Qld Health replaces long-vacant CIO role

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Qld Health replaces long-vacant CIO role
Dr Richard Ashby

Mal Thatcher reveals successor.

Queensland Health has hired a permanent executive to the role of departmental CIO and head of its e-health arm after seven months of searching.

The agency's acting CIO and eHealth Queensland chief Mal Thatcher today revealed that Dr Richard Ashby, head of the Metro South Hospital and Health Service, would take over his joint roles.

The CIO of Queensland Health also serves as the chief executive of the department's $485 million tech arm, eHealth Queensland, reporting to director-general Michael Walsh.

He will take over a position that Thatcher stepped into on an interim basis after Colin McCririck departed to the US to a career with IBM last June.

"Dr Ashby is an eminent appointment to the role, having led the digital hospital transformation of the Princess Alexandra Hospital, and a long-time digital hospital evangelist," Thatcher said in a statement today.

Ashby will start in his new role on February 20. He has served as the metro health service's CEO since 2012, and has an extensive career in the sector. Ashby is also a director of the Australian e-Health Research Centre.

The executive change marks the end of an era for Thatcher, who came back to the role last July having served in the same position for a year from September 2014.

He will now "pass the baton" on to Ashby and "take some time to consider" his options.

Thatcher last year completed his PhD on "a governance framework for the adoption of information technology in acute healthcare" and is an adjunct professor at the Queensland University of Technology.

"It is of course with great sadness that I farewell my wonderful colleagues and friends at eHealth Queensland," Thatcher said.

"I am excited about the opportunities the future may hold and I am humbled by the paths that life takes me down."

As joint department CIO and head of eHealth Queensland, Asbhy will lead an IT team that includes five new executives tasked with driving digital transformation into the state's healthcare system.

The team recently welcomed a new chief technology officer, chief digital strategy officer, chief customer experience officer, chief solution delivery officer, and executive director of corporate services.

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