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South Island Patient Information Care System Approved

Health Minister approves South Island Patient Information Care System

The South Island Alliance, a collaboration of the five South Island DHBs, is one-step closer to realising its vision for a more efficient and sustainable South Island health and disability system, as one of its core IT programmes has been signed off by the Minister of Health.

The South Island Patient Information Care System (SI PICS), a single region-wide patient management and administration system, has been given the green light for regional implementation by Health Minister Tony Ryall.

Dr Andrew Bowers, chair of the Alliance’s Information Services, which is responsible for managing SI PICS and other similar programmes, said the approval was an important milestone for the South Island Alliance.

“The South Island DHBs have, via the South Island Alliance, committed to taking a combined approach to delivering and improving information systems for the benefit of our health practitioners, their clients, and the community as a whole,” he said.

“SI PICS will connect all health workers in the South Island with coordinated, consistent access to a single set of administrative information that eventually will be accessible across the region and link into other regional IT systems we are working on.”

He said the system would reduce duplication, enable DHBs to share resources and collaborate better, and ultimately provide more efficient, safer transfer of patient information, and staff, between services around the region.

“This means safer, better quality of care too,” said Dr Bowers.

In feedback to the SI PICS business case, Hon Minister Ryall said he was satisfied that the proposed development met the requirements for government investment in technology and that he fully supported the Alliance vision “to have common systems across the South Island.”

SI PICS is one of a number of projects and programmes the Alliance’s Information Services group is working on to change the way future health services are delivered in the South Island. In agreeing a collaborative regional direction, the South Island DHBs have committed to a best for people, best for system alliance framework to negotiate a way into the future.

“By combining resources to jointly solve problems, the healthcare sector is better positioned to respond to changes in technology and demographics that are impacting our population and provide better, more integrated care and safety for patients,” said Dr Bowers.

Earlier this year, the business case for SI PICS was also approved by the Board Chairs of the South Island’s five DHBs. The programme business case has also been endorsed by the Capital Investment Committee, the organisation responsible for prioritisation and allocation of health capital investment in New Zealand’s health sector.

SI PICS is set to be rolled out first at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch in 2015, followed by Nelson Marlborough DHB hospitals.


About the South Island Alliance

The South Island Alliance is the collaboration of the five DHBs to develop more innovative, sustainable and efficient health services, than could be achieved independently, to provide South Islanders equitable and timely access to safe, effective, high-quality services, as close to their homes as possible.

Priority areas have been identified, focusing on the health of children, older persons, mental health, support services, information services, sector training, quality and safety, cancer, public health, elective, stroke and cardiac services.

These work streams are steered and chaired by members of the DHBs and related sector organisation members, providing a truly representational leadership.

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