New Zealand health providers have the skills and digital maturity to reap the benefits of full end-to-end electronic medical record systems, says Philips chief medical officer – EMR Dr Luiz Arnoldo Haertel.
Haertel is a keynote speaker at the HiNZ Conference 2018 in Wellington from November 21–23 on EMR: The processing agent of the healthcare industry revolution.
He tells eHealthNews.nz that New Zealand has so far taken a “best-of-breed” (BoB) approach to EMR adoption rather than “best-of-suite” (BoS).
“If a health ecosystem has a large number of BoB systems in place that are transactionally interfaced to each other, the consequence is that there is significant rework, redundant efforts, maintenance difficulty to keep data well aligned, as well as overlap in the solutions,” he says.
“It is more often than not complicating communication across source systems, rather than simplifying, to make sense of data associated with clinical or nonclinical workflows.”
He argues that a full, comprehensive BoS EMR system is able to cover all workflows of a hospital which reduces maintenance and complexity, simplifies the user experience, upholds visibility across the patient’s care continuum and enables the health organisation to control the costs of running their business.
Philips’ research on New Zealand’s EMR systems shows that they have grown organically as new technologies emerged and that no true end-to-end EMR systems have been adopted.
“There are organisations who have amalgamated large numbers of best-of-breed systems and done well to orchestrate them as best as possible to help them optimise care,” says Haertel.
“The innovative mindset in New Zealand around health informatics does mean that there are some organisations very well enabled, given their skill-set and maturity, to be able to rationalise their ecosystems to full end-to-end EMR suites.”
He says New Zealand has a unique opportunity in linking more data across the continuity of care settings, as there is less integration across primary care, in-home care and other settings than in countries such as Australia.
“There is great potential for New Zealand healthcare organisations to connect data from every area of the ecosystem and take on an enterprise versus department-by-department approach that reduces complexity and improves care,” explains Haertel.
He says any EMR solution must be tailored to the needs and provide benefits to the health system and improvements to the quality of care for patients.
“A solution can be strong on paper, but if it does not fit the practical needs of the clinician it will be rejected,” he says.