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mHealth initiative to benefit Cantabrians

mHealth initiative to benefit Cantabrians

Auckland, 12 September 2012 – Cantabrians are set to benefit from a region-wide mobile health (mHealth) initiative designed to better connect General Practice and their patients and aid population health. Vensa Health’s TXT2Remind practice-patient messaging system allows GPs to deliver appointment, screening and immunisation reminders as well as key health messages direct to the patient via text message and interactive mobile content delivery.

The system will be free of charge across General Practices in Canterbury that provide primary health services to around 480,000 enrolled patients. A monthly allowance of text messages will also be provided at no cost during the two year project.

Ahmad Jubbaway, Chief Executive of Vensa Health says the growing pervasiveness of technology enables a more patient centric healthcare system and enables some great savings to be delivered to the health system through mHealth initiatives.

“To achieve system integration of the health care delivery, patients need to be seen in their community close to their home rather than in hospital beds. TXT2Remind helps ensure more patients attend the appointments they need at the right time to stay well in their community,” he says.

Dr Greg Hamilton, Planning and Funding, Canterbury District Health (CDHB) says the initiative supports their goal of helping populations to stay well.

“TXT2Remind is a valuable tool as GPs can be very proactive. General Practice can effectively target priority health areas such as immunisations for 8 month olds or better diabetes services. When sending screening or immunisation reminders, they can also include information about why these appointments are important,” he says.

The project is endorsed by the Canterbury Clinical Network which includes Canterbury PHOs; Partnership Health Canterbury PHO, Christchurch PHO and Rural Canterbury PHO. It will be administered by Pegasus Health on behalf of the network funded by Canterbury District Health Board.

Pegasus Health supports more than 100 practices. Chief Operating Officer Mark Liddle says, “The perceived financial barriers to uptake of the TXT2Remind system have been removed through this co-ordinated approach and free implementation. TXT2Remind is a tool that will support us as we become part of a more population health competent system. GPs benefit from an effective method of communication with patients and we gain a whole of system communication method for Canterbury.”

Bill Eschenbach, CEO, Rural Canterbury PHO says, “From a rural perspective we are very happy as our practices are very busy and by reducing the levels of missed appointments we’ll be able to better utilise service availability and people will get the care they need. Some patients have been dislocated from their normal residence post quake so it makes it easier for GPs to contact patients. From a business perspective it also helps maximize outcomes.”

Around 40% of the GP practices in Canterbury already have the TXT2Remind system implemented. The target for the initiative is 95%.

– ENDS –

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