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Tony Ryall

9 November, 2012

Innovative IT solutions to improve health services

Health Minister Tony Ryall is pleased to announce Dr Jo Scott-Jones, a GP from Opotiki and chair of the rural GP network, has won this year’s Clinicians’ Challenge with his entry to improve the delivery of health care in a rural environment.

“The Clinicians’ Challenge brings health professionals and IT vendors together to identify and solve issues health professionals face in their day-to-day practice,” says Mr Ryall.

“Dr Scott-Jones’ winning entry looks at how improvements can be made to standing orders which allow nurses to have a greater role in patient care, such as administering routine medicines.

“In a small rural clinic where a GP visits a few times a week, practice nurses play a huge role in the care of patients. By enabling practice nurses to administer medicines to treat common conditions, like skin infections, people living in rural communities receive timely treatment.

“The current standing order process is very cumbersome – the IT solution would improve the documentation process for the supervising doctor and provide additional online support to nurses.

“This shows how clinical and IT experts working together can improve health services and make a real difference to patients,” says Mr Ryall.

55 health professionals from around the country submitted entries in this year’s Clinicians’ Challenge. The winners were announced at the Health Informatics New Zealand conference in Rotorua yesterday.

The Clinicians’ Challenge is part of the Government’s drive to improve services for patients, and is supported by Health Informatics New Zealand, New Zealand Health IT Cluster, and the National Health IT Board.

For more information about the 2012 Clinicians’ Challenge, go to: www.ithealthboard.health.nz/content/clinicians-challenge-2012-0