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by Andrea Dantas
Published on 6 July 2016

Andrea trained as a general surgeon in Brazil and practiced at Santa Casa Hospital in Sao Paulo before moving to the UK. She joined Cerner in 2006 as a Healthcare Executive after completing her Master’s degree in Healthcare Management at Imperial College in London.

From the very start of my career, when I was a junior doctor, I was passionate about providing the best possible patient care in an environment that was often quite challenging because of time and resource constraints.

I’ll always remember being in A&E in the middle of a night and struggling to make the best clinical judgements, trawling through piles of paper records, trying to piece together and understand the complete picture of the patient in front of me.

I made the hard decision to leave Medicine when I realised that as much as I loved patient care, I wanted to be able to understand the Health Care system and its drivers. I wanted to understand why patients were coming to me with advanced cancers where prevention could have saved them; I wanted to be able to learn and perhaps one day influence Health Care policy and delivery. Joining Cerner, after a little over one year at Accenture, made me feel that this was possible – the ability to still be very close to patient care, but perhaps impacting many more patients than I would have in frontline patient care.

If I’d had the use of an integrated system such as Millennium back then, I’d have had easy access to the information I needed. I wouldn’t have needed to chase for information across different health care organisations and providers. I’ve no doubt that improving clinical collaboration in this way would have benefitted my patients.

I used to spend so much of my time answering bleeps on my pager, chasing test results, or cancelling surgeries because the right equipment and supplies hadn’t been ordered. I knew that time would have been much better spent talking and listening to my patients and reassuring their loved ones.

Having an Electronic Health Record - a single source of reliable and validated information - would have been a major time saver for me as a doctor. I could have dedicated the time it saved me to caring for patients and their families.

In the digital world, clinical pathways can be driven by clinical data, results and a patient’s medical history, all of which helps me give the best, safest care at the most appropriate time.

A system that supports my decisions with accurate, consistent, real-time data is the best thing I could have wished for as a doctor.

Having been a patient myself, knowing that my clinical information is shared between all my doctors and nurses, which gives them an accurate view of my condition, is very reassuring.

Plus, of course, being able to influence and participate in my own care is a fantastic benefit - and that’s what an integrated system can give me.