The South Island Alliance’s revised framework that calls for a whole of system and collaborative approach is being realised through the pioneering efforts of the Information Services (IS) Service Level Alliance (SLA).
As well being an integral building block within the new triple aim framework – health information, knowledge and systems – recent achievements by the IS SLA embody the ‘whole of system’ approach designed to ensure service sustainability, quality and safety while making the best use of limited resources.
An example of this is a new mental health module recently introduced for West Coast District Health Board’s (DHB) Health Connect South (Clinical Workstation) that provides a complete picture of the client’s clinical record in one system, saving administrative time, and providing a more streamlined process. The module went live in September.
Chair of the Information Services, Service Level Alliance Dr Andrew Bowers said the success of the project highlighted how regional collaboration and information services integration were instrumental to improving the patient’s journey, all key to the Alliance’s goals.
“The new software brings together all of the client’s relevant information in a single integrated view, directly enabling Mental Health staff to spend more time with clients and provide them with more comprehensive care.”
“There will be less duplication and staff will have access to better information on which to base treatment decisions” he said.
The project was led by Peter McKenzie, a South Canterbury DHB Project Manager with a mix of Canterbury DHB and West Coast DHB resources forming the core of the project implementation team. West Coast DHB Mental Health clinicians worked closely with system developers at Orion Health to ensure it met the complex needs of Mental Health Services, including security and privacy processes.
Andrew said working collaboratively also enables South Island DHBs to benefit from the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of having the same information systems across the region.
“The Mental Health module is a great example of the South Island DHBs working together on regional activity under an Alliance framework.
“The tool will be used throughout the South Island, and we commend the West Coast DHB staff for making this programme such a success.”
The module is one of many initiatives the IS SLA is working on to streamline the patient journey by integrating systems.
Recently, the South Island electronic referrals system surpassed another major milestone with more than 250,000 referrals submitted using the system.
The eReferrals regional programme, utilising Electronic Request Management System (ERMS) software, enables health professionals to refer patients more easily between services by replacing the old paper based system where health practitioners had to write letters to refer a patient.
Since its introduction in Canterbury at the start of 2012, it has been implemented in West Coast, South Canterbury and Marlborough with resoundingly positive feedback from users.