Hira (National health information platform)

Better data, better access, better sharing, better health and wellbeing

Hira logo

The Ministry of Health is working in partnership with consumers, the health and disability sector, and technology providers to deliver an ecosystem of data and digital services known as Hira.  

Hira will enable access to a virtual electronic health record by drawing together a person’s latest health data from trusted sources. It will support better health for all New Zealanders, by improving the way health information is accessed and shared.

Hira will allow New Zealanders to access and control their health information through their smartphone, tablet or computer, so they can better manage their health and wellbeing. There will also be options for people who don’t have access to technology or prefer not to use it.

Hira will also provide practitioners with secure access to patient information in the right context and at the right time. This will enable better clinical decision-making and allow services to be targeted in a way that improves equity for Māori, Pacific peoples and vulnerable populations.

Over time, Hira will lay the foundations for a digitally enabled system where health and wider social services are delivered in a joined-up way that can be tailored to the specific needs of individuals and whānau.

Benefits of Hira

When Hira is in place:

  • Consumers will have better access to and control over their health information including updating their own NHI details and contributing their own data.
  • Trusted health providers will have secure, easy access to patient information, in the right context and at the right time.
  • Clinical decision-makers will have access to better data, which will support improved safety and quality, performance, planning, design and delivery.
  • Primary care and community-based services will be better able to respond to consumer need.
  • Vendors and innovators will have more opportunities to develop innovative health applications.

Why change is needed

  • Health information is often stored across a number of different providers and systems and there is a lot of variation in how data is collected and stored.
  • It can take some time to bring data together from different providers and systems, which can create delays in care and put patients at risk.
  • New Zealanders don’t have easy access to all their health information, which makes it harder for them to make informed decisions on their care.
  • New Zealanders are frustrated they have to keep repeating their details and medical history to multiple providers.
  • New Zealanders want a simple and secure way of sharing health information with whānau involved in their care.

Co-design with Māori

Hira will be co-designed with Māori in a way that embraces te ao Māori ideals and practices.

The Ministry of Health has established Te Rangapū Tiriti partnership. Te Rangapū Tiriti rōpū will be a partner with the Ministry’s Digital Enablement Oversight Group and the Hira Governance Group, and have equal decision-making power. It will help set priorities, co-design new digital health initiatives and explore innovative ways to engage tangata whenua and enable mana motuhake and tino rangatiratanga.

Consumers and whānau at the centre

Consumers and whānau must be at the centre of Hira, so it works effectively and equitably for everyone. The Ministry is working closely with consumers to really understand the current challenges faced when interacting with health services, and the opportunities that Hira provides.  

We have learnt that people would like the ability to view, update and share information with permitted whānau and family. They would like to share the parts of their story they believe are most important. People would like support to use technology, and they would like to see community input into what is developed.

We will continue to partner with our stakeholders to test Hira ideas and concepts, to ensure Hira works well for everyone.

How Hira will be delivered

Up to $170 million over the next three years has been approved for Hira from the $385 million Budget 2021 package for health sector digital infrastructure and capability.

Hira will be delivered across three overlapping stages or ‘tranches’ and will be completed around the end of 2026. Each tranche will deliver new services and functionality while also improving the services delivered by previous tranches. 

Tranche one is underway. It focuses on allowing New Zealanders and their chosen providers to use their smartphone, tablet or computer to access important health information, including:

  • demographics such as gender, ethnicity, name and date of birth
  • enrolments and entitlements
  • medicines
  • COVID-19 vaccination status and diagnostic test results
  • summary primary care data
  • other sector data services.

New Zealanders will also be able to update and contribute information such as their contact details, iwi affiliations and information about their experiences with health services.

By the end of tranche one in about mid-2024, we will have in place many of the elements of Hira needed to lay the foundations for a digitally enabled health and disability system.

Questions or comments

We value your thoughts and feedback about Hira. To contact the Hira programme, email [email protected].

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