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Ministry restructure heads up top 10 most-read stories

Ministry restructure heads up top 10 most-read stories of 2018

Date: 5 December 2018

News of the creation of a Data and Digital directorate at the Ministry of Health was the top-read story on in 2018.

Since launching in March of this year with the support of HiNZ, has published more than 100 original news articles, 14 feature articles, 30 views and 100 sector updates.

The Ministry restructure was revealed by director general of health Ashley Bloomfield in October and created a new Data and Digital directorate, with Ann-Marie Cavanagh as acting deputy director.

The next most read story was about Counties Manukau Health writing off $8.6 million between 2015–2017 on a ‘transformational change programme’ called Project SWIFT.

The IT project began in May 2013, but in February 2016 the board decided to end it after a Treasury gateway review indicated ‘amber’ for the next 18 months and ‘amber/red’ beyond that time.

Mental health has been in the spotlight this month with the release of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, which seeks a “paradigm change” in the country’s mental health and addiction services.

A column published in August by Anil Thapliyal advocating for an eMental Health strategy for New Zealandclearly struck a nerve and it will be interesting to watch this space in 2019 as the Government responds to the report. Thapliyal is the eMental health lead at the centre for eHealth, Auckland University of Technology.

News that the National Electronic Health Record project, now called the Health Information Platform, continues to be delayed, with the indicative business case yet to go back to Cabinet, was another well-read piece for the year.

The plan to build a National EHR was expected to take three to five years when first announced by the then National Government at the HiNZ 2015 Conference. However it has stalled more recently, “due to the time taken to ensure alignment of the national platform’s investment objectives with the Government’s priorities and Ministry’s work programme,” the Ministry told

This piece was followed closely in readership numbers with a report on Health Minister David Clark’s prediction of a people-powered revolution in health, saying the system needs to focus on more outcomes and patient experience.

One of our first articles of the year was also one of our best-read, with people eager to hear about a new allied health data set standard for DHBs. An update on how implementation of the standard is progressing can be expected in early next year.

A guest column from Spark digital health director Will Reedy on disrupting the health sector also made it into the top 10 most-read stories of the year.

Reedy argues that if the New Zealand health sector fails to deliver digital access to health records, it is at risk of being disrupted by companies that provide a digital experience via a consumer-held record.

Our readers are obviously keen to hear Health Minister Clark’s views on digital health as another early article on how he sees digitisation as improving the quality of healthcare was also popular.

In the biggest industry news of the year, Orion Health’s decision to sell its Rhapsody division for $205 millionwas of interest to readers as the integration engine is an integral part of the company’s suite of applications used by health providers across New Zealand.

The top 10 list is rounded out by a story on the development of a tool called Inpatient Snapshot

at Waitemata DHB, which gives clinicians a summary of relevant patient data rapidly and in real time: a great example of a tool designed with clinicians for clinicians that is making real difference.



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