The Canterbury earthquakes played havoc with paper based patient notes – many of which were lost or became inaccessible when buildings collapsed or became unsafe to enter.
The Canterbury earthquakes played havoc with paper based patient notes – many of which were lost or became inaccessible when buildings collapsed or became unsafe to enter. Some electronic records also became inaccessible.
This resulted in patients seeking treatment at medical centres, pharmacies and hospitals where no-one could view their medical history – leaving health professionals reliant on patients’ recollections of their medications, conditions, allergies and treatment plans.
The answer seemed simple – to create electronic patient records which could be accessed and shared by GPs, pharmacies, community nurses, St John, hospitals and other secondary care facilities.
The goal was to create a system that could access a summary of patient demographics, medications, encounters, allergies, alerts and observations, as well as details of past visits, admission data and discharge information (unless the patient opted out). The system would be invaluable for patients seeking treatment if they were away from their regular healthcare setting or if not all their information is available for any reason.
The Canterbury District Health Board teamed up with Pegasus Health and Orion Health (a New Zealand based global healthcare software company) to work on a solution.
Challenges the team faced included patient privacy, data security and integration with other systems already in use.
The result is now known as HealthOne. Amazingly, rollout began in Canterbury in early 2012 and by the end of 2017, HealthOne was being used by district health boards, primary care, pharmacies and NGOs across the South Island and had become a crucial tool for health care providers.
Now that the most urgent needs have been met, development is focused on ongoing stability, scalability, security and financial viability.
“HealthOne has delivered on the original challenge and now, four years after the large scale roll out, the product is evolving to meet the changing needs of the health system,” says Rachael Page, General Manager of HealthOne.
“Four years ago we never would have imagined providing HealthOne to doctors caring for guests at MIQ facilities during a worldwide pandemic!”
“With NZHIH support, HealthOne moved from an unincorporated joint venture to a limited partnership in 2021, which will enable us to add more sectors and extend our reach to the North Island and expand internationally,” says Rachael.
NZHIH owns half of the shares in this new partnership, with Pegasus Health owning the other 50%.
“NZHIH support is very important to us as we take our next steps. We also appreciate the support we’ve received along the way from our customers who’ve been actively involved in the design and implementation of HealthOne, as well as the collaboration we’ve enjoyed with the clinicians who use HealthOne – which has been critical to our success,” says Rachael.