New patient management system part of hepatitis elimination strategy

A new patient management and registry system at the Hepatitis Foundation of NZ promises huge benefits.

The move means the foundation has completed its transition to the Microsoft Azure cloud technology. This is expected to dramatically improve its ability to support the 120,000 New Zealanders living with hepatitis. It is also critical to the Foundation’s ability to deliver on 2030 hepatitis elimination targets.

Foundation chief executive Susan Hay says one of the key goals of the move to cloud technology was to make use of data integrity and analysis tools to better maintain and understand information. “By better understanding who we are serving, we can continue to improve services and look for opportunities to broaden our capability.

“Over the past 10 years we have managed more than 120,000 patient records for screening and monitoring. The old system was no longer fit-for-purpose, nor could it integrate into the latest analytics or cognitive systems we wanted to exploit,” she said.

Business analyst Greg Royal said the new patient management system, while also supporting old legacy communications systems, would use the latest technologies for interoperability, enabling the foundation to better communicate with health and other government agencies across New Zealand such as laboratories and hospitals.

By using Microsoft’s access and authentication policies and procedures, the foundation could also implement best practice for security and privacy. It now has Enterprise-level security previously only available to large companies.

“All our mobile devices and desktops, for example, keep all data in the cloud,” Ms Hay said. “So even if a laptop is lost, we maintain control of the data and systems. We can now also maintain services in the event of a disruption at the office. The organisation can maintain full services to patients remotely if a disaster occurs.”

The system has been the core part of the IT modernisation project the foundation has executed over the past 18 months. “Without a comprehensive IT and data strategy for the screening and monitoring of patients with Hepatitis B, it would be very difficult to deliver on our vision for a hepatitis-free New Zealand by 2030,” Ms Hay says.

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© The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand 2016