Leveraging technology to shift care from the acute setting to the community

Carolyn Gullery, Executive Director – Planning & Funding at Canterbury DHB & West Coast DHB joined us as part of the Orion Health Speaker Series on shared care records in July 2020. The following provides a summary of key points from the full webinar.

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is New Zealand’s second-largest DHB. CDHB is the main planner and funder of health services in Canterbury; a tertiary provider of hospital and specialist services for the Canterbury population, as well as some specialist services for people living elsewhere in New Zealand.

As part of the Orion Health Speaker Series, Carolyn Gullery, Executive Director – Planning & Funding, Canterbury DHB & West Coast DHB, presented the story of how CDHB was able to shift care from the acute setting to the community, and how technology is helping them to achieve their vision.

Building a connected system

Since 2008, CDHB has been on a mission to create an integrated health and social care system that keeps people healthy and well in their own homes. “We are trying to build a connected system centred around people that aims not to waste the time of our people”, describes Carolyn.

At the start of their journey, the Canterbury population was expected to rise significantly by 2021, with a large proportion of that growth being in the aged population category. They knew that if change didn’t happen, they were going to need more hospital beds, more aged care beds and 8000 more people in the workforce.

With that in mind, CDHB have been working hard to ensure that each step of a patient’s journey, from the community to the hospital and back, is as efficient as possible and enables them to live their best possible life.

Underpinned by technology

Underpinning their strategy is the information technology to support it. CDHB has implemented an electronic health record, referred to as HealthOne, that gathers clinical information from across care sectors giving clinicians the information they need to make more informed health decisions at the point of care, wherever that may be.

HealthOne is fully integrated with Health Connect South, which is a revolutionary web-based electronic clinical record providing a unified view of patient information in secondary care not just in Canterbury but across the entire New Zealand South Island.

This technology provides a single source of truth for all of their information and data that they utilise to ensure clinicians have the right information at the right time to provide the best care to patients, to drive operational decisions and to plan services ensuring resources are deployed in the right place.

Its all about the data

Since CDHB embarked on their journey, the health system has been put to the test many times, from natural disasters to global pandemics.

Despite this, with the support of technology, they are making excellent progress towards their vision. “I would argue that one of the things that has made our system successful is our ability to communicate across our system using our IT infrastructure and use our data and use that to drive service change”, describes Carolyn.

By allowing both primary and secondary healthcare providers access to up-to-date and relevant patient information, and by utilisiting their data, they are addressing key challenges for their hospital system.

Watch the full webinar below to hear about their strategy in more detail, highlighting some of their achievements so far and how technology is supporting CDHB to redefine the future of healthcare.