Jonathan Ritchie

Tom Allen
clock • 4 min read
Jonathan Ritchie

Jonathan Ritchie

Part of the IT Leaders 100 - a list of the most influential IT leaders in the UK

As a digital leader Jonathan has an extensive career in the IT sector, most recently in the health industry. In his role as CIO at Mastercall Healthcare, he is involved in the early adoption of new solutions and countrywide pilots working with national leads at the NHS, as well as diversifying IT services and securing external managed technical/support contracts.

How do you ensure diversity is taken into account in your IT recruitment?

As a member of the board we have taken our role to ensure diversity very seriously and made considerable improvements concerning cultural change and inclusion when concerning IT/digital recruitment.

Team members take part in our accredited 'Dignity & Care for all' training programme providing information to staff digitally.

Within our Digital Strategy, we encourage remote working, and have ensure clear flexible remote working is available to team members.

We are careful our job adverts are for encouragement, and do not alienate or categorise people.

Which technology are you currently most excited by?

At Mastercall Healthcare, we are currently starting our journey with the use of robot process automation (RPA). We currently use two or three core systems and many are progressing towards an enhanced connected state (previously disparate) via integration plans, but there is also the need for the replacement of manual data processes that are lengthy and time consuming - such as 'patient amalgamations' across all services (when duplicate Adastra records are created for the same patient). This can happen when the call handler does not notice the patient's name on the initial list that comes up after the date of birth is entered, where the initial details are entered incorrectly, or where there is a slight difference in the name or address and the patient/caller is not able to advise Mastercall of the correct previous address.

Patients that require amalgamating appear on a queue within Adastra. A staff member will open each patient, compare the information held in Adastra and PDS, accept any changes, then amalgamate the patient. The RPA process will fully automate most patients to be amalgamated. Cases that require further investigation or more complex decisions will be referred to the team. This may include changes in address, or where an NHS number is associated with two completely different patients. All very time consuming.

Currently there are about 150,000 patients in the Adastra queue that require amalgamating. Each case takes around a minute for a member of staff to process, so there is an estimated 1.5 years work required for a full time equivalent member of staff to process the entire queue. This doesn't include any new patients added to the queue in real time!

We also have plans to use RPA for Subject Access Requests - which is also a time sapping exercise. We recently held a number of sessions running through our digital programme board, encouraging teams/users to submit ideas on the replacement of manual processes via Blue Prism/RPA. This was incredibly encouraging as the ideas were received from an energised 'think tank' amongst our team, many of whom had no involvement in IT/digital systems previously, but we encourage an open connected forum to share ideas. Due to the number of ideas, efficiency, savings, and enhanced use of data, we are incredibly excited about future uses of RPA at Mastercall Healthcare.

What do you to unwind?

I unwind by golfing, hiking, mountain biking, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy travel.

If you were an animal (other than human), which animal would you be and why?

I would be an eagle: they have great agility, can take in a high level view and are incredibly determined, courageous and represent freedom, wisdom and truth.

What makes you laugh?

Only Fools and Horses.

How did you get into IT?

My brother brought home our first Windows computer while he was in first year at Uni - I was 15, and from there I was hooked. I would take computers apart and put them back together, and then got more involved in the software side, data analysis, and then into project management, before making the leap into lead management. As for what makes me tick - My main encouragement now is to enable and enhance patients' lives by continuing to transform our digital offerings. To build a culture and improve awareness, and empowerment of IT/digital capabilities to our staff and patients. Mastercall are a smaller not-for-profit organisation against many of the large Trusts, so we really have had to work hard to gain funding - but I am delighted to see how we are evolving and being viewed nationally as innovative.

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