New direction for shared health data: MOH

The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed it’s moved away from the idea of building a single Electronic Health Record (EHR) towards developing a national health information platform (HIP) allowing easier sharing of patient data, reported Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ).

MOH deputy director Shayne Hunter revealed the change of direction in his keynote address at the Emerging Tech in Health conference in Christchurch on 21 May. The ministry is now focusing on joining up data services to provide information about a patient via a national health information platform, he said. “This is intended to be not just a technical platform, but a range of other components to enable us to support better information sharing across the sector.”

The plan to build a national EHR was expected to take three to five years when first announced by the government in 2015, but the process has been plagued by hiccups.

Ministry digital strategy group manager Darren Douglass told HiNZ that interoperability was core to the new platform, which would “have the ability to assemble a virtual electronic record on an ‘as required’ basis from multiple trusted sources, and provide access to data and services.” This would make the HIP a key enabler for real-time clinical decision support, empowering patients to self-manage their health and wellbeing and data-driven healthcare, he said.

The ministry is planning a phased approach to implementation with investment in tranches and avoiding any ‘lock in’ to a single technology solution.

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