Mal Thatcher named as Australian Digital Health Agency CTO

Former Queensland Health chief health information officer and Mater Health CIO Mal Thatcher has been named as the Australian Digital Health Agency’s (ADHA) new chief technology officer.

Dr Thatcher was CIO of Mater Health in Brisbane for almost 11 years, where he led the development of its Smart Hospital strategy, and was an adjunct professor at QUT before taking on the inaugural role of chief health information officer with Queensland Health in September 2014.

The CHIO office was merged into eHealth Queensland in 2015 and Mr Thatcher left to do his PhD on IT governance in acute healthcare.

He returned to eHealth Queensland as acting CEO in 2017 before setting up his own advisory firm and heading back to QUT, where he has been professor of digital practice at its business school.

Dr Thatcher was also co-chair of ADHA’s program board on secure messaging interoperability. He has a masters in computer science and a bachelor’s degree in IT as well as his PhD.

ADHA CEO Amanda Cattermole said Dr Thatcher would bring to the agency deep technical skills and a long history in a range of public and private health environments.

“I look forward to his contribution to the National Digital Health Strategy and a better connected healthcare system that enables healthcare providers to access and share important patient information such as pathology and diagnostic imaging results, current and past prescriptions, and medical history,” Ms Cattermole said in a statement.

“Dr Thatcher will also bring his skills and experience to support the key role of digital health in Australia’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dr Thatcher said: “I am joining the agency at a time when digital health has proven how integral it is to meeting the nation’s healthcare challenges and supporting improved healthcare outcomes.

“What really impresses me is the agency’s core focus on building the digital skills of healthcare providers and consumers so they can maximise the benefits of technology.”

ADHA is currently in discussions with the digital health industry on ideas to modernise the technology underpinning Australia’s digital health infrastructure, including the My Health Record. It has recently tendered for a Health API gateway to replace the Oracle gateway.

Dr Thatcher takes over from former CIO Ronan O’Connor, who is now working with industry association HIMSS. He begins on February 8.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: ADHA, Mal Thatcher

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