A trial that gives district nurses remote access to GPs' notes is expected to be rolled out before April next year.

District nurses based at The Hastings Health Centre, Totara Health and Te Mata Peak Practice have remote access to GPs' patient notes.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board (DHB)-employed nurses can also update patient notes and schedule doctor appointments, while visiting patients in their homes.

The trial has been hailed a success, adding momentum to DHB moves to integrate health services.


The Hastings Health Centre GP Alan Wright said district nurses were at the "coal face of health care".

"The inputting of their case notes can only advance our knowledge of our patients," he said.

"Previously we might not have even known that a patient had been seen by a district nurse, and more importantly, what for."

The collaboration led to "one of the best integrated programmes that's happened in years".

Initiated by The Hastings Health Centre and Totara Health, funding from (Primary Health Organisation) Health Hawke's Bay and the DHB enabled the trial.

Rachael Prenter, acting manager at The Hastings Health Centre, said she believed the collaboration was the only example of its kind in the country.

"We are trying to move from a model which can provide fragmented, duplicated and disorganised care to one that merges activity around the patient," she said.

The pilot has been running for 15 months, with a best-practice model scheduled to be finalised by April next year.