Waitemata DHB signs with Orion for Long White Health Cloud

Orion Health has signed a three-year agreement with Waitemata District Health Board (DHB) to co-develop eHealth initiatives at North Shore Hospital’s special care baby unit and haematology ward.

The agreement will use Orion's new national innovation platform, which it has dubbed the Long White Health Cloud (LWHC), to improve existing and develop new technologies based on the input of clinicians.

Orion Health's NZ country manager Jerome Faury said the LWHC is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that supports the company's latest products with continuous delivery architecture. Orion has been developing the platform over the past 12 months with HP and Gen-I.

This particular agreement is between WDHB and Orion Health directly, but there is the potential for collaboration and engagement with other entities, Mr Faury said.

An initial focus of the partnership will be on making the two wards paperless by using a range of electronic systems to replace traditional paper-based processes, including Orion's Rhapsody integration engine, clinical data repository and portal along with clinical documentation and healthcare pathways.

Mr Faury said the full LWHC platform includes Orion's Smarter Hospital and Intelligent Integration products, which also include patient engagement systems, direct secure messaging, clinical portals, mobile technologies, medicines management and clinical information system, as well as its big data platform and electronic referrals.

“The fundamental principle of the engagement is for end users to collaborate and provide feedback directly to Orion Health product and development teams,” Mr Faury said.

“We want to continuously improve our products, as we ramp up R&D in NZ to deliver more value to clinicians, system and consumers, faster, with measurable outcomes. Having the person with the problem or feedback working directly with the people who can potentially provide the solution is critical in effective design-led innovation.”

Under the agreement, Orion Health will provide the latest versions of its software systems for the two wards as well as implementation and support. The project will be reviewed after 12 months to evaluate the processes and further developments.

Waitemata DHB CEO Dale Bramley said the agreement would position the DHB as a national leader in technology adoption.

“The technologies developed under this agreement will be the product of real-world testing and refinement based on the input of people at the frontline of healthcare,” Dr Bramley said.

“Our patients and their whanau will benefit from the new models of care that flow as a result, such as the potential for mobile devices to be used for reviewing results, entering notes and coordinating care at the bedside.”

He said the partnership would enable improvements to existing products and the development of new products that could be made available to other DHBs.

Orion Heath CEO Ian McCrae said the company had other innovation partnerships which were extremely productive in generating new products and better health delivery and care.

“Health professionals have a lot of excellent product ideas and this gives them an outlet where that creativity can be realised as products,” he said.

Mr Faury said he could not discuss the financial aspects of the agreement, but that the focus was not on profits. “Terms are very favourable to the DHB, albeit commercially sensitive,” he said.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

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