PICS roll-out starts to gather momentum in South Island

A team from New Zealand's South Island Alliance and vendor partner Orion Health will be touring South Island District Health Boards in the coming months to demonstrate the new Patient Information Care System (PICS) that is due to be implemented throughout the region.

PICS is being built by Orion Health as a single system to manage patient information from all hospitals in the South Island, with plans to extend it into primary care to allow the capture of patient information at the point of care.

It promises to streamline the patient journey and help to coordinate care between different hospitals and providers around the South Island and will standardise patient flow across DHBs. It will include data on patient demographics, appointments, clinical records, in-patient admissions, discharges and scheduling.

All five DHBs have endorsed the implementation and it recently received approval from Health Minister Tony Ryall for government investment. Endorsement was also received from the Capital Investment Committee, which prioritises and allocates capital investment in New Zealand’s health sector.

The new system is expected to first be implemented at the new Burwood Health Campus in Christchurch in March next year, where construction is underway on a purpose-built sub-acute facility for the elderly and rehabilitation services. Implementation in Nelson Marlborough DHB is then expected to follow toward the end of 2016.

Canterbury DHB CEO David Meates said in a recent update that PICS will replace the HOMER system currently used for patient demographics, admissions, transfers and discharges as well as the SAP system for older persons' health and mental health.

“This isn‘t about replacing our current system with a similar one,” Mr Meates said. “SI PICS will help future-proof our systems; it has new functions we can build on to positively change the way healthcare is provided over the next 20 years.

“Some of the ways the SI PICS will enhance patient care include: providing an overview of an individual patient‘s journey and data to support clinical audit and processes to improve the quality and safety of care. Integrating clinical systems to provide real time data will mean accurate information is at a clinician's fingertips – this will lead to faster diagnosis and treatment.”

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

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