Maori health community expands Intrahealth
Tue, 13 Aug 2002
Maori health community expands Intrahealth operation
Intrahealth, a leading New Zealand supplier of clinical software solutions, has today announced that 56 additional Maori health provider facilities are equipped with Profile, its integrated healthcare practice management system.
Maori health providers are using Profile to improve the management of their electronic health records, front-desk administration and reporting functions to the Ministry.
The Ministry of Health requested Intrahealth to introduce the technology to the 56 additional sites following its successful installation and training at 107 Maori health provider sites last year. The extended rollout of Profile was completed 30 June, bringing the total number sites with access to the technology to 165, or more than 70% of New Zealand's Maori 230 health providers. Training is now underway for the staff involved in the second round of the installation.
The MOH selected Intrahealth because its integrated practice management solution and training programme could be easily adapted to the different needs of Maori health workers, who often provide a large number of non-clinical services that contribute to the overall well being of a community.
"Many non-Maori health providers treat patients on an individual basis, whereas many Maori are more accustomed to a community setting, where the role of whanau (family) linkages and support play an essential part in their care," says Teepa Wawatai, the MOH project manager responsible for the implementation.
Teepa gives the example of how Maori may bring whanau members with them to visit a nurse or alternatively, the nurse may visit a marae or school to provide a certain type of care, such as dental hygiene, to a larger group. "We needed a flexible solution that could adapt to how Maori are accustomed to giving and receiving health care."
He says that key to the project's success was the way Intrahealth introduced the technology to health providers, many of whom were not accustomed to using computerised systems.
Intrahealth worked closely with the MOH project team to develop a community-based training programme that followed Maori protocol. A "super user" support programme was also established, where some of the users volunteered to participate in more advanced training so that they could subsequently train and provide on-site support to other providers in their region.
West Southland health provider Tracey Wright has been using Profile for three months and has already realised the benefits of using the system. "We can easily track health-related trends in a community, which helps us identify high needs areas," says Ms Wright.
"It's also a terrific management tool, helping us ensure that what we say that we are doing is what we are actually delivering, and we use these results to produce our compliance reports for the Ministry."
Intrahealth continues to play a key part in the training and support programme. "At Intrahealth we are committed to making sure that our customers are maximising value from their systems," says Intrahealth CEO Mark Matthews. "Product features are one thing, but it's how these features are used to meet the needs of the clinicians and the community they care for that really matters."
The next phase of the project involves a pilot with Intrahealth's health systems management solution, InSync. The pilot will enable sites to share and aggregate information from their individual systems, so that providers can gain a more holistic view of the health of their region.
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** About Intrahealth Established in 1997 by medical doctors, Intrahealth is a New Zealand owned and operated company that develops integrated and flexible clinical systems for the healthcare industry. Intrahealth's family of products includes Profile, for integrated practice management and clinical records; InSync, for health systems management; and Accession, for facilitating patients' online access to health professionals. For more information please visit www.intrahealth.com.