Having up-to-date, accurate administrative information available at the click of a button dramatically improves healthcare administrators' ability to do their jobs. A functionally-rich patient administration system is a cornerstone of a digitally mature healthcare organisation's technological infrastructure.

The South Island Alliance identified the need for a region-wide patient information system which would streamline the patient journey through the health system and make tasks easier for staff, enabling more efficient and connected healthcare, ultimately resulting in a more seamless patient experience. Out of this need, the organisation partnered with Orion Health to build the South Island Patient Information Care System (SI PICS), New Zealand's first patient administration system to be shared across more than one DHB.

The SI PICS programme was pioneered out of the strong relationship between all five South Island DHBs due to the aligned vision of connecting care across a geographically vast region.

This month, the programme was extended from Canterbury DHB (where it went live in 2017) to neighbouring Nelson-Marlborough Health.

Administrative information is a key piece in the puzzle for the South Island's vision of a fully integrated health system. SI PICS will replace the nine non-integrated patient management systems previously used by DHBs across the South Island, and includes functionality to support admissions, wait-lists and specialists.

An electronic medical record generally provides clinical information but does not include administrative data that can add valuable information and provide a more holistic overview of a patient.

SI PICS will not only benefit the patient, but also the thousands of people who carry out administrative tasks in a hospital, as it reduces the time spent tracking patient activity, and provides a better overview of community, inpatient and outpatient appointments. Users are now able to manage waitlists, increasing communication across different departments and improving efficiency.

Users can view referrals within the hospital over time, create a referral and record triage status. Medical warnings and patient alerts will now all be in one place, making it much faster for administrators to view alerts and events for a patient.

SI PICS enables a more streamlined patient journey through health services across the South Island and allows for a seamless transfer of care anywhere in the region, including from the community to the hospital.