Ministry takes further step towards electronic health records

Media release

23 August 2016

The Ministry of Health is taking a further step towards using technology to reduce the number of times patients have to provide their health details to the many different health professionals providing their treatment.

The Ministry has today released a request for proposal to develop a two-stage business case for the introduction of a single electronic health record. 

When in place, the electronic health record will reduce the requirement for each health professional to check as many details with the patient – which will help make life easier for many patients who frequently have to repeat information as they progress through the health system for treatment and care.

The successful tenderer will work with the Ministry to develop an indicative business case to identify a preferred solution for an electronic health record. That, in turn, would lead to a detailed business case with more specific costings and a preferred option.

“There is considerable support amongst health professionals for an electronic health record as it will enable them to spend more time caring for patients and less time on the paperwork needed to support that care,” says Giles Southwell, Chief Technology and Digital Services Officer.

“We expect to build on the successes the sector has achieved on digital health initiatives. With an electronic health record, patients and clinicians can get a more complete picture of an individual’s health story throughout their lifetime which will help ensure their treatment takes into account things that have happened before.

“This information is also intended to be accessible to the patient care team as well as the patient.  We know, from talking to patients, that they will really appreciate not having to repeatedly tell their story as they move through the health system,” adds Mr Southwell.

The Ministry expects to complete the request for proposal process in early November 2016 and its indicative business case six months after that. The process has some flexibility built in to allow for some variation to the planned approach - should that be required.

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