Canterbury District Health Board CMO Dr Nigel Millar explains how a patient-centric transformation is saving patients time and money, and setting a global benchmark for shared electronic records.

Canterbury District Health Board (DHB) is the main planner and funder of health services in the Canterbury province of New Zealand’s South Island. As the largest South Island DHB it provides hospital and specialist services for Canterbury and also other South Island Districts where not all specialised services are available.

Canterbury DHB is driven to be a centre of health care excellence for New Zealand and globally. Its vision is to create “an integrated health system that keeps people healthy and well in their own homes by providing the right care and support, to the right person, at the right time and in the right place.”

The organisation has a strategic partnership with Orion Health to develop information technology that will help to realise this vision for the Canterbury District. 

It is also a member of the South Island Health Alliance, a partnership between the five South Island DHBs to support clinically and financially sustainable health services, including the development of shared information systems.

The work of the South Island Health Alliance supports the New Zealand Government’s goal of “better, sooner, more convenient” health care. Part of this is a plan for each New Zealander to have a single Electronic Medical Record (EMR) that spans the hospital setting, community care and engages the patient and their circle of care.