Health companies to add ideas to plan

The low-key call for industry submissions for the Ministry of Health's sector-wide five-year IT plan last week caught many by surprise.

The low-key call for industry submissions for the Ministry of Health’s sector-wide five-year IT plan last week caught many by surprise.

But health software companies and organisations spoken to are united in wanting to have their say and respond before the April 18 deadline.

The Health Information Management and Technology Plan (HIMTP) was conceived in mid-2000 following the New Zealand Health Strategy document, and is being overseen by an advisory board picked by director general of health Karen Poutasi and district health board representatives. The board’s draft plan is available online and is being circulated around companies to prompt feedback. The main discussion points include national information networks, systems capability, security and PKI standards, electronic health records and privacy.

Those caught by surprise at the low key release last Tuesday included Cap Gemini Ernst & Young’s health principal Feisal Keshavjee, SeeBeyond New Zealand country manager Rob Erskine and Galen Group and I-Health chief Brian Allen – but all three said they were aware of the developing plan and definitely would be looking at making a submission.

Privacy will no doubt be the “biggest public issue”, according to Orion System’s general manager Mark Capill.

Capill, whose company has already held meetings with the plan’s advisers, says Orion would put forward its HealthLink service as part of its submission. HealthLink already connects 80% of the country’s GPs who use electronic systems.

Details of the plan and submission guidelines are available at www.moh.govt.nz/wave.

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