Orion Health showing Enterprise as part of global play

Orion Health plans to use the roll-out of a unified patient information system in New Zealand's South Island, integrated with a clinical workstation also being rolled out in the region, as a reference site to show markets like Australia, south-east Asia and Europe what it is capable of with its Enterprise solution.

Last week, Orion Health signed an agreement with all five district health boards (DHBs) in the South Island to implement a shared patient administration system called the South Island Patient Information Care System, or SI PICS.

While SI PICS currently includes functionality common to many patient administration systems – including patient demographics, a master patient index, appointment bookings, wait list management and admissions, discharges and transfers – part of the agreement with the South Island Alliance is to include new functionality as the need arises.

SI PICS will be based on the patient administration component of the Orion Health Enterprise solution, which has been developed from the Amalga hospital information system (HIS) it bought from Microsoft. The Amalga software has been extensively developed and integrated with the Consult clinical platform, an expanded version of Concerto.

The newly listed company is also developing a medications management solution that will be integrated into the Enterprise solution, due to be available later this year.

In addition to the new SI PICS, the South Island Alliance is also part way through the roll-out of a new clinical workstation called Health Connect South (HCS), which is based on the Consult platform.

As Canterbury DHB chief medical officer Nigel Millar explained in a webinar hosted by ehealthspace.org yesterday, SI PICS is part of the region's plans to provide a seamless patient journey in both the primary and secondary care sectors.

“You might look at it as a hospital patient administration system, but it’s much wider than that,” Dr Millar said. “The idea is to have the same system across all of the hospitals in the South Island, so if a patient moves between hospitals, it is the same as moving between wards.”

Orion Health also worked closely with Canterbury DHB on its electronic shared care record, which is now known as HealthOne. This allows any appropriate clinician – GPs, community pharmacists, district nurses, aged care nurses and hospital clinicians – to access information held within the shared care record.

HealthOne was developed in response to the 2011 earthquake that devastated Christchurch, and has now become an essential part of Canterbury's health system. It is an opt-out model, which Dr Millar said has now enrolled 480,000 out of Canterbury's population of 525,000. Only 300 people so far have opted out.

For Orion Health's senior vice president for Smarter Hospitals, David Hepburn, the SI PICS project will allow the creation of an end-to-end hospital system on a regional basis, which he hopes to use as a reference site for other markets such as Australia, SE Asia and Europe.

“We are using the patient administration component of Enterprise for SI PICS, but we are lucky enough in the South Island to have also engaged with [the DHBs] on Health Connect South- the clinical portal which is essentially a simple version of Consult,” Mr Hepburn said.

“The opportunity is for us is to create a really exciting Enterprise-Consult end-to-end regional play.”

The platform has been installed in the brand-new Koc University Hospital in Turkey and at The Medical City in the Philippines, which in addition to the New Zealand roll-out are a signal of Orion Health's intentions on a global scale.

While Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae said last year that he intends to take on the dominant US-based vendors in the future, at the moment Orion's Smarter Hospitals business is focused on Asia-Pacific and Europe, Mr Hepburn said.

“We have a big business in the US in population health,” he said. “Our strategy is to enhance that offering with Smarter Hospital capability over time given the competition in the US in respect to EHR vendors.

“We see a big opportunity to be quite disruptive in Asia and Europe with our patient administration system. Our targets are Australia, SE Asia and Europe – the UK, Turkey, France and Germany.”

Orion has a number of existing clients in Australia, but opportunities here for an end-to-end solution are rare, and several state governments have chosen to go with the big US vendors for their EMR requirements rather than the smaller players. Mr Hepburn certainly sees a big opportunity in Australia in the PAS market, however.

“We understand that it will be a challenge, but my strategy is to basically make the South Island a shining reference site,” he said.

“With that region, we will be able to really show measurable benefits both financially for the South Island but also from the patient perspective. That's really our main goal.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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