The Commitment to New Zealand Health Interoperability

Read the Commitment below.

In April 2016, the Ministry of Health launched the New Zealand Health Strategy with an overarching vision that ‘all New Zealanders live well, stay well and get well’.

Sharing health data and information plays an important part in enabling the success of this vision and is required to support safe, good quality healthcare. Interoperability is essential to ensure that data and information can be accessed by clinicians, patients and their carers ‘anywhere, anytime and anyhow’ whilst ensuring relevant standards, privacy and security requirements are met.

We define interoperability as:

‘the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged.’
(HIMSS Board of Directors, 5 April 2013)

As signatories to the Commitment to New Zealand Health Interoperability we recognise that it is our responsibility to work individually and collectively to create an interoperable ICT environment and we commit to implementing the following principles:

  1. Consumer Trust: Consumers can trust the quality, security and privacy of their health data. Consumers can access their own health data; create new data as part of their health record; and see who has accessed their data, what has been accessed, and when and why.
  2. No Blocking: We are custodians of health data and will make it available to others whenever consistent with the other principles and permitted by law.  We will not unreasonably block or hinder access to the health data we hold.
  3. Data Sharing: Health data will be shared across the health and social care continuum with appropriate user authorisation, to support clinical decision-making and enable the provision of the right care, in the right place, at the right time and by the right people.
  4. Standards: We will implement agreed national interoperability standards and policies and adopt recognised practices related to health data including privacy, security, information governance and service management.
  5. Common Capabilities: We will utilise agreed national information common capabilities such as those providing identity, directory and health record services.

This Commitment to Interoperability will underpin, and be operationalised through, existing sector processes and structures. The Ministry of Health will provide leadership in collaboration with sector and industry partners.

We will actively align relevant processes and practices to the interoperability principles. These will include developing required interoperability standards and certification processes; delivering required national information common capabilities; aligning health ICT strategy and architecture; and aligning existing investment planning, procurement, ICT solution design, implementation and service management practices and activities.

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