Meet Minette Barkhuysen, Core Enterprise Systems Manager at Mediclinic Southern Africa.
Globally, the healthcare industry is in the throes of radical digitalisation which is transforming the patient journey by employing latest and developing technologies to improve access to high quality treatment and care. South African companies such as Mediclinic Southern Africa are keeping pace with their international counterparts at the new digital frontiers. For those in ICT careers, the healthcare sector is offering extraordinary opportunities to work on some of the most exciting and innovative tech projects.
Minette Barkhuysen has worked on the ICT team at Mediclinic Southern Africa for the past 18 years and is currently in the role of General Manager for Core Enterprise Systems. We asked her for her reflections and insights about what it is like to work in ICT to help change people’s lives for the better.
Firstly, help us understand your current role on the Mediclinic ICT team…
I currently manage a team of system architects and analysts and together we design and plan enterprise solution implementations within Mediclinic Southern Africa’s technology landscape.
What is the most exciting thing about your work?
I enjoy the constant change. There are ongoing projects and initiatives that challenge one’s ICT knowledge. I have a job I love where I am always learning and growing.
As a tech person, what was it that first attracted you to working at Mediclinic?
I knew that the digital transformation of healthcare would be ‘the next big thing’ and that it would bring many intriguing and meaningful changes in the ICT landscape.
At the start of your career, what was your biggest learning?
Don’t be afraid to reach out far and wide because somewhere, someone has maybe made a similar effort and you can only learn from it.
As you have developed your career in ICT over the years, what has surprised you? What has delighted you? And, what has challenged you?
ICT is always changing, so it is always surprising you. Just as you think you know the domain, there is something new and more advanced which is what makes this industry so exciting. What has delighted me is that I have had the chance to make a real difference in the lives of patients. That means a lot to me. It’s challenging to keep up with the latest tech. The speed of learning is insane, but it does keep you on your toes!
If you look back throughout your life, who are the three people who have inspired you the most?
My mother taught me to keep my faith, and be patient, and my father encouraged me to be positive and resilient in whatever I did. I also have had a manager who made a big impact by motivating me to take on the challenges and to believe in my abilities.
Tell us about a recent highlight of your work at Mediclinic?
I found a silver lining during the intense COVID period when we knew our nurses and doctors were the real frontline warriors, and they needed all our support from the ‘back-office’. We implemented engagement platforms as well as functionality to improve the operational efficiency within the hospitals.
What is your vision or personal wish for the Mediclinic ICT team?
I would like to see our team continue to grow in partnership with the Mediclinic organisation by putting the best ICT solutions forward that ultimately improves the care and the experience for all our patients, doctors and affiliates.
What in your view are the advantages you bring to the ICT team?
I have worked at Mediclinic for 18 years and I understand the business and processes well.
As part of Mediclinic’s ICT leadership team, what are the characteristics that you focus on?
Honesty and integrity are important to me, and I also believe that good communication fosters transparency within the team.
As a woman leader in ICT, what advice would you give to young women who are considering careers in tech?
I would recommend against limiting their focus on only one skill in ICT. The reality is, that to become a leader in ICT, you need to have knowledge of the end-to-end building blocks that make up an entire solution. This experience can only be achieved by putting up your hand to take on projects where you place your skills in the spotlight. I believe in the wisdom of failing fast and learning from it. I think it is important to be persistent in learning.
What do you believe the ICT sector is missing in South Africa?
We need more collaboration, especially when it comes to ICT in the healthcare industry where the environment is quite fragmented.
Is there anything in your role that you would change?
Nothing – I love what I do.
Are there any projects you are working on or have worked on that have been recognised by the global team?
Yes, we have done quite a few enterprise implementations both for Southern Africa and Mediclinic’s international divisions.
What are some of your personality traits that you attribute to your success?
Being kind, creative, and ethical in my work.
When you are not working, who is Minette Barkhuysen and what will you be doing?
I am a wife and a mother of my nine-year-old daughter. I enjoy reading books and for fun, I love being active in nature.