Griffith University Adjunct Professor Damian Green, Deputy Director-General and Chief Information Officer of Queensland Health at eHealth Queensland.

The Department of Business Strategy and Innovation is pleased to welcome Adjunct Professor Damian Green, Deputy Director-General and Chief Information Officer of Queensland Health at eHealth Queensland. He is responsible for leading the development of Queensland Health’s enterprise strategy to leverage digital innovation to improve organisational performance and contribute to measurable improvements in both care outcomes and operating efficiency. As Adjunct Professor, Damian has a strong interest to make a broader contribution to the University through participating in teaching and education activities, providing professional and advisory guidance and supporting the school’s research and broader industry engagement activities. 

Leading the state’s Information Communication Technology workforce, Damian is responsible for partnering with sixteen independent statutory health authorities in a way that ensures local needs of the diverse Queensland population are met. The specific needs include vulnerable communities, regional access, and better care for people with chronic disease to receive better care and remote consultations. Crucial to this will be fostering and supporting locally-led approaches to business innovation, which contributes directly to better health outcomes.

Since serving the role of Executive Director and Chief Information Officer at Gold Coast Hospital (January 2013- September 2019), Damian has been advising opportunities for digital transformation and lead the innovation journey. He leads the team to design, develop and implement digital health systems, and in his current role he feels privileged to continue doing that at a large and diverse scale for cities, rural, regional areas. Learning from his current and previous roles, he believes that there needs to be a shift of focus from an IT-centric to business transformational mindset. Shaping business through problem definition and agile prototyping for bringing ideas into live is an important skillset to deliver values and incremental improvements. This skillset will enable a more rapid and agile journey to achieve transformational outcomes driven by the needs to improve client experience and operational efficiency.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the executive leadership, his role has become even more important at the forefront of managing the pandemic. The pandemic was unprecedented and there is only a small sample of data to learn from, therefore managing the pandemic required a very strategic and intentional leadership. The first response measure was mobilising the team to work from home (60-70%) effectively while still keeping hospitals opened, as well as maintaining healthcare and emergency responses. This also includes cutting red-tape to ensure that operations run smoother. The second response was shaping the agenda and supporting the broader team to develop agile solutions and rapidly expand the supporting tools. Solutions such as virtual care and remote consultation are crucial for emergency responses amid the social isolation.  Prior to COVID-19, remote consultation using Microsoft Teams was only used by 10,000 staff, whereas during the pandemic, there has been more than 50,000 users. 

The rapid adoption of technology in the health care sector has suddenly become plausible, and the whole experience has opened the door for technology to play a central and transformational role for managing care. Barriers were removed, and the team was united throughout the crisis, with recognition of acceptable compromise to carry out fundamental reforms in an agile manner.