Promoting and enhancing more connected care across the health system is the aim of a new series of integrated care forums being launched collaboratively by New Zealand's Southern District Health Board and WellSouth Primary Health Organisation.
The forums are a new means of bringing together clinicians in primary and secondary, as well other allied healthcare providers to discuss ways to improve healthcare delivery in the Southern district.
The first forums on the subject of HealthPathways took place this week in Dunedin, Invercargill, and Cromwell. Around 60 people turned out in Dunedin on Monday and 40 in Invercargill on Tuesday.
New Zealand’s Southern health district encompasses Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown - Lakes District, Gore, rural Southland, Clutha, Central Otago, Maniototo, and Waitaki District. Southern HealthPathways was launched in February 2014 and serves a patient population of over 300,000.
“Our ultimate goal is to provide better healthcare services to the people and communities of Otago and Southland,” says Dr Nigel Millar, Chief Medical Officer, Southern DHB. “This means a more connected system that values patients time, provides care closer to home, and makes best use of resources.”
Southern DHB Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nigel Millar speaks at the Integrated Care Forum in Dunedin on Monday night.
The discussion of HealthPathways as a tool to enable integrated care across the health system stimulated much interest and some lively debate amongst the general practitioners, specialists, and other healthcare providers who attended the forums.
These forums are the first of a series that will be hosted every few months at different locations across the district. Other topics of interest may include telemedicine, collaborative care, and prescribing. Organisers welcome suggestions for other subjects that could be covered.
Dr Stephen Graham, Clinical Advisor with WellSouth added, “I am looking forward to participating in the forums with my colleagues in primary care and with the Southern DHB. The time is right to take a whole-of-system view of healthcare services and I have no doubt some really great ideas will arise during these series of forums over the next year.”
Source: Southern District Health Board Communications Team