As a field that thrives off data, healthcare hasn’t yet reached its full potential in sharing information with the people who need it the most. In order to help Providers diagnose accurately and offer safer care to their patients, it is crucial that personal health records can be shared electronically with the appropriate people, at the appropriate time.

Globally, healthcare is experiencing a shift towards more collaborative, patient-centric models of care. But to be successful these models require equally collaborative technology to enable this. For Canterbury District Health Board, the most important thing when integrating their health IT system was the people.

New Zealand’s HealthOne team were determined to get healthcare IT up to speed with other industries. In doing so, they identified a key issue: for any technology to be successful, it must be easy for people to use. Carolyn Gullery, General Manager Planning, Funding and Decision Support and Executive Sponsor for HealthOne believes that culture leads, and technology follows. HealthOne reflects the collaborative culture that is starting to prevail in healthcare, as the key purpose is to enable shared access across all providers, putting the patient’s needs first.

HealthOne is an Electronic Health Record (EHR) that collects clinical information from across the South Island’s health system, giving clinicians access to the best and most up-to-date information to help them make more informed health decisions. A universal trust has been established across the populations, allowing EHRs to be shared between all parts of the health system including pharmacy, general practice, community providers, private and public hospitals.

The biggest driver for seamless integration of HealthOne was the fact that people will not use a new system if it makes their job harder or more time consuming. Clinicians tend to work on disparate systems, so the logical step for the HealthOne team was to connect these systems rather than create something entirely new and unfamiliar. 

The solution was designed to let clinicians continue to do their job without massive disruption. The click of a button takes them to HealthOne, where they are can find context around the patient, giving them the information they need to provide the right care to that patient.

Part of the reason some providers are hesitant to integrate their system and share EHRs is because of fears around privacy and sharing personal information. With HealthOne, patients were given the opportunity to opt-off, after communications with their doctor around the importance of sharing their EHR for their own safety. Over five years, 0.1% of the South Island’s population chose to opt-off. In fact, people were concerned that their healthcare providers weren’t able to see an up-to-date, comprehensive record already.

Over a million people have benefitted from HealthOne, and there have been 3.6 million pieces of data contributed to the system since its implementation.

The creation of HealthOne has enabled a series of other innovations that wouldn’t have been thought of otherwise. For example Advance Care Plans, Acute Care Plans, CREST and Medication Management Systems, all of which work with HealthOne.

As the name suggests, HealthOne serves many in one single system, and is paving the way for other shared systems in the future.