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  • Ernie Newman

Commissioner Focuses on Health IT Shortcomings


I'm starting to get my head a round a presentation I'm giving in a few weeks at the HINZ - Health Informatics NZ - Conference in Wellington.

My theme is "Health - a digital laggard." That will surprise nobody.

Yesterday I heard this extended interview by Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill on RNZ's Nine to Noon. Most of the 30 minutes focused on IT system shortcomings leading to poor health outcomes.

System failures featured in half a dozen recent cases, Hill noted. Absence of alerts, receiving wards having incomplete information on patients, failure of prioritization tools, duplication of digital and paper systems, and lack of integration between various levels were examples. In one case the fact that a patient had declined all blood products for religious reasons was not made known to the operating team. How basic is that?

"Infrastructure really matters," he said.

All fodder for my talk.


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