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New IT system creating a smoother, faster patient journey

A new computer system is replacing nine current systems across the five South Island DHBs.

The joint project, known as the South Island Patient Information Care System (SI PICS), is the single biggest health IT investment in New Zealand of the last decade.

Hospital patients might not think about the computer systems looking after their information, but to health workers they are the crucial tools that keep hospital visits running smoothly.

Each day, these systems receive huge quantities of vital information – from admissions and discharges to patient allergies – and hospitals will go to great lengths to ensure the technology is reliable.

Canterbury is one of five DHBs launching the innovative IT system which will ensure a smoother, faster transition for patients moving between facilities anywhere south of the Cook Strait.

The new tool will become the region’s single solution for patient-related administrative information.

Stella Ward, Executive Sponsor for SI PICS at Canterbury DHB, says the project will make a positive impact on patients and health workers.

“SI PICS is a significant investment in modernising our digital toolset and ensuring that we continue to offer the best patient experience.

“Not only will it make the patient’s journey better, but by replacing multiple old systems, we’re going to cut down on duplicated work for busy frontline staff.”

Stella says the programme was driven by health care workers, with clinicians being closely involved in its development.

“Some of the systems SI PICS is replacing are over 20 years old, so we had to get it right.”

For Canterbury DHB, the process of rolling out SI PICS started in 2016 when it was launched at Burwood and The Princess Margaret Hospitals.

The system is now set to go live on its remaining campuses – Christchurch, Christchurch Women’s and Ashburton Hospitals – in the coming months.


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