Holly Ryan

Holly Ryan is the Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Orion Health deal starts with two hospital wards

Orion Health chief  Ian McCrae (left) with Dale Bramley, CEO of the Waitemata District Health Board, say their collaboration will help hospitals to become paperless. Photo / Dean Purcell
Orion Health chief Ian McCrae (left) with Dale Bramley, CEO of the Waitemata District Health Board, say their collaboration will help hospitals to become paperless. Photo / Dean Purcell

Health technology company Orion Health, which is expected to list this year, has signed a new deal to work with the Waitemata District Health Board, starting with two wards at Auckland's North Shore Hospital.

Orion Health chief executive Ian McCrae declined to comment specifically on the listing but did confirm the company had been in talks with investment banking firms First NZ Capital and Deutsche Craigs.

Watch: E-health partenership at Waitemeta Health

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Market sources have said the company - whose cloud-based systems allow doctors to store and look up patient records online - is gearing up to list in the latter part of this year and could be seeking a valuation of up to $500 million.

He said the company had been working with the hospital for a number of years, but the specific contract had been in the pipeline for just a year.

Waitemata District Health Board chief executive Dale Bramley said the collaboration would help hospitals under the DHB to move to being paperless, something he considered to be one of the biggest issues with the hospital system.

"The problem is paper. There are some patients that are generating up to 100 forms and so that's hugely time consuming. And a lot of the data that goes into them is repetitive, you end up with clinical staff becoming administrative staff," Bramley said.

"At the moment you've got records that follow trolleys around wards and bedsides and things get lost. So really this is trying to get as much to paperless, and to an electronic system at the end of someone's bed, so you can have all of that information at the patient's bedside when the clinicians arrive."

McCrae said Orion Health staff will be involved in setting up new systems in the wards over the next few months, as well as meeting clinicians to discuss issues, and how these could be resolved.

The focus of the R&D would initially be in the special care baby unit and the haematology wards, areas where Bramley said there were already a number of clinicians keen to make changes, as well as the two units being designated as "high need areas" by the hospital.

According to McCrae, wastage in hospitals around the world is 30-40 per cent, with duplicate tests, patients being on the wrong treatment pathway as well as thousands of forms every day contributing to this figure. In New Zealand hospitals, wastage is a $6 billion industry annually, something he said technology can significantly improve.

"Technology has a huge potential to start moving the dial, eliminating waste, improving patients' health and their outcomes," McCrae said, while also noting that the move would enable patients to be tracked the whole way through the system to ensure they received the best care.

McCrae said work had begun on the cloud-based platform before the signing of the agreement and he expected it to be up and running within six months.

- NZ Herald

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