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What’s it like being a... digital dentist? Tashfeen Kholasi

Blog Author Tashfeen Kholasi

Blog Date 20/05/2019

Tashfeen Kholasi is the Clinical Lead for Digital Dentistry at NHSX, and is passionate about using technology to enable a better patient experience. She tells us about her day…

 

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My alarm goes off….

Every day is different, so some days I have to double check what day it is…!

I’m responsible for…

Digitally connecting dentistry to the wider healthcare service as my role in the Digital Development team with NHSX (formerly NHSE), in addition to providing clinical care and teaching Special Care & Sedation at Guys Dental Hospital to Kings College students. 

I also provide out of hours care at the weekends.


I got the job

I started life in IT before switching to dentistry. Even as an undergraduate I was always frustrated by the lack of information sharing and paper-based processes we had. From VT to SHO posts to Special Care dentistry, GDP and referral services in primary care, it is the one digital problem that needed to be fixed for our dental profession to deliver care safely. 

Working in special care dentistry, you see the myriad of medical conditions and medications that patients are on these days and it is so important that the profession can effectively manage patient care no matter what field of practice they work in. 

In 2016, I came across the opportunity to become a Leadership Clinical Fellow with Health Education England, led by Prof Lambert-Humble and Dr Sam Shah, both visionaries in developing dentistry for the better and providing a platform to explore opportunities on how to evolve and modernise the profession. 
 
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I was tasked with organising the first Digitally Enabling Dentistry Conference which was a taster and eye-opener for how the profession could be connected to healthcare via access to summary care records, electronic prescribing and record sharing to introducing the risks of GDPR, cybersecurity as well as dentistry’s own digital innovators. 

Now in its third year, the conference has moved with me to NHSX and is planned for 10 July in London, focusing on designing digital services for the profession as we move to an exciting time utilising technology to become more integrated with healthcare.


My typical day

My typical day is always pretty untypical really! 

I have clinical and non-clinical days, which include studying for a Masters in Leadership and being in the NHS Digital Academy. For example, today has included coursework and responding to emails for the non-clinical element to heading over to clinics to manage patients, whilst squeezing in a conference call or two. 

At lunchtime, I have a time out, I think personal wellbeing is really important when managing yourself and helps you to regain your thoughts. 

I like to scope out ideas with my team as I am a great believer in working collaboratively as it does not matter what role you have within the profession; your ideas and opinions count because it is based on your experience. 


The worst part of my job…

Having so many ideas and initiatives and not having the capacity to explore them all! 


The best part of my job…

Is working with great teams and great people who want to improve and make our profession better for both patients and ourselves. You cannot underestimate the power of teamwork.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

My achievements are truly collaborative in nature. 

Last year I led the #Dentistry24 initiative with the HEE DCTs and Clinical Fellows. 

#Dentistry24 is a global social media campaign to celebrate the good work of the dental profession on Instagram and Twitter every 24 May for a whole day.

Last year we had over 2 million impressions and reached as far afield as Australia. It was a great day to see dental teams being thanked and appreciated for their hard work in practices, hospital and community, but also sharing the initiatives, research and achievements. 

I am really looking forward to the 2019 campaign to promote all of the great things being done in dentistry and to share some positivity.


After work…

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In my spare time, I am a great believer in helping others and am currently fundraising for two dental charities – Maasai Molar and Smiles Across Nepal who carry out sustainable outreach dentistry in Kenya and Nepal, in addition to supporting UK charities such as Boundaries for Life and Crisis Dental. 

My Plan B

…is to always keep an open mind!

I believe we are all more than just dental professionals, and we can influence things and change things for the better. Embrace opportunities when they arise and see where they take you, it makes your journey that much more interesting.

tashfeen-Kholasi-portrait-125pxl.jpgTashfeen Kholasi, Clinical Lead for Digital Dentistry, NHSX

@digitaldentis
 
 

#Dentistry24: how can you get involved?

The BDA is encouraging dentists across the globe to celebrate the good work of the dental profession on 24 May 2019, using social media – Twitter and Instagram, with the hashtag #Dentistry24. Find out how you can take part.
 
This independent campaign aims to share the positive impact and the experiences of the dental profession during a 24-hour period online. It's a great opportunity to share what you are doing in practice, promote your work, share your success, and publicly thank your colleagues and teams for their contributions.
 

Supporting your career in dentistry

We support dentists at all stage in their careers – newly-qualified dentists can access our starting out information, to help with the transition from university into practice.

Dentists mid-career can benefit from our range of support and advice too, whether you are looking to buy your first practice, specialise or thinking about diversifying your career – we can help.

With each new member, our voice and our influence grows. Add your voice, join today.