Four out of five South Island district health boards (DHBs) are now securely sharing electronic patient health information, leading to more coordinated care for over 800,000 New Zealanders.
Triggered by the launch of HealthOne in Southern DHB, the information system collates electronic patient data, such as GP records, prescribed medications and test results, and is currently used in Canterbury, West Coast and South Canterbury DHBs - Nelson Marlborough is on track to join the fold early next year.
The addition of Southern DHB to the HealthOne community brings the South Island another step closer to a single shared electronic health record across the whole health system.
HealthOne was conceived in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes, which highlighted the need for health professionals to be able to access key patient information electronically at the point of care.
Initially developed through a partnership between Canterbury DHB, Orion Health and Pegasus Health, the offering has since been chosen as the preferred solution for the South Island and is being rolled out by the South Island Alliance, a collaboration of the five South Island DHBs.
“With just one DHB left to cross the line, we are so close to having truly connected services across the whole South Island,” South Island Information Services Service Level Alliance (ISSLA) CEO, Nigel Trainor, said.
“Previously, in an emergency situation, unless the clinician could get hold of the person’s GP, they had to make decisions based only on what they could see.
“With HealthOne, they can see more of the picture, which means they can make more informed decisions.
"And when someone is discharged from hospital, the GP can access their hospital record, which means they have easy access to the information they need to continue care."
For Trainor, it “makes good sense” to share relevant information across the health system.
“Health care is provided by a variety of public, private and community organisations,” he added.
“If they can see information generated by other health professionals, they can provide better care to their patients. Having St John involved is a real game-changer.
“They play a key role in health care and if we can help make their job easier and more effective, we all benefit.”