Digital transformation takes on many forms, often it has a focus on removing something old, clunky, unsafe or simply expensive as a goal. In my time as a CIO I have tried to remove tractor printers from Ireland, the fax machine from the NHS and now the carousel from Pharmacy stores.

It was amazing today to be in Rotherham (a town made famous by an Arctic Monkeys song) and see how they can remove this plastic monolith from the store, get it out of the way of the Pharmacist to ensure that the eye to eye relationship with the patient in store is not hampered by a thing of old, a thing that is there simply to hold stock.

Implementing a pharmacy system across the whole Boots estate is an amazing task that a team of collaborators have been doing for some time. Even in my short time at Boots I have been able to see how the team has made this project such a success, and that’s through a single minded focus on what is needed in each store, what will make the journey better for the customer and how can patient care be improved each and every day.

Technology in healthcare is difficult, maybe the hardest out of all arenas where it can make change happen, but, when it does work, when the carousel can be ditched, when the fax machine is no longer a means of communication and when GP surgeries no longer need to go eBay for spare parts for essential kit then, and only then, can we describe the transformation journey as started.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the creation, delivery and support of the mighty system that is now in nearly every Boots store supporting patient care through community pharmacy.

By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” Christopher Columbus

Quote chosen as the internal name for the system deployed is the Columbus system.