HEALTH INFORMATICS NEW ZEALAND WHERE TO FROM HERE?
Health informatics underpins a nation’s ability to deliver an affordable, flexible health system that will provide better health outcomes to its citizens, but how do you create a health informatics expert? Do you teach a clinical person about IT, or do you teach an IT person about healthcare? The short answer is we need to do both.
KIM MUNDELL Dip. Business, Grad Cert (Change Management) Chief executive, HiNZ firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ) is a non-profit organisation founded 14 years ago from the amalgamation of two special interest groups: nursing informatics and medical informatics. A group of energetic volunteers then established an annual conference to provide a platform to leverage local and international best practice, and support the development of the health informatics field in New Zealand. Since then the New Zealand health sector has changed dramatically. Topics such as predictive analytics, self-management and the patient portal are more broadly developed yet they continue to change and influence health policy. There has been a significant shift in the way health IT projects are funded, controlled and delivered with the establishment of the National Health IT Board and its subsequent release of the National Health IT Plan in 2010.
About the author Kim Mundell was appointed chief executive of HiNZ in April 2014. Kim was previously CEO for a government-funded disability service provider and owner of Healthy Food Guide magazine. Through her consulting business, Kim provides business advice to non-profit organisations. She originally trained as a registered nurse.
“HiNZ is in a transition phase,” HINZ chair Liz Schoff says. “To deliver better value to our members we have moved from an allvolunteer structure focused on an annual event, to a more strategic model with a full time chief executive. Our goal is to deliver additional services, ongoing communities of practice and collaboration with other health organisations in New Zealand.”
Health informatics matters Health informatics underpins a nation’s ability to deliver an affordable, flexible health system that will provide better health outcomes to its citizens. Health informatics is the field that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing and optimal use of health information, data and knowledge for problem solving and decision making. It covers a broad range of activities including electronic health records, knowledge management, decision support, telemedicine and telehealth, standards, evidence for benefit/harm, ethics and security. But it is about far more than technology. Increasingly, the focus within the health informatics field is on communication and change management. Without effective communication, technology projects are unlikely to be successful. Delivering on these large-scale health sector projects requires the use of multi-disciplinary teams. To deliver workable solutions we need the combined expertise of clinical experts and technology experts. So how do you create a health informatics expert? Do you teach a clinical person about IT? Or do you teach an IT person about healthcare? The short answer is we
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