Orion Health and South Island Alliance formalise SI PICS roll-out

Orion Health and the five South Island District Health Boards (DHBs) have signed a new agreement covering the roll out of the shared patient administration platform known as the South Island Patient Information Care System, or SI PICS.

Orion Health has been working with the DHBs through the SI Alliance for some time on developing the system, which aims to replace seven legacy patient administration systems used in hospitals in the region.

SI PICS executive regional programme manager Nick Lanigan said the new agreement formalises the roll-out of the software across the South Island as well as the ongoing development of it in the future.

SI PICS will include functionality for patient demographics, a master patient index, appointment bookings, wait list management, patient transfers, a record of patient activity, reporting, admission and discharges and alerts and allergies.

Orion Health is using its Enterprise patient management platform to create the regional system and part of the agreement involves continuing to develop new functionality to meet the South Island's future needs. It will also be able to integrate with Orion's clinical workstation, Health Connect South (HCS), which is being built on the company's Consult platform.

HCS is currently being rolled out throughout the South Island, with three of the five DHBs now using it.

Mr Lanigan said the contract widens the partnership from the development stages to the provision of SI PICS and associated implementation services for the five DHBs over the next 10 years.

He said the development of the system was born out of a desire to take a big step forward from current capabilities.

“We've got a number of quite old legacy systems providing some of the functionality, but this will enable us to move to a single system across all of the South Island DHBs,” Mr Lanigan said.

“It will allow us to manage patient flow between our various facilities and services much more easily.”

Mr Lanigan said one of the key benefits of the agreement was that it would allow the SI Alliance and Orion Health to jointly develop new functionality that hasn't even been thought of today.

“It will be a modern platform for further development which we can't do on our existing platforms, so if someone has a great idea we don't have the capability to implement it because our current systems are so old,” he said.

“This really allows a step-change to operational effectiveness and the whole of the South Island will be able to have similar processes as we go forward for patient management.”

Orion Health's hospital solutions director David Hepburn said the project would allow the partners to create an end-to-end hospital system on a regional basis, which Orion Health hopes to use as a reference site as it explores other opportunities in markets such as the rest of New Zealand, Europe, south-east Asia and Australia.

Orion Health has developed Enterprise from the Amalga hospital information system it bought from Microsoft back in 2012, which has now been fully integrated into Orion Health's platform. Enterprise has been installed at the new Koc University Hospital in Istanbul and at The Medical City in the Philippines.

For SI PICS, Orion Health has tailored the system for the specific needs of the region and the Ministry of Health's requirements.

“We are essentially New Zealand-ising the platform because it hasn't been deployed here in New Zealand before,” Mr Hepburn said. “There is a lot of data collection that happens in New Zealand that is a bit different to a private system.

“The main changes are around wait lists and the referrals area, the National Health Index number integration, and delivering an extract to the Ministry of Health as well.”

The fact that Orion Health is providing both a shared patient administration system and the clinical workstation through HCS would be of real benefit when eReferrals start to take off in New Zealand, Mr Hepburn said.

“When a GP triggers a referral of a patient, there is administrative triage in the PICS system and there's obviously a clinical triage component in Health Connect South, so that's one of the specific areas where the two systems are aligning,” he said.

Mr Lanigan said eReferrals was also a significant programme for the SI Alliance, with Southern DHB recently launching the first stage of eReferrals, making it the final South Island DHB to get on the electronic referral system.

“We are doing a lot of work in that area at the moment, moving to much more electronic based [information sharing], and part of the functionality that we'll eventually have will be those referrals automatically appearing in SI PICS,” he said.

“There's obviously a bit of work to do to get to that point but that is the goal. At the moment we are very focused on the hospital side of things, but we certainly hope that with future functionality we'll be able to look at more tightly integrating, and provide a better patient journey right across the primary and secondary sectors.”

The pilot site for SI PICS will be Burwood Hospital in Christchurch at the end of the year, which Mr Lanigan said is currently undergoing significant redevelopment as a result of the earthquake and Canterbury DHB's service configuration.

The second site will include all of the services in the Nelson-Marlborough DHB in 2016, followed by all other South Island DHB facilities over the next five years.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth


0 # Anne McMahon 2015-02-16 11:13
Hello, could this system include anything regarding patient and handling requirements, changes and status? This information is essential for daily stay activities, could be useful for readmission information. In an emergency evacuation situation like Christchurch a central view of the information could be time critical and enhance the effectiveness of rescue planning.

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