Whanau Tahi buys HSAGlobal to close loop in integrated care

Whanau Tahi, the wholly owned IT arm of the west Auckland-based social and healthcare service provider Waipareira Trust, has acquired the assets of HSA Global's Connected Care Management Solution (CCMS), which forms the basis of a number of connected care projects in New Zealand and Australia.

Whanau Tahi itself has developed a specialist customer relationship management (CRM) system called the Whanau Tahi Navigator, which is integrated into New Zealand's leading practice management software (PMS) system Medtech and enables GPs to share information with health and social service providers.

With the purchase of CCMS, the organisation will now be able to expand into secondary care and fully close the loop to achieve the goals of Whanau Ora, a health initiative based on Māori cultural values, and integrated care, Whanau Tahi CEO Steve Keung said.

“Whanau Ora really is nothing more than integrated care,” Mr Keung said. “What we are trying to do is connect all the way from our homes and our marae – we say marae but it could be any gathering place where people socialise – all the way through to the hospitals, connecting through to GP clinics, podiatrists, psychologists …

“With CCMS it gets us into that space in the hospital area, where we can now finally connect everybody all the way into the home.”

Whanau Tahi will take on many of HSAGlobal's existing employees and continue supporting its successful roll-outs, which include Auckland's shared care plan program, Counties-Manukau District Health Board's (DHB) at-risk individuals program, Canterbury DHB's collaborative care program and a proof of concept trial with Northern DHB looking at medication adherence for people with long-term conditions.

HSAGlobal also has several clients in Australia for CCMS, including the former South Eastern Sydney Medicare Local (SESML) for its Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) and Partners in Recovery mental health programs.

It has also been used in Victoria by childhood and parenting centres QEC and Tweddle, as well as a mobile wound care project.

As part of the sale, HSAGlobal founder and managing director Matt Hector-Taylor will join Whanau Tahi to oversee business and customer development.

“It is going to be a joined up organisation so one of things we are working through at the moment is the product strategy,” Mr Hector-Taylor said.

“We've been talking to Whanau Tahi for quite a while, quite a few years, and have been on sort of a parallel journey. The've been more in the social space and we are more in the health space, so it seemed like the right time join forces.”

Mr Hector-Taylor said the plan was to pause HSAGlobal's UK operation for the time being to do a stocktake. In addition to New Zealand and Australian clients, HSAGlobal has one in Singapore and Whanau Tahi has several in the US as well as emerging relationships in Canada.

Waipareira CEO John Tamihere said the acquisition would enable New Zealand to become a reference site for exporting the Whanau Ora and integrated models of care frameworks and tools to vulnerable communities in international markets.

While Whanau Tahi does focus on First Nations populations, Mr Keung said the company's first client in the US, Families First of Atlanta, was predominantly an African American organisation that was very similar to Waipareira.

“We were birthed out of an urban Maori authority 30 years ago and our strategy has always been First Nations, let's work there and then we'll branch out in other areas,” he said.

“We are following the same strategy as we have done here over there. Families First are outcomes-focused, they are trying to break down the silos, they are trying to do a lot of things we are trying to do.”

Mr Hector-Taylor said the model of care supported by CCMS would easily extend to First Nations populations.

“The First Nations plus vulnerable people and the frail elderly and the long-term conditions patients, that group is really a big chunk of under-served populations,” he said.

“We seem to have our heads around both the software and the service models, which is quite exciting.”

Mr Keung said Whanau Tahi's overall vision was to enable self-managed and self-directed care for individuals and whanau (extended families).

“If you can imagine something hand-held and being able to have a patient or individual or family, the consumer of health services, be able to choose their providers and who will be linked to them as support personnel, then that is what we are trying to do,” he said.

“That's our vision and we believe that what Matt and his team have developed over the years is a very good fit with what we have and gets us into a very important space in so far as healthcare is concerned.

“We have very strong aspirations for what we will do. We know there is a need and there is a very significant opportunity for someone with domain knowledge. It's not really the technology – it is how you go about repurposing organisations and changing thought.”

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

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