GPNZ/Snap: UFB Provider Selected for Primary Health Care
12 March 2013
“Smart Connectivity”: Ultra-Fast Broadband Provider Selected for Primary Health Care
General Practice New Zealand (GPNZ) is delighted to announce that it is partnering with award-winning telecommunications provider Snap to implement a range of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) based services to general practices and primary care networks across New Zealand. The services will be available to GPNZ networks and their affiliated general practices with the intention of offering the services to the wider health community from mid 2013.
The Smart Connectivity service will start to become available from April 2013. Smart Connectivity will offer health providers a range of internet, hosted telephony and video services at competitive prices. UFB will be available locally when the fibre optic infrastructure is installed as part of the Government’s $1.5 billion investment in UFB that is being governed by Crown Fibre Holdings. A key driver of the programme is the development of a network of shared services and information, encouraging improved collaboration between a number of different health entities.
“The implementation of UFB will be a significant enabler for implementation of new services supporting integration across a range of health providers” said Dr Richard Medlicott, who was part of the evaluation team.
The Snap service will be launched under the Smart Connectivity brand of the Patients First programme that delivered the very succesful GP2GP Electronic File Transfer tool.
“Snap has many years experience in providing services in the New Zealand health sector, supporting a number of District Health Boards and primary care networks. Snap has gained an enviable reputation by offering innovative, leading edge solutions that embrace new technologies, such as corporate fibre, VDSL, and now UFB fibre services” said Fiona Thomson, CEO at GPNZ.
“The health sector is a priority for Snap’s UFB rollout. Our aim is to improve access to information and encourage the use of common systems across multiple health providers. Improved connectivity will allow centralised solutions to be embraced for more effective and effcient patient care, reducing the costs and burdens of legacy systems and technology, but also ensuring that New Zealand continues to deliver a world class healthcare service. Snap is incredibly excited to bring its UFB-based Smart Connectivity suite of services to the health sector with GPNZ and its member networks” said Mark Petrie, CEO at Snap.
“UFB services are now available in initial suburbs in over 20 cities and towns nationwide, and our partners are actively prioritising health facilities such as general practices in deployment”, said Graham Mitchell, CEO of Crown Fibre Holdings, the company established by the Government to manage its investment in UFB. “So it’s fantastic to see a leading industry group such as GPNZ encouraging their members to take advantage of UFB. I’d like to congratulate Snap on winning the opportunity to help make this happen.”
More information about Snap can be found at www.snap.net.nz
Frequently Asked Questions
What is UFB?
Broadband is defined by the International Telecommunications Union as a service which provides transmission capacity in excess of 2.0 Megabits per second (Mbps). Ultra-Fast Broadband is generally defined as services which deliver much faster speeds, in excess of 25 Mbps. For the purposes of the New Zealand Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative, having access to Ultra-Fast Broadband is taken to mean the availability of broadband services at a minimum speed of 100 Mbps Downstream (from the Internet to the user) and a minimum of 50 Mbps Upstream (from user to the Internet).
What Benefits will UFB Provide the Health Sector?
The Smart Connectivity UFB Service will enable a range of new services that will improve the quality and accessibility of patient care and efficiency across all parts of the health sector in a secure way. This includes for example real time:
• consultations made via two-way video conferencing, especially in provincial and rural areas
• access to a cloud environment
• integration of telephony and internet services
• exchange of high definition imaging between providers.
What was the Process used to Select Snap?
GPNZ undertook a comprehensive tender process in the latter part of 2012. We received a range of high quality proposals that were assessed by an evaluation team including network CEOs, GP leaders in Health Informatics and Information Systems managers from our member networks. Two very high quality proposals were short listed and after a rigorous evaluation process select Snap was selected our preferred provider of UFB services.
Who was on the Evaluation Panel?
• Fiona Thomson, CEO, GPNZ, Wellington
• Andre Bredenkamp, Programme Manager, Patients First, Wellington
• Symon McHeron, Business Information Support Manager, Pegasus Health, Christchurch
• Dr Richard Medlicott, GP Island Bay Medical Centre, Wellington and Chair of Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO), Wellington
• Dr Karl Cole, GP and Clinical Information Director, ProCare Health, Auckland
• Michael Lamont, CEO Mangere Community Health Group Trust, Auckland
• Keith Gregory, Information Community and Technology Manager, Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance, Whakatane
GPNZ is the key national organisation providing support and advocacy services for general practice networks and teams as they shape the future of New Zealand’s health care system. Its fifteen member networks represent approximately 2,000 General Practitioners and 2,000 Practice Nurses providing health care services to over 2.3 million New Zealanders from 800 general practice locations.