Health Matters WBOP May 2016

Improving Access to Health Information a Benefit for All Improving the speed and efficiency of care were the drivers behind two major projects which now allow health professionals to access patient information more easily. “Health professionals need to be as fully informed as they can be to give the best care in the shortest amount of time. These systems help that process enormously,” says Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) Information Management General Manager Owen Wallace. Owen is talking about two new information sharing systems ‘CHIP for GPs’ and ‘MedCheck’. These were developed by the BOPDHB in cooperation with the district’s three PHOs (Primary Health Organisations) and various other health providers. He explains the issue they have addressed. or hospital,” says Owen. “Each holds information about that person’s health needs and medications. Until now that information has largely remained with those organisations. “So when a person goes to their GP they may well have to repeat a lot of information that is already known and held by the pharmacy and vice versa. CHIP for GPs and MedCheck have linked up systems which improves and speeds up patient care. “Knowing at the touch of a button what medications and dosages a patient is on avoids delays in patient care and gives all the information necessary for decision making.” Simon Hodgson at Bureta Pharmacy says MedCheck has been a game changer. “It’s really changed the way we help our patients,” he says. “We now have easy access to discharge summaries to reconcile their medication, in particular if there are changes to their regimen. “We use it almost every day now. In fact a patient discharged today, without a copy of a discharge summary, was given their blister-packed medication in a timely fashion after we were able to ascertain the reason for medication changes online through MedCheck.” Clinical Pharmacist Murray Foreman, from Medwise, agrees. “Having access to discharge information and dispensing information enables me to have a clearer picture when I see a patient,” he says. “The ability to gather all the relevant information and then ensure other health providers are fully informed helps us provide a high level of care to mutual patients.” Over 90% of the community pharmacies in the district have joined the MedCheck initiative and there are currently over 650 registered health professionals accessing CHIP for GPs. “People can receive healthcare from several places, such as their GP, pharmacy, Protecting Baby Starts in Pregnancy The importance of expectant mums getting immunised whilst pregnant has been highlighted during national Immunisation Week. The week, held between 2-8 May, ran under a theme of ‘protecting baby starts in pregnancy’ with mums-to-be urged to get immunised themselves, immunise baby on time and enrol early with a midwife and a GP. Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) Midwife Leader Margret Norris stressed the importance of immunisation against whooping cough and influenza during pregnancy. “Whooping cough can cause babies to become seriously ill, and can sometimes be deadly. Immunisation against whooping cough during pregnancy protects nine out of ten babies in their first few weeks of life, until they are fully immunised. “Expectant mothers should also get the seasonal flu immunisation. Getting the flu while pregnant can be serious for the mother – and baby. In fact, pregnant women are five times more likely to be admitted to hospital when suffering from influenza-related complications than women who are not pregnant. “Both immunisations are recommended, free and have a proven safety record,” said Margret. Mum-to-be Sarah Dove said that by protecting herself from flu and whooping cough while pregnant she knew she was protecting her baby in the first six weeks of life. Sarah Dove is encouraging other expectant mums to get immunised for the sake of their babies. “I would advise pregnant mums to talk to their midwives early about immunisations. Make sure you are enrolled with a GP and your midwife has told your GP you are pregnant. “Being enrolled with a GP gives you reassurance that someone knows your history and is looking out for your health.” As well as encouragement to immunise baby on time, the week also highlighted the role of all health professionals working with new and expectant parents - midwives, practice nurses, GPs and hospital staff. As such the week was timed to coincide with International Midwives Day and this week’s International Nurses Day. For more information on immunisation go to: www., or phone 0800 IMMUNE