NZ Health IT — a group of health software companies, partners, consultants and healthcare providers — and healthcare information standards body HL7 New Zealand have signed a memorandum of understanding to make New Zealand’s healthcare information interoperable.
HL7NZ is the local affiliate of Health Level Seven International, the global developer of standards for the interoperability of health information.
The two organisations have committed to promoting each other’s news and activities and to providing discounted rates for attendance at their respective events. They say will also look for opportunities to collaborate, including supporting the development and implementation of New Zealand’s Digital Health Strategy.
The Ministry of Health announced in June 2017 that it was starting work to develop the strategy and set up Digital Health 2020 “to progress the core digital technologies presented in the New Zealand Health Strategy.” Its role is to “guide the strategic digital investments that are expected to occur across the health and disability sector in the next five years, 2016–2020.”
These initiatives followed release of the NZ Health Strategy in mid 2016.
NZHIT and HL7NZ say their collaboration was initiated as a result of NZHIT developing the New Zealand Vision and Charter for Interoperability in health IT that is “designed to provide direction to all participants in the health and disability sector to work collaboratively to build a fully interoperable ICT environment as a key enabler of quality healthcare services delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
NZHIT chief executive Scott Arrol said the two organisations shared a common goal of achieving interoperability within the healthcare sector.
The chair of HL7 NZ Peter Jordan said: “We need broad sector engagement to produce localised standards for interoperability and we can’t do that by ourselves. We need to engage as many people as possible in the process to get buy-in for the standards.
“As the local affiliate of a large worldwide organization seeking to reach out to as many people in the sector as possible, we see collaboration with NZHIT as a key means of achieving that.”