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New health information tool to ensure no child is left behind

Midlands Health Network CEO John Macaskill-Smith says health providers in Thames will be able to see the history of a child’s health care to ensure no important checks have been missed.

Midlands Health Network CEO John Macaskill-Smith says health providers in Thames will be able to see the history of a child’s health care to ensure no important checks have been missed.

The health of children in the Thames/Coromandel region will be better off following the launch of Midlands Health Network’s National Child Health Information Platform (NCHIP) in Thames on Tuesday, 12 August 2014.

In a first for New Zealand, early childhood health services will be delivered in a more coordinated way, creating better efficiencies across the entire health system and ensuring that no child falls between the cracks. General practice clinicians and other health providers will be able to see a shared online view of a child’s progress towards their 29 health milestones, which include immunisations, oral health, well child checks, hearing and vision checks, and B4 school checks.

Representatives from government organisations, Waikato DHB, Hauraki PHO, National Hauora Coalition PHO, Plunket, midwifery, well child providers and technology providers were joined by staff from local general practices to formally launch the service. “Today is about the kids. This is about enabling the health system to better support them by improving the way we all work together,” said John Macaskill-Smith, CEO at Midlands Health Network. “A Midlands-based group began investigating the child health service in 2009 to determine how things could be made better.

Research showed that we have some really great services, but the game changer we needed was the ability to join these services together. There was also a need to share information and be aware of what others were doing. We sought to build a platform that brings transparency,” he added. Midwife Shirley Hopping worked on the project and says NCHIP will fill important gaps and help streamline processes. “Any person who works in health will tell you that the continuity and seamlessness of care from one provider to another can be difficult and challenging,” she said. “This is particularly so when a midwife is discharging a baby from their care to that of a GP or well child provider. We are embracing NCHIP as it will ensure we keep mothers and their babies at the centre of their health care.”

Te Korowai Hauorao Hauraki provide a large number of services to children in Thames/Coromandel. General manager Debbie Petersen said the exciting thing about NCHIP is that it will support their clinicians working with families to ensure child receive the health care they are entitled to. “Our tamariki ora service, outreach immunisation team and our GP services will benefit from NCHIP, as we spend a lot of time trying to find people and families,” she said.

“NCHIP will also be a point of contact for us to connect with other providers. We’re thrilled that this this service is kicking off in our region first and we’re very pleased to be a part of it.” The pilot programme will run in Waikato from August 2014 to March 2015, when an evaluation will identify areas for improvement ahead of roll out to the Lakes, Tairawhiti and Taranaki DHB areas in the Midland region. It will then be available for national roll out.

ENDS

Gurdeep Singh Judge
Communications Assistant
Midlands Health Network

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