We are still not sure how Australia’s vaccine roll-out can be both on a war footing while at the same time definitely not a race, but things are moving along both in Australia and New Zealand in the early stages of each country’s mass vaccination plans.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health’s deputy director-general for digital and data Shayne Hunter announced yesterday that MOH will release a national booking system for its roll-out at the end of next month. We’ve been critical in the past of Australia’s tardy pace in developing a booking solution and the same can be levelled at the Kiwis, although they say they are only getting their system up and running as the priority initially had been on the National Contact Tracing Solution. That was followed in swift order by the COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR), which is an interim system built using Salesforce to replace the legacy National Immunisation Register (NIR) and which will be further developed into the permanent National Immunisation Solution (NIS).
Pulse+IT had a very interesting chat to ACT Health CIO Peter O’Halloran last week, who told us all about the quite remarkable feat his team achieved, along with electronic medical record vendor Epic and cloud hosting provider NTT, in getting a full version of the Epic EMR up and hosted to help out with the territory’s Phase 1a vaccination services.
ACT Health awarded a tender to Epic last year as part of its $151 million digital health record project, which will go live in a big bang implementation in September next year. We knew that Epic’s patient administration system would be used to replace the ACTPAS one, but Mr O’Halloran also revealed that a decision had been made to not proceed with the procurement of a new laboratory information system using a different supplier, instead plumping for Epic’s Beaker LIS.
A couple of Melbourne hospitals were in the news this week, both for good and for unfortunate reasons. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital let us know that it had gone live with Cerner’s FirstNet in its emergency department and the ambulatory module in its acute ophthalmology clinic. Eye and Ear was one of the original HealthSmart hospitals but never fully rolled out the Cerner EMR as planned, instead using its PowerChart module mainly for order entry and discharge documentation.
Like some other hospitals that have had a go-live in the age of COVID, the Eye and Ear had a bit of a delay to its original plan, but it all seems to have gone smoothly since it went live last Monday. EMR project manager Neil Harris said that while FirstNet has been implemented in many EDs in big general hospitals, the specialist nature of the Eye and Ear made it a little different.