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National Primary Care Data Service to go live next year

National Primary Care Data Service to go live next year

Date: 12 July 2018

A new National Primary Care Data Service will go live in 2019, GP leader Richard Medlicott has told a health IT conference.

Medlicott, who is medical director of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, spoke at the HiNZ Health stream of the ITx 2018 conference in Wellington on 12 July.

He says the Ministry of Health has confirmed the National Primary Care Data Service project can move ahead with procuring a system and he expects to see the first reports from the national service in 2019.

“We have got funding confirmed and in 2019 this will be going live,” he told the conference.

At the end of last year, the primary care networks jointly funded an Expression of Interest for a National Primary Care Data Service to support the primary care sector’s understanding of population health, quality improvement initiatives and health system planning.

A consolidated, anonymised view of PCN data would be available to the PCNs, district health boards and the MoH to enable more effective analysis of the population and trends.

The EOI got 23 responses, which have been whittled down to two providers, who have not been named.

Medlicott says they expect to select a system provider within a couple of months and award a five-year contract. Phase one of the system should be live in around a year.

Medlicott told the conference there are 50,000 GP consultations every day.

“That is a lot of care and activity and we record a lot of that locally in our systems, but very little is shared, and we would like to try and change that,” he says.

“All the activity going on collecting data and presenting it back to the GP and primary health organisation, it’s really great but it’s not really good enough, and many of us believe we ought to be getting a far better and nationally consistent view of what’s going on in primary care.”

He says different levels of access to the national data service would be granted to clinicians and non-clinicians and it is a similar dataset to what GPs are already sharing with their PHOs, “so it doesn’t change the landscape greatly”.

GPs would be able to drill down to their patient-level data, while an organisation like the MoH would have access to an aggregated data set.

Medlicott tells that the data service will operate on an implicit consent model, with an opt-out for consumers who do not want to share their information.

“We are aware that the social licence has to be there to share this information, and of course some people really don’t want to participate, which is fine, but most consumers expect their clinicians to have information available about them and are happy to have anonymised information used to improve health services,” he says.

He says the idea is to start small and build it up, so cases for the data set can be added over time, such as for research purposes.


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