National Context

The Government and Midland region’s shared strategic approach is to encourage and facilitate the sharing of consistent electronic patient information as a critical enabler to safer, more efficient healthcare. Government is encouraging movement toward a single electronic national health record, starting with regionally integrated clinical data.

The New Zealand Health Strategy 2016 sets the direction of health services to improve the health of people and communities. Effective management of clinical information is a clear priority, with a strong emphasis on integration across geographic borders and health sectors. The New Zealand Health Strategy: Roadmap of actions 2016 specifies that public hospital-based health providers should use a common provider portal to access medical records, standardised to enable effective sharing of medical records.

Digital Health 2020 was developed in response to the New Zealand Health Strategy and is designed “to progress the core digital technology opportunities presented in the strategy. It delivers on the strategy's focus areas that together will drive towards a uniform information platform and a consistent data approach across the sector”.

Digital Health 2020 reflects an expectation for greater cooperation among health sector participants – from sharing of data to convergence on consistent regional and national solutions. However, Digital Health 2020 has a stronger practical focus which reflects recent advancements in thinking around Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Electronic Health Records (EHRs). There is a clearly stated expectation that all DHBs will adopt aligned and consistent clinical data repositories and Clinical Workstation (CWS) solutions, implemented as regional platforms and based on national standards and alignment.

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