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King sets up health information management group

29 October 2001 Media Statement


King sets up health information management group


Health Minister Annette King today announced she was establishing a Working Group to keep New Zealand at the forefront of health information management.

“Internationally, New Zealand is already seen as a leader in developing and using health information, but in the past we have also wasted millions of dollars setting up systems that haven’t worked, or have not been compatible with each other.”

Mrs King, who last year imposed a moratorium on major IT spending, said the WAVE Working Group was one outcome of the WAVE (Working to Add Value to E-information) Project initiated by Director-General of Health Karen Poutasi in December last year. The project examined ways the health sector could better manage information for the benefit of New Zealanders.

“We’ve all seen the astonishing impact of e-information. It clearly offers significant advantages to the health sector. But the project showed information management is 10 percent about technology, and 90 percent about communication.

“The project also showed clearly that there is great enthusiasm for a cooperative approach. All areas of the health sector contributed their knowledge and advice, as well as specialists in the information management industry. We have made a great start in improving the flow of useful information within the sector, and it is essential we carry that momentum on.”

Mrs King said the Working Group would provide advice on setting up a health information standards organisation, a key recommendation in the WAVE Report.

The group will be chaired by David Caygill, who also chaired the WAVE Advisory Board. The other members are Canterbury District Health Board chair Syd Bradley, Chad Brown (a member of the WAVE project team experienced in information management, project management and Maori health), Deputy Director-General of Health (Corporate and Information Directorate) Debbie Chin, Counties Manukau DHB chief executive David Clarke, technology specialist Murray Jack and general practitioner Barry Gribben.

The WAVE Report will available on the Ministry of Health’s website from tomorrow, or copies may be obtained from Amy Rountree, (04) 496 2170.

ENDS

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