Pinnacle Midlands Health Network (the lead Primary Healthcare Organisation in the Midland region known as PMHN) partnered with Orion Health and the New Zealand Ministry of Health to implement a ground-breaking initiative that enables the digital tracking of key health milestones for every child in the Midlands region.
The National Child Health Information Platform (NCHIP) was rolled out across the Waikato region in November 2014, connecting 32,626 (and growing) children with their health providers and ensuring that they receive all their childhood milestone checks. Children are registered at birth on a universal schedule of 28 (and growing) child health milestones; including new born checks, immunisations, well child checks, hearing and vision checks, and B4school checks to ensure that every child’s early development is monitored. The result is an information platform that gives each health provider involved in a child’s care a shared view of a child’s milestone achievements - the National Child Health Information Platform (NCHIP).
Data received from six different types of healthcare provider is combined, resulting in a shared milestone history where providers are able to see when, where and with whom children have accessed services.
The platform also enables electronic referrals from the midwife to general practice and other well child providers. This has been demonstrated to be both more efficient and effective than the previous system of faxing referrals to numerous providers.
NCHIP has enabled the Midland region to:
• Streamline, automate and assist the birth registration process
• Share health milestone and demographic information across the spectrum of healthcare settings
• Provide secure access for providers
• Find children who were not registered with a provider and help them get connected. For example, NCHIP identified more than 6,000 children who were previously unknown to Waikato DHB’s Community Oral Health service
• Find children that providers were struggling to locate and help them receive their (overdue) health milestones
Nationally, in the 12 months ending December 2013, 37,518 immunisation milestones were missed and 20 per cent of children eligible for their six-week immunisations did not receive them.
With the implementation of this solution more than 6,000 children who were previously unknown to Waikato DHB’s Community Oral Health service were identified.
The solution ties well into the conference theme of “Promoting the health of children and families” as it engages providers, children, families and communities in the monitoring of health milestones, and encourages communication between all parties.
The intention is for this pilot solution to be scaled into a national platform to help enable better health outcomes for all the children of New Zealand.