Global healthcare technology company Orion Health has signed a commercial agreement with all five South Island District Health Boards (DHBs) to enable the delivery of technology to enhance clinical and operational efficiency and support improved patient care.
Through the South Island Alliance, the five DHBs (Southern, South Canterbury, Canterbury, West Coast and Nelson-Marlborough) work together to drive healthcare innovation. Already, all South Islanders have electronic health records that can be viewed by clinicians anywhere in the region, ensuring that those responsible for providing care have easy access to the right information at the right time, to inform that care. However, in order to progress their vision further, the Alliance partners identified the need for a new approach. Strong collaboration between the healthcare sector and technology sector was required to deliver change with both speed and flexibility.
“By joining forces with Orion Health, we have the ability to develop and maintain a regional clinical platform that meets the needs of all our communities – now and in the future,” says Dr Nigel Millar, Chief Medical Officer at Southern DHB and South Island Clinical Information Services Lead. “We [the South Island DHBs] are making decisions together about what the future of our South Island health system looks like and, through our partnership with Orion Health, we are turning it into reality.
“Only in the South Island can someone have a hip replacement in one DHB and their follow-up care in another, or even in a community setting, without the need to transfer information. That means no chasing colleagues, requesting lab results or repeating information – it’s all there, in one place, accessible by the clinicians providing care. It sounds like it should always have been this way but the reality is, it hasn’t.
As part of the new agreement, a dedicated team of five full-time Orion Health employees will support agreed South Island priorities using flexible implementation methodology and by delivering small pieces of innovation swiftly. Through regular release cycles, the partnership will allow potential further development in digital tools and systems that improve care delivery across the health continuum. Priorities are determined by a regional group based on what delivers the most value for each of the five South Island DHBs.
“Our combined partnership with Orion Health helps us to innovate and respond to challenges more quickly and effectively,” Dr Millar explains. “It also places all our communities on level footing when it comes to designing a South Island health system that is smart, responsive, fit-for-purpose, and flexible enough to meet all the needs of our geographically and demographically diverse population.”
The two organisations have worked together for six years, having already delivered state-of-the-art software that spans hospital, primary and community care sectors. The five-year agreement marks a commitment to the continued delivery of such technology, with the ultimate goal of creating a fully integrated health system that puts the consumer at the centre, saves time, resources and money, and delivers a world class health experience for each of the one million people living in the South Island.