ADHB open to sharing

Auckland District Health Board's information chief says joining healthAlliance is a possible future option for the provision of the board's IT services.

Auckland District Health Board’s information chief says joining healthAlliance is a possible future option for the provision of the board’s IT services.

But CIO Steven Mayo-Smith says it’s too early to give a definite yes or no, or say when such a move would take place.

HealthAlliance was set up by Waitemata and Counties Manukau district health boards to share HR, purchasing, finance and IT services, with the goal of saving the two boards $3 million in the 2002 to 2003 financial year. Other district health boards have been invited to join the scheme, with Taranaki already looking at using the two boards’ Oracle 11i financials system.

“One of the key things we want to achieve is regional alignment, so we can share information with other DHBs,” says Mayo-Smith. “We want a continuum of care.”

Auckland DHB isn’t running on the same model as healthAlliance, he says.

“HealthAlliance is geared towards a sharing of IT infrastructure.”

Auckland DHB’s new hospital, under construction in Grafton and due to open in a year’s time, will need to be fitted out IT-wise and that project will take priority over looking at healthAlliance, Mayo-Smith says.

“I really can’t comment on time frames for [possibly] joining healthAlliance.”

Auckland DHB is, however, working with Counties Manukau and Waitemata DHBs “on some proofs-of-concept”.

The CIO of those two boards, Phil Brimacombe, confirms he’s “in dicussion with Auckland District Health Board”.

“I can see the sense of common, shared IT systems,” Brimacombe says, in cost and clinical terms. The clinical benefits would come from the ability to access patient records from any of the three boards’ facilities.

“I’m confident we’ll be able to move down the path of collaboration, heading to common systems.”

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