The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) Infectious Diseases Physician and Deputy Chief Medical Information Officer Dr Kudzai Kanhutu has been named in this year’s CIO50 by CIO Australia, celebrating Australia’s top 50 senior technology and digital executives.

Kudzai Kanhutu
Kudzai Kanhutu

Kudzai was ranked number 10 in the list – alongside innovative technical stalwarts from government, health care, retail and education sectors – for her role in:

  • Expanding telehealth
  • The introduction of the Hospital’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
  • Mentoring young women aspiring to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Kudzai was recognised by CIO Australia as a ‘staunch advocate’ for Telehealth, especially during COVID-19. Kudzai was instrumental in expanding the RMH’s existing telehealth operations by over 2,000%. In her capacity as Deputy Chief Medical Officer, she has helped increase telehealth consultations from 44 in 2016 to approximately over 3,000 in 2020.

As a member of the EMR team, Kudzai contributed to the successful go-live of the EMR in August 2020, in the middle of Melbourne’s stage-4 COVID-19 lockdown.

Kudzai worked tirelessly to ensure the real-time development of COVID-specific content build and clinical decision support in the EMR, including building an infection assessment tool and screening clinical workflows and documentation templates, which was sometimes established within hours after initial feedback.

CIO Australia also commended her empathy towards migrant families being settled in rural and regional areas, and her quick action in remedying some of the challenges faced by these patients, such as language barriers.

Recognising the shortages of accredited interpreters in rural and remote areas, and the immediate need for these patients to access health care, Kudzai and her team expanded telehealth to include video-interpreting, a feature which has already helped 56 patients speaking 18 different languages.

In addition to her work advancing patient care, Kudzai is involved in the Superstars of STEM program, promoting gender equality and mentoring girls and young women aspiring to enter careers in STEM.

The RMH congratulates Kudzai on this recognition.

Find out more about the CIO Awards.

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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