The Ministry of Health has gone to market to develop a secure web-based portal linking the community, the ministry and other stakeholders and the broader health sector.
The portal is the latest development under the ministry's 2005 Health Information Strategy for New Zealand and the four-year National Systems Development Programmes (NSDP).
The portal is aimed to deliver on the access and integration (A&I) objectives set under the NSDP and will "provide the 'glue' by which national health information transfer will occur and provides the base for the delivery of all the other NSDP programmes", Ministry tender documents say.
"The Secure Portal, which is one of the projects to be delivered by the A&I programme, will be a web-based portal infrastructure that will be implemented by the Ministry based on proven portal and authentication technologies. It will provide a single point of entry to access national systems more effectively and efficiently, opening up the channels for sector communication," the documents say.
The portal is aimed to provide improved, consistent and secure means of access to the ministry's information resources and be used by ministry itself, HealthPac, primary health organisations, district health boards, the Accident Compensation Corporation, general practitioners and others.
An intranet or extranet is the preferred mechanism for individuals access to the portal, the ministry says.
"It is likely that this will be via ministry or sector-supplied IT infrastructure," hte documents say. "Unlike public communities, sector/government users will need to be authenticated and authorised before being granted access to the secure portal. Content and services will be presented in different ways depending on the needs and community membership of those accessing it, although a more consistent brand is likely to be used."
The portal will use multiple security zones and be hosted at two physical datacentres for security and redundancy. It will be implemented using existing software products licensed to the ministry.
"Purchase of additional products is not considered necessary or desirable," the documents say.
That means the portal will be built "where appropriate" from a combination of IBM and Oracle systems including Websphere, Tivoli and the Oracle 10g database.