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mHealth initiative to benefit Otago and Southland

mHealth initiative to benefit Otago and Southland

Dunedin, 4 June 2013 – People in Otago and Southland are set to benefit from a region-wide mobile health (mHealth) initiative designed to better connect General Practice and their patients. Southern PHO with support from Southern DHB has contracted Vensa Health to implement their TXT2Remind practice-patient messaging system to allow GPs to deliver appointment, Smoking A and B and immunisation reminders as well as key health messages direct to the patient via text message and interactive mobile content delivery.

Southern PHO which covers 290,000 patients south of the Waitaki will provide the system free of charge to around 80 GP practices and other health providers, including Maori based healthcare providers.

Ian Macara, Chief Executive of Southern PHO says, “Our aim is to enable people to maintain and/or improve their health and well being. TXT2Remind will help more people access primary care as and when they need to. It’s a really effective way to reach our community, some elements of which are highly mobile.”

Macara says as well as reducing the number of missed appointments the system will also increase the efficiencies of health providers. “It’s a quick and easy way to maintain contact and a lot less labour intensive for health providers. By making it easier for health providers to connect with patients and to send reminders less clinician time needs to be used making calls.”

Kaylene Holland, Primary Health Services Manager of Southern PHO says the system will allow GPs and other health providers to work more proactively with clients to help meet their needs.

“TXT2Remind will help target key areas such as smoking cessation, childhood immunisations, smears, cardio vascular risk assessments and influenza jabs. It will allow more effective management of reminders and recalls which will increase the uptake of programmes and enable valuable information to be collected,” she says.

Jillian Boniface, Programme Leader of the Vaccine Preventable Disease team is delighted the Southern DHB is able to support the setup of this initiative. “This service will help our population stay well. By keeping in touch with families we will make sure children receive their immunisations ‘on time every time’. As we move into winter it’s also a great way to spread the message about flu immunisation.”

Ahmad Jubbawey, Chief Executive of Vensa Health says by helping ensure people attend appointments they need at the right time to stay well in their community great savings can be delivered to the health system.

“mHealth initiatives are becoming more and more pervasive around the world as the benefits of having a more co-ordinated approach to healthcare through technology are clear cut. It’s great to see Southern PHO taking a proactive region wide approach to communicating with patients.”

The rollout of Vensa’s system has just started. When completed, the total coverage of Vensa’s system in the South Island will be close to 95%.

About Vensa Health
Vensa Health’s mission is to close the gap for people and their health, one by one. Vensa Health is the leading mobile health (mHealth) solutions provider in New Zealand focusing on delivering mobile health innovations worldwide. If you have received an SMS from your doctor, hospital or physio almost certainly Vensa Health was responsible for its delivery. Vensa Health is focused on offering solutions and innovations, which add value to their clients, and it’s the fundamental philosophy underpinning all of their services and technology offerings. With nearly 80% adoption of mobile health in New Zealand and a solid customer base, Vensa Health is focusing on Australasia and Middle East regions in its expansion. www.vensahealth.com

About Southern PHO
Southern PHO’s vision is to provide, or procure the provision of, the right primary health care, at the right place, at the right time for the people of Otago and Southland. Their purpose is to promote the health of individuals, their families and the Community through the provision or procurement of comprehensive, quality health care, through enhancing collaboration and cooperation between Primary Health Care Practitioners, and through working with other health care providers to enhance the integration of primary health care with other levels of health care. Southern PHO aims to develop and provide support mechanisms and programmes for primary care that will deliver better health outcomes. This will be done through a combination of financial support (incentives and subsidies to deliver health services), provision of education (professional and patient education to better understand diseases and conditions and their treatment) and practical resource where appropriate (e.g. technical support and training to ensure that clinical record systems are reporting to the national data gathering entities accurately). This will be done within an environment of clinical leadership, collaboration and community involvement. Three committees (Clinical Governance, Community Advisory, Maori Health Advisory) meet regularly to support, advise and provide input from the many stakeholder groups of the community.
www.southernpho.health.nz

ENDS

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