SUCCESS with a pilot project involving community-based nurses in Northland has earned a North Shore IT company a ticket to Canada.
Firstbase is the only local firm to have entered the partner awards at Microsoft’s worldwide partner conference in Toronto next week. Its entry follows the successful completion of a pilot project that reduced the paperwork of Northland District Health Board community nurses by 95%.
The company is vying for the Information Worker award for technology solutions that boost employee productivity with the system, which is a prototype developed with funding from the Microsoft New Zealand Innovation Centre.
The system eliminates paper-based forms as all patient information is captured electronically and stored in a central database which allows field nurses access though a portal via pocket PCs.
Firstbase is attending the conference with assistance from Microsoft New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development as part of an initiative to showcase local independent software vendors (ISVs) at such events.
Firstbase managing director David Warren says the company’s presence in Toronto will act as a springboard for business opportunities overseas — even though it does not own the intellectual property used in the project to be highlighted.
Intellectual property developed in Innovation Centre projects is retained by the centre, which makes it available to all government agencies.
Nevertheless, Warren believes the experience Firstbase gained from the Northland project will enable it to pursue similar opportunities in New Zealand and abroad.
“We understand what community nurses go through in their job, and can apply the same principles to health boards around the world,” he says.
Northland DHB is currently considering whether to implement the system fully based on the results of the pilot, and Warren is confident of a positive outcome.
Firstbase has also presented the technology at Microsoft’s Mobile Developer Conference in Sydney in April and will do so again at the District Nursing Conference in Auckland later this month.