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Response to Auditor General Report

Media Release from Health Information Strategy Action Committee in response to the release of the Report of the Office of the Auditor and Controller General (OAG) report: 'Progress with priorities for health information management and information technology'.

Paul Cressey, incoming Chair of the Health Information Strategy Action Committee (HISAC), welcomed the report about health sector progress in health information and technology management over the last four years..

"HISAC is pleased that the OAG's recommendations confirm that the directions and decisions already taken by HISAC are the right ones.

These recommendations set a powerful direction, and confirm a strong leadership and accountability role for HISAC in the implementation of the Health Information Strategy for New Zealand (HIS-NZ).

HISAC looks forward to meeting the challenge of this role, and I know HISAC will continue to work closely with the sector to see that its vision is achieved.

We have real opportunities to improve the health care of New Zealanders by enabling more effective and efficient use of health information management and technology. The use of fast and secure electronic health networks, telehealth and on-line access to other health information means we can ensure the right health information for patient care is in the right place at the right time.

The Health Information Strategy for New Zealand 2005 focuses on the areas that require further development and investment.

District Health Boards and some parts of the primary care sector have made great strides in recent years. We need to build on that success. The Strategy also highlights the importance of supporting developments in the community and long-term care sectors.

The OAG has urged us to act quickly to further develop and expand the use of the secure NZ Health Network across the sector. We are currently doing that.

I was also pleased that the OAG recommended increased sector investment in the less glamorous work being done by teams of health sector professionals to develop health information standards. These standards provide the basis for consistent and acceptable levels of quality, performance, reliability and safety in all aspects of health information management. Many new standards will have to be developed over the next three to five years. We welcome his support for this work.

ENDS

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