its first initiative, the Child Digital Health Record, which is being led by NSW Health in partnership with Victoria, identified pilot sites and starting engagements in Blacktown, Mount Druitt, Doonside, Dubbo and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

The second initiative, the Digital Pregnancy Health Record, will commence from July at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital and is being led by Queensland Health in partnership with South Australia.