Shared health information platform for Kiwi kids

New Zealand's Midlands Health Network will pilot a new National Child Health Information Programme (NCHIP) in Waikato from August, consisting of a shared health information platform that will give each health provider involved in a child's care a view of the their milestone achievements.

The Pinnacle-owned Midlands Health Network has partnered with the NZ Ministry of Health, the National Health IT Board and four district health boards along with software vendor Orion Health and the Best Practice Advocacy Centre (BPAC) to develop the platform, with hopes that it will roll out nationally following the year-long pilot.

It consists of a telephone-based child health coordination service located in Hamilton and the information platform, which has been built by Orion with input from BPAC. Every child aged from birth to six years will be enrolled in the program, as they are in the national immunisation register, although an opt-out option is available.

The NCHIP will provide a shared view of the child's health milestones, including immunisations, well child checks, hearing and vision checks, and B4school checks. Doctors will be able to log on to the system through their patient management software or a password-protected website.

Parents are also expected to be given access to the shared view through Midlands Health Network's ItsMyHealth website, which uses Medtech's ManageMyHealth patient portal.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said healthcare providers will also be able to see which other providers are delivering health services to a particular child.

“If they’re unable to contact or find a child who is due for a health check, they can phone or send a secure message to a coordination service that will be able to launch a wider search for that child,” Mr Ryall said.

He said the program is expected to result in more Waikato children being enrolled with GPs, well child-tamariki ora providers and oral health services, more children having their immunisations and health checks in a timely manner.

“It should also help to locate vulnerable children who might otherwise have dropped off the radar,” he said.

From birth, each child will be given a nominated well child/tamariki ora provider and a GP, and enrolled on both the national immunisation register and the national child health information platform.

The program will work alongside the primary care providers to locate any child 'lost' to the health system, the organisation says.

The pilot program will run in the Waikato region from August 2014 to March 2015, when an evaluation will identify areas for improvement ahead of a planned roll out to the Lakes, Tairawhiti and Taranaki DHBs, and then nationally.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

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