Plunket’s innovative new client information system, PlunketPlus, is on track to start phase one in Auckland in June.
Laurence Greig, PlunketPlus programme manager, says the system will make a big difference to the way Plunket supports Kiwi mums and babies.
“PlunketPlus is a technology based system that will enable more streamlined access to information of the children and families we support.
“Plunket’s client records are paper based, in much the same way since our inception in 1907. These physical records make maintaining information on a child's well being unwieldy, especially if families move away from their initial Plunket area”, he says.
“The earthquakes in Christchurch highlighted the importance and benefits of digital records. With so many families from Christchurch moving, permanently or temporarily to other areas, having paper based health record was a real hindrance to keeping in touch with families and ensuring they were supported at a time when they needed it most,” says Brenda Hynes, the business owner of the project.
The new system will enable Plunket nurses, administrators, and clinicians access to up to date information, connect clients to other Plunket support and even share relevant information with external agencies in an efficient manner, and reduce the risk of clients in need falling through the cracks.
Plunket’s frontline staff will have the ability to access and edit children's development records while visiting families, using tablet devices. This will ensure those delivering Plunket services will be able to focus on delivering the service rather than duplicating administration. Clients will also have a cohesive touch point with all Plunket services without needing to repeat information. Parents will eventually be able to access and contribute information on their children's development through an online portal.
PlunketPlus is being developed to comply with the industry standard secure message framework (HL7), which would make it compatible with several external agencies including GPs, midwives and the DHBs.
"We will be using the same format for sending summaries from nursing visits to GPs, that would be used in a GP to GP system”, says Greig.
“Above all, our key objective with PlunketPlus is to improve child health outcomes through access to in-depth, accurate and timely information.”