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Otago 'one-stop shop model' announced as finalist

Friday 25 November 2005

Otago 'one-stop shop model' announced as finalist in NZ Health Innovation Awards

An initiative of the Otago District Health Board aimed at integrating primary care services has been announced as a finalist in the New Zealand Health Innovation Awards.

The Integrated Medical Centre Project is one of 25 finalists at the New Zealand Health Innovation Awards on 29 June 2006.

Otago DHB Chief Executive Brian Rousseau said today the unique 'one stop shop model' has been developed for the Otago DHB by Auckland-based Lifecare Solutions, for use throughout Otago and New Zealand.

"It provides an opportunity for Primary Healthcare Organisations (PHOs) and GP practices to make both healthcare and commercial gains through consolidating and integrating a range of existing services and to introduce new services to a region.

"This is about providing options for better access to health care, better economies of scale and opportunities for wealth creation for health professionals," Mr Rousseau said.

Plans are underway to develop the first one−stop−shops in Alexandra and Wanaka.

The NZ Health Innovation Awards were introduced in 2003 to promote and encourage health innovation and the sharing of innovative products, services and processes that can benefit more New Zealanders. The Otago DHB entry was chosen out of 112 entries.

Lifecare Solutions director and project manager for the Integrated Medical Centre Project Terry Coombs said that the model analyses a grouping together of GP practices in an area under the PHO structure and illustrates the options and benefits that can be derived in co-locating GP practices and associated primary care providers, such as pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dentists etc...

"Basically, it involves a mindshift from GP practices and other health providers working as individual businesses, to a group of businesses working together and leveraging off each other for better health and financial outcomes, said Mr Coombs.

Mr Coombs said the key reasons for GP practices to consolidate included developing a 'one stop shop' that was easily accessible for patients; harnessing the opportunities for GPs to grow larger market segment through co-location with pharmacies, x -ray, lab, dental, physiotherapy, DHB and private specialist services.

"The one stop shop would provide a better working environment to attract staff; allow practices the opportunity to contract practice staff; introduce screening programmes such as breast screening, diabetes and education programmes; establish a satellite for the DHB to operate from (eg District nurses, midwives, public health nurses etc)," he said.

It would also support other initiatives for example an ACC Return to Work programme; the provision of a nurse telephone triage service; the provision of occupational health services to commerce and industry, and the focus to work with the community to promote wellness programmes.

Mr Coombs said the end result would be more free time and flexibility for the practice professionals; more income for the business; development of valuable and marketable business entity. He said the model was applicable to all GP practices.

Lifecare Solutions Limited (LCS) has offices in Mt Maunganui and Auckland and has over $150 million worth of projects currently under its belt. It is regarded as a leader in design and project management for the retirement lifestyle and healthcare sectors in New Zealand.


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