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Shared health information for over 800,000 people

29 September 2016 Shared health information for over 800,000 people

Four out of five South Island district health boards (DHBs) are now securely sharing relevant, electronic, patient health information, which means better, safer and more coordinated care for over 800,000 people.

On 27 September, HealthOne was launched in Southern DHB. This secure information system collates electronic patient data, such as GP records, prescribed medications and test results, and is currently used in Canterbury, West Coast and South Canterbury DHBs. Nelson Marlborough is on track to join the fold early next year.

The addition of Southern DHB to the HealthOne community brings the South Island another step closer to a single shared electronic health record across the whole health system.

HealthOne was conceived in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes, which highlighted the need for health professionals to be able to access key patient information electronically at the point of care.

It was initially developed through a partnership between Canterbury DHB, Orion Health and Pegasus Health. It has since been chosen as the preferred solution for the South Island and is being rolled out by the South Island Alliance, a collaboration of the five South Island DHBs.

Lead chief executive of the South Island Information Services Service Level Alliance (ISSLA), Nigel Trainor, is excited to see the gaps finally closing. “With just one DHB left to cross the line, we are so close to having truly connected services across the whole South Island.

“Previously, in an emergency situation, unless the clinician could get hold of the person’s GP, they had to make decisions based only on what they could see. With HealthOne, they can see more of the picture, which means they can make more informed decisions. And when someone is discharged from hospital, the GP can access their hospital record, which means they have easy access to the information they need to continue care.”

A lot of other work is being done to widen the reach and therefore the usefulness of HealthOne. Most recently, St John and Access Community Health have been welcomed to the regional HealthOne community.

Mr Trainor says it makes good sense to share relevant information across the health system. “Health care is provided by a variety of public, private and community organisations. If they can see information generated by other health professionals, they can provide better care to their patients. Having St John involved is a real game-changer. They play a key role in health care and if we can help make their job easier and more effective, we all benefit.”

Craig Stockdale of St John says he is delighted to be on board. “This means that our ambulance officers in the field will be able access critical patient information at the scene through the St John Clinical Desk in the Christchurch Clinical Control Centre, who will have direct access to the HealthOne system.

“We frequently deal with emergency situations, and being able to access medical history, perhaps to help treat someone unconscious or incoherent, will undoubtedly save time and lives.”


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