Telstra Health secures Marc Belej for digital hospital innovation role
Telstra Health has appointed former Allscripts vice president of innovation Marc Belej as its new general manager for digital hospital innovation.
Dr Belej, a qualified medical doctor with training in computer science who started up the Adelaide-based firm Core Medical Solutions with colleague Rohan Ward, will be in charge of Telstra Health’s software delivery and operations teams for hospitals and connected health.
This involves Telstra Health’s Kyra hospital solutions, along with the National Cancer Screening Register and Telstra Health’s Virtual Care suite.
Dr Belej and Dr Ward set up Core Medical Solutions in 2001 and developed the BOSSnet digital medical record, which is used by a number of Victorian and Western Australian health services. CMS was acquired by US multinational EMR vendor Allscripts in 2016, and BOSSnet has recently been rebranded as Allscripts Opal.
Dr Belej said it was an interesting time to be joining Telstra Health, which has recently made some large acquisitions in the primary and acute care markets. He will report to Telstra Health’s head of hospitals, Graeme Osborne.
Dr Belej said he and Dr Ward founded Core Medical Solutions as young doctors who were looking for better software tools to use in their everyday work.
“That's always been my motivation, which is to create beautiful software that is a pleasure to use for doctors, for patients, for nurses,” he said. “That's always what motivated me.”
After 15 or so years with CMS and then Allscripts, he said he was looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of Telstra Health’s journey.
“It's an incredible time to be joining Telstra Health,” he said. “There is a lot happening; huge, pivotal announcements that have happened in that time, but they just support the fundamental reasons that I wanted to be part of Telstra Health anyway.
“It's an organisation that has very deep and very broad connections and expertise in digital healthcare in Australia. It's in the acute hospital space, which is where I work, but also aged and disability and primary care and population health. And it's got an incredible calibre of people that are connected to all parts of the Australian healthcare economy.”
Dr Belej said he will have responsibility for the delivery of products on the acute and virtual care markets, but also innovation in those products.
He also said Telstra Health was a strong supporter of partnerships across the industry, and he was keen to help make Telstra Health and digital healthcare as a whole a destination employer of choice, and to attract the best and brightest talent into digital healthcare.
“We're competing out there with the Fintech and Silicon Valley-style companies in Australia. It's really hot right now. And digital healthcare is an incredibly fulfilling market space that does that does really important things for society and I'd very much like to see us attracting the best and brightest minds into our industry.”
The virtual care sector in particular is going through an exciting time, he said. “We're just starting to see the initial phases of adoption play out and we're going to see virtual care impacted in so many more ways in the years to come.
“Healthcare is going to come to consumers for the first time, and we're going to increasingly see that the consumers don't have to go to hospitals and clinics necessarily to get a lot of their healthcare needs attended to.
“We're also going to see that health healthcare services are able to respond in a really sophisticated and predictive manner to what people need, in the same way that online services know what kind of food you like, or where your most common transport patterns are.
“It’s not just going to be video conferencing, but remote monitoring, combined with an understanding of the way patients move between sectors of care on the care continuum. And that's really going to break down the silos that that we have as a society built up between aged care and primary care and acute care.”
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