DHB group rejects scope limitation for health IT project

Health minister asked to disregard order limiting shared service initiative

The Health Management System Collaborative (HMSC), a group of seven district health boards, is asking the Minister of Health to reject a key recommendation that would limit its effort to develop a shared health management system.

The HMSC says its programme, called Enabling Clinical Transformation (ENACT), will help establish an "innovative individual-centric health service" by wrapping health delivery around the individual, rather than delivering provider-focused health services.

In August, a ministerial review group slammed the brakes on the project when it released its recommendations for health services transformation including, in an annex to the report, significant criticism of how IT services had been delivered in the sector, both at the DHB and ministry level.

The review said a HMSC decision would have national implications.

"We would, therefore, advise against proceeding with the current HMSC proposal and suggest it be refocused on replacing end-of-life hospital PASs (patient administration systems) with systems that meet HISO standards and allow easy sharing of electronic information with other providers," the report said.

However, in its response, the HMSC rejects the review group's recommendation and recommends the minister does not support limiting the scope of the ENACT programme to that of PAS replacement.

The HMSC says the vision of ENACT is consistent with the Health information Strategy-NZ vision and the Ministry of Health’s Statement of Intent 2009 to 2012 in providing faster implementation of patient centred care, improved quality of care by increasing the amount of time health professionals spend with patients and ensuring health information is communicated in a way that is appropriate, accessible and effective for all groups.

It says the HMSC is willing to engage with the wider health sector to facilitate the implementation of a safe, shared and transferable patient electronic health record within New Zealand.

"The new delivery model integrates and coordinates the work of primary health professionals, specialists, hospitals, pharmacists, laboratories and other care providers in order to optimise health outcomes for the individual," the HMSC's submission says.

"The innovative approach will be supportive of users, be evidence-based, and will enable vastly improved shared access to an individual’s health record by all the health professionals involved in their care, as well as by the individuals themselves. It would facilitate the introduction of ‘integrated care programmes’ that involve all health providers, and also engage the patient as a resource within their own care programmes," the response states.

See also HealthAlliance bids for national shared services role

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