Graduates using data to drive NHS changesNews
Graduates are using a range of data and statistical techniques to make a big difference on topical health issues.
The National Health Service's Health Informatics Graduate Programme uses graduates and their data skills to help improve healthcare services. With the reopening of the NHS's scheme, a new crop of graduates are getting the opportunity to use their data expertise to improve healthcare services for 53 million people.
Megan Reid, a Pharmacology graduate from the University of Glasgow, joined the programme in September 2014. She says the satisfaction offered by the position is unlike anything else.
"When you're working on projects that require determination and test you both personally and professionally, it becomes all the more satisfying when you think that patients, their families and friends are benefiting on the other end," she says. "It's a snowball effect of positive impact."
As part of the programme Megan has worked on some important projects, including current issues of global concern.
"My work was helping to prevent female genital mutilation," she says. "That was when I realised the power of Health Informatics to touch people's lives."
"I was part of the team that created a database allowing healthcare professionals to call attention to and support women or girls who'd undergone, or were at risk of undergoing, female genital mutilation. Our work will also play a part in setting up services and schemes to help prevent this illegal activity."
Health informatics is a burgeoning field for the NHS and Megan expects data information to play a much bigger part in the services in the future.
"There's so much more we can do to help the health and social care system utilise technology and information to improve services and aid better health outcomes for patients," she says. "It gives you a solid grounding from which to either develop within the field, or move into others."
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