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International Women’s Day – Supporting women in digital health

Late last year, Alcidion partnered with the Australian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH) to support the Women in Digital Health Leadership (WiDH) Program.

The inaugural program supports women in digital health to reach their aspirations and goals via professional development activities and courses while building a community of connection with other women in the industry. Alcidion are delighted to announce that two of our employees, Rhian Sketcher and Samantha Townsend, were successful in their application to participate.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, Rhian and Sam share their career milestones to date, their anticipated benefits of participation in the program and their thoughts on the impact digital solutions have on healthcare delivery.

Get to know Rhian

Rhian has over 10 years’ industry experience as a health care IT specialist. She has delivered clinical system implementations, process improvements, data quality and reporting strategies across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (UK).

Rhian holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Biotechnology) and Bachelor of IT (Software Architecture) and joined Alcidion in 2018 after working with MKM Health from 2013. She has worked in a variety of roles including project manager, implementation lead, subject matter expert and most recently as a product specialist. Rhian’s engagements span varied stakeholder groups, from subject matter experts through to the C-Suite.

Her current role is Product Manager for Miya Observations and Assessments (Patientrack).

Get to know Sam

For the past 10 years, Sam has been focused on delivering complex projects and programs of work in Digital Health across Australia, New Zealand and the UK.  Over this time, Sam has gained experience in a wide range of specialties including Program Management Office responsibilities as well as release management, managed services, scrum mastering and account management.

Sam holds a Business Studies BA and a series of qualifications in Change Management, Agile PM and PRINCE2.  Driven by a passion for improving health outcomes, Sam joined Alcidion in 2021 as Senior Project Manager and is responsible for a range of projects involving data analytics, integration, pathology, and consulting requirements.

What do you enjoy about working at Alcidion?

Rhian: The shared vision to create positive improvements to the delivery of healthcare as well as seeing the tangible results.  The opportunity to learn and then apply that gained knowledge to new engagements, internal and external.

Alcidion as a company is growing – given that environment, there are many opportunities to develop and progress.  The culture supports individuals to achieve their potential.

Sam:  I love the diversity of the projects and customers. I have been working in Health IT for a long time and I am getting to work on projects that are completely new to me. I moved across to Alcidion to challenge myself and to continue to build my skills. There have been some great learning opportunities and I have only been here for nine months.

I have also really enjoyed the culture of the organisation. Alcidion do a lot to cultivate their culture. The people are all very supportive and there were events through lockdown and after, creating a real team atmosphere.

What do you hope to achieve from your participation in the AIDH Women in Digital Health Program?

Rhian: Learning is never complete, whether you are fresh out of university or a senior executive. Throughout my career I have sought new roles and projects that challenge my knowledge and provide opportunities for personal growth and leadership development.  I feel now is the right time to formalise over ten years of on-the-job and personal learning and further refine my skills through this leadership program. I am also returning to work after eight months of maternity leave, taking on a new role to lead a team delivering clinical software modules.  The opportunity to meet and network with other women in various stages of their leadership journeys, the one-on-one coaching and mentoring from industry leaders is invaluable.

Sam: I think it’s extremely important to keep engaged in continuous learning.  Working closely alongside skilled, experienced people is where I have learnt most in my career.  I feel that I have progressed rapidly in the last five years and this program is a great opportunity to build confidence and leadership skills, to work with successful, experienced women from my industry,  and to build my professional network.

What impact will the adoption of digital health solutions have on healthcare delivery?

Rhian: I am passionate about delivering transformative solutions with health care organisations to improve business processes and patient outcomes.  I believe the adoption of digital health solutions that provide real time insights and improve accessibility for consumers and clinicians will greatly assist in streamlining healthcare delivery. Freeing time to focus on what’s important , making communicating easier and ensuring edge cases don’t slip through the cracks.

Sam: We all have horror stories about medical notes being lost or going missing, or incorrect medications being prescribed, whether in professional settings or through experiences with family and friends.  Digital health solutions make those occurrences much less likely.  Better quality information, available at the point of care equals better informed decision making and improved outcomes for the patients and for healthcare institutions.

The program kicked off at the AIDH Digital Health Summit on 21 February, Rhian shares her experience below:

“I have found the program fantastic so far. The facilitators, who have a great mix of business leadership and developmental coaching experience, have done a good job of weaving digital health into the program despite never working in the field. The cohort is an excellent mix, from clinical to technical backgrounds, public and private as well as across career stages. I also really like how the retreats have been structured by the themes of – self, culture and people. I’m personally really looking forward to the focus on culture, whereas I find focusing on myself very challenging. It was also a great idea to have the retreats associated with the Digital Health Summits as everyone was energised by the content.”

Congratulations on your positions in the AIDH Women in Digital Health Leadership Program Rhian and Sam! We look forward to the experiences you will have as the program continues to #BreaktheBias and provide opportunities for the growth of digital health careers for women.