Developing a strategy for health and disability data and information

1 April 2021

The Ministry of Health is working with the sector and other experts to develop a strategy to guide the way health and disability data and information is acquired, used and managed.

The first step has involved engaging with the sector to understand the data issues people and organisations are facing to identify what should be included in the strategy. We heard from people working in the health and disability sector, facilitated in-person and video discussions with existing data-focused groups, sought feedback from selected consumer forums within district health boards, and sought input from Māori data specialists.

What we found out

Sector organisations reported issues with access and data quality, manual processes to capture information, lack of sharing between different sectors, and clinicians not being able to see clinical data and information across the continuum of care. 

Messages from our engagement with other groups, experts and consumer bodies have emphasised the importance of complete and relevant health records supporting health care in different settings as well as the value of consumers being able to access, manage, and contribute to their own health records to support improvements to their health and wellbeing.


We have identified the following enduring themes for the data strategy:

  • equity and data sovereignty
  • people and leadership
  • data accessibility
  • data foundations
  • consumer participation.

What next

We are now preparing a strategy and accompanying roadmap to share with the sector and all interested in better use and management of health and disability data and information.

Karen Blake, Head of Clinical Informatics at healthAlliance, says the strategy will help accelerate change and innovation in the sector around the use of data.

“It’s about providing guidance and strategic direction for the use of data and information, and supporting organisations,” she says.

“It’s been a collaborative process based on mutual respect and working together for the good of the whole health and disability system.”

For more information, please contact Simon Ross at the Ministry of Health, [email protected].

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