Home' GP Pulse : GP Pulse Nov Dec 2013 Contents Resources
ISSUE 29 : November/December 2013 : P9
Map of Medicine shows the way for six DHBs
Having access to comprehensive, evidence-based information that’s tailored for
the local environment can make caring for patients much easier and more effective
for GPs. Two different services are currently filling that need in New Zealand.
The Canterbury Initiative has created
the HealthPathways, a website providing
specialist guidance on managing over
500 conditions to the Canterbury GP
community from Kaikoura to Ashburton.
The HealthPathways model has now
been adopted by a number of health
authorities in Australia and an Australasian
HealthPathways Community is being built.
Now, six DHBs have signed up to Map of
Medicine. MidCentral, Bay of Plenty, Lakes,
Tairawhiti,Taranaki and Waikato DHBs have
joined Brisbane Medicare Local to become
the first health boards in New Zealand and
Australia to use the UK-designed diagnostic
tool to access care pathways and improve the
Map of Medicine can be integrated with
primar y care clinical systems, which means
that the pathways can be used during a
patient consultation. The pathways also
include administrative information, such as
telephone numbers and email addresses for
local ser vices.
The tool provides locally relevant, specialist
information on primar y, secondar y and
ter tiar y care ser vices available and can
increase the accuracy of referrals, as well as
ensuring patients are referred to hospital at
the right time.
GPs from the six different DHBs are now
star ting to develop pathways with the
suppor t of the Map of Medicine clinical
Research shows that consumers want to
be able to access their health information
electronically, in their own time. They
prefer to do this through the trusted health
provider they interact with most often,
which in New Zealand is usually their GP.
Patient por tals provide an oppor tunity for
GPs to offer their patients a valuable new
ser vice, which can free up GPs for other
tasks and also help patients to manage more
aspects of their own health. Por tals provide
significant benefits for both clinicians and
As well as being able to communicate
electronically with their GP or practice nurse,
patients can log in to view their lab test
results, their lists of medications, allergies and
aler ts, and to request repeat prescriptions.
Patient por tals are one of the IT Board’s
priorities for deliver y by the end of 2014.
While a number of practices have
implemented por tals, or are in the process
of doing so, the IT Board wants to accelerate
the rate of progress in order to the achieve
the Government’s eHealth vision of all New
Zealanders having electronic access to their
own health information by the end of 2014.
Por tals are a key component of delivering on
the updated National Health IT Plan, which
was launched by Health Minister Tony Ryall at
Wellington’s Island Bay Medical Centre on 26
November 2013.The plan is available from
the IT Board’s website.
A booklet titled ‘Sharing Health Information:
Toward better, safer care’ was also launched,
providing a snapshot of information
technology innovation within the health
sector, including the use of patient por tals.
The IT Plan is a roadmap for the health
and disability sector’s investment in IT
and identifies four priorities: electronic
medication management, national clinical
solutions, regional information platforms, and
community-based integrated care initiatives.
GPs will be hearing a lot more about patient
por tals in 2014, and the IT Board is keen to
work with the College of GPs and other GP
leadership groups and representatives to
encourage fur ther implementation.
GPs to lead the way with patient portals
Secure online patient portals will help to transform the delivery of health care
in general practices around New Zealand – and the National Health IT Board is
urging more GPs to offer their patients a portal.
(Left to right):
Dr Richard Medlicott,
Health Minister Tony
Ryall, and Graeme
Osborne, Director of
the National Health IT
Board, at the launch
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