It was exciting to see the first stage of the National Electronic Health Record (EHR) for New Zealand announced, by the Ministry of Health this week. This will be a transformative project for the health sector in this country.

The great news is that we already have the building blocks in place for a national EHR. The South Island, through a partner alliance of Canterbury District Health Board, Pegasus Health, and Orion Health, have implemented a regional electronic shared care record called HealthOne which enables care providers across primary and secondary care to have access to the same clinical record. 

This is a fantastic example of a whole of system solution that gives all care givers access to the same health record, allowing patient centered healthcare, closer to home, through a very smart system. Other regions such as the Central and Northern region are also investing in similar shared care platforms that will allow hospitals across the region access to the same clinical record.

In addition to the work the DHBs are doing, there is strong collaboration with NZ industry partners through the NZ Health Inc partnership. With over 30 partners involved, this partnership shows we are a sector working well together, and with the development of an upcoming charter of interoperability we will be able to deliver an open data ecosystem for healthcare in New Zealand.

As we’ve often said, at Orion Health we truly believe that New Zealand has the potential to lead the world in global healthcare, and have already invested in world-leading initiatives such as Precision Driven Health partnership that will aim to improve health outcomes through data science.

We look forward to seeing the business case for the national EHR when it is released, and how through collaboration we will be able to create solutions that improve healthcare both locally and internationally.