Smart system

He atamai te whakaraupapa

To become a learning system that makes best use of innovation, research and emerging technologies, we need to develop our analytical capability and the quality of our data at a national level. When we have and share good-quality information, the health system will be able to perform better and work more effectively with other government agencies in other sectors.

We need to give all New Zealanders, no matter where they interact with the health system, access to online information about their health and social services. We can do this by extending the current range of online services, health information and decision support tools, and by developing electronic health records and patient portals. It is challenging, but important, to keep up with the development of health technologies such as robotics, genomics and nanotechnologies. We need to actively scan, evaluate and develop knowledge and innovative technologies in a New Zealand context, and apply the best of these nationally.

What do we want in five years?

  • The system has a strong analytical capability that meets national standards and is able to transform specific data into the knowledge required to accurately and effectively target services to meet people’s needs. This includes knowledge about which health services have strong potential to help achieve priority outcomes in wider social service areas, such as employment.
  • Government agencies design and collect information consistently and share information to identify different segments in the population, so that they can better target health services, including services to help achieve priority social outcomes.
  • Innovative health technologies and best practices are rapidly identified, evaluated and introduced across the system.
  • With better processes and clearer roles and responsibilities, the system is quicker to adopt digital solutions and processes designed to national standards.
  • Data is consistent and accurate. It is accessible across the country, and not needlessly duplicated. Privacy is assured.
  • People are increasingly able to interact with the health system online.

The actions below are intended to be carried out within a five-year timeframe, with the first steps starting in 2016/17 and indicated with an asterisk (*).

Strengthen national analytical capability

Action 25

Increase New Zealand’s national data quality and analytical capability to make the whole health system more transparent and provide useful information for designing and delivering effective services.

  1. The Ministry of Health will work with other government agencies to improve information and analytics so that they can take effective cross-sectoral action at all levels of the system.
    1. * Develop analytical and research networks to inform decision-making, working with Superu, the Health Research Council and other agencies.
    2. * Work with Statistics New Zealand’s integrated data infrastructure to inform prioritisation of health and social investment programmes.
    3. Build the capability to understand the full range of people’s needs and circumstances, how to reach them effectively and how to respond to those needs effectively, and improve sharing of the knowledge gained.
    4. Build the evidence on what works in high-needs communities and for priority groups.
    5. * Increase the Ministry of Health’s capability (links to action 20 and action 21).

Use electronic records and patient portals

Action 26

The Ministry of Health will establish a national electronic health record that is accessed through certified systems including: patient portals, health provider portals and mobile applications.

  1. * Design and implement a national electronic health record, with appropriate standardisation so that certified health applications can access high-quality data.
  2. * Continue to promote patient portals so that over time all New Zealanders can access their health information electronically.
  3. * Public hospital-based health providers use a common provider portal to access medical records, standardised so that they can share medical records effectively and with appropriate privacy safeguards.
  4. Establish a list of certified mobile ‘health apps’ that service users and health providers can use with confidence (to be known as the ‘Health App Formulary’).
  5. Improve the functionality of the electronic handling of prescribed medicines.

Strengthen the impact of health research and technology

Action 27

Develop capability for effectively identifying, developing, prioritising, regulating and introducing knowledge and technologies. This action area seeks to improve the health system’s service effectiveness, reduce cost, improve engagement with people who access health services, promote healthy behaviours and self-management, and aid people-led design. It includes use of new technologies (medicines, medical devices from dressings to robotics, cell and tissue therapies), service design/models of care and information technology.

  1. * The Ministry of Health works with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Health Research Council to consult with government agencies and the public to better align health research in New Zealand and strengthen its impact.
    1. Develop and implement the New Zealand Health Research Strategy.
  2. * Continue to develop and implement the regulatory scheme to support the assessment and uptake of therapeutic products, including medicines, medical devices, cell and tissue therapeutic products and hybrids thereof.
  3. Continue to improve and simplify processes and systems to prioritise and procure technologies and develop processes that make it easier to introduce technologies based on genomics, genetics and epigenetics in a sustainable way.
  4. Provide an environment that can rapidly take advantage of the opportunities presented by international developments in models of care, ways of working and technology by:
    1. monitoring proactively
    2. reviewing policy settings in discussion with service providers, clinical leaders, professional groups and suppliers of goods and services to the sector.
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