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New IT system improves patient healthcare

Hon Tony Ryall

Minister of Health

26 March 2014 Media Statement
New IT system improves patient healthcare

Health Minister Tony Ryall says a new IT system is making it easier for health care services to access patient data quickly, preventing errors and improving patient care.

“Everyone who uses New Zealand’s health services has a unique number to help identify them, which is stored in the using the National Health Index,” says Mr Ryall.

“This new technology platform has a much more advanced search capability than our previous IT system, which was twenty years old. That makes it faster to find the right patient, and reduces the risk of a patient being issued with more than one identity number.

“Under the new system, district health boards and other health providers are able to check contact and identity information on the Index if they unable to find a patient in their own IT systems.

“Doctors, nurses and other health professionals are now able to match people with their health information more accurately and when they need it most, resulting in better treatment decisions for patients,” says Mr Ryall.

Health services are also now able to match patients’ addresses against New Zealand Post’s up-to-date address database.

“I’ve already had feedback from DHBs who said that they’re immunising more children because they have better patient contact details, and that more patients are turning up for appointments because letters are being sent to the right address,” says Mr Ryall.

“This IT upgrade is helping more people to access to the health services they need, improving the health of New Zealanders,” says Mr Ryall.

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