A new cohesive information system for the Central health region has the potential to save lives, say health leaders.
The system - called the Clinical Portal - will mean one password and one patient record is used by every clinician working across the region. It will cover Whanganui, MidCentral, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs.
Whanganui is the first of the six DHBs to implement the system.
WDHB chief medical officer Frank Rawlinson said it was "significant" that the WDHB was the first of the DHBs to go live.
"In a sense, it's our first step to enabling Whanganui's clinicians to share patient information more efficiently with clinicians working at MidCentral, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs."
"It's taken years of planning and a multi-million dollar investment by the six DHBs to get to this point so it's exciting for the whole region, that we are one step closer to achieving our long-term vision of having all six DHBs linked up to enable the provision of safer, more efficient and higher quality patient care."
Dr Rawlinson says clinicians are seeing real value in the system now, but they will realise the true benefits of the regional Clinical Portal when the other five DHBs are linked into the same system.
"Having all Central Region DHBs using the regional Clinical Portal will mean if a Whanganui patient has an accident or medical event that sees them admitted to another hospital in the Central Region, the clinicians treating that patient could access their medical information a lot quicker, which in extreme circumstances, could be life-saving," says Dr Rawlinson.
Board chair Dot McKinnon says Whanganui DHB's implementation of the regional Clinical Portal was a "momentous occasion" for the entire Central Region.
"It's been a long time coming and is extremely rewarding for all those involved to have the first of our regions DHBs now on Clinical Portal. And for go-live to go as smoothly as it did is a real credit to everyone."
MidCentral DHB chief executive and lead CEO for the Regional Health Informatics Programme Kathryn Cook said the Central Region DHB's commitment to developing and implementing the Clinical Portal system is a good example of DHBs' continued investment in their systems and services.
Clinical Portal is part of the Regional Health Informatics Programme - a large programme of work across the Central Region DHBs - which supports the National Health IT Board's vision of a national, shared health information model.