The ICT budget at the Bay of Plenty District Health Board is expected to increase by around five percent this year, though ICT staff numbers will remain flat, due to investment in shared services, where appropriate. Collaboration among regional DHBs on IT solutions is expected to improve service delivery, reduce cost and enable greater process standardisation.
On the whole, information technology provides “support for clinical and business workflows — demand management (forecasting) and capacity variance response management”, says Owen Wallace, general manager, information management. “It also enables increased service and information integration between primary and secondary healthcare providers.”
Mobile solutions and video technology are increasingly delivering support for service provision across the DHB’s wide geographic area.
Bay of Plenty DHB is one of the leads for the Midland Connected Health project, an initiative by the five Midland DHBs to implement a resilient, secure network that supports the delivery of shared services across the DHB and wider health sector.
An FMIS upgrade is planned for 2012, as well as the implementation of the single instance shared regional pharmacy system. Other priority initiatives include the roll out of a regional eReferrals system to support primary providers, and the broadening of the existing Éclair clinical data repository to enable increased usage by primary healthcare.
Investments in business intelligence (custom data warehouse solution developed inhouse), virtualisation (VMware), VoIP, and business continuity/disaster recovery will be leveraged to support collaboration and wider business objectives.