The Consumer Panel contributes a consumer perspective to the Ministry of Health and the governance and working groups delivering on Digital Health 2020 priority eHealth projects. The panel recognises that health information is uniquely personal and privacy, confidentiality, security and access rules are absolutely essential to maintain the public's confidence in eHealth records.
Consumer engagement is essential to ensuring health information solutions are person-centred and people-focused.
The panel comprises about 14 New Zealanders from a mixture of walks of life, ethnicities, age groups, regions and health status. Some have a background in the health sector as consumer representatives, but all are there to wear their ‘consumer hats’ – scrutinising the details of the projects to make sure they are appropriate and workable for consumers.
Panel members meet three or four times a year to discuss issues that are important to maintaining the success of the eHealth programme of work. They are also appointed to governance groups and project teams working on various components of Digital Health 2020. They provide input from a consumer perspective.
Panel members are appointed to a range of groups which include medications management, electronic health record, child health information platform and patient flow projects. Members are also attached to groups such as the National Information Clinical Leadership Group (NICLG), Patients First, and the Health Information Governance Expert Advisory Group (HIGEAG).
There is an expectation that panel members will have wide networks where they can get advice and guidance, and share information, however they are not appointed as members of any particular network or organisation.
Members of the panel change from time to time, and expressions of interest to be a panel member are always welcome. Any ideas should be sent to the chair of the panel, Stephanie Fletcher at: eHealth@health.govt.nz.