The New Zealand Ministry of Health has negotiated a single digital services contract with Microsoft for the country’s health and disability system.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The agreement, executed by digital health services provider Spark Health, will deliver a number of benefits, including NZ$27 million ($18 million) in savings over three years and enhancements in cybersecurity protection. It is expected to support sector reforms, which cover the ministry, Health NZ, Maori Health Authority, and district health boards and their shared service agencies.
Worth NZ$45 million yearly, the Microsoft deal will also provide new health sector entities with IT and software services.
The MoH on behalf of the health sector manages both Microsoft and Spark Health contracts.
WHY IT MATTERS
The negotiated deal came as the MoH was due to renew its service contract with Microsoft this year. The ministry and DHB information chiefs have decided to consolidate their Microsoft license agreements as part of this renewal process.
Normally, government agencies individually sign their contracts with Microsoft under a unified all-of-government head agreement negotiated by the Department of Internal Affair every three years. The health leaders see a single contract for the sector affording them “additional concessions”.
In support, a shared strategic roadmap was also developed “to maximise value from the investment” and maintain the consistency of use of Microsoft technology across health agencies. Most of the contracted technology “underpins the digital services provided to primary and community health organisations, so it makes sense to be consistent,” said Darren Douglass, group manager for digital strategy and investment, data, and digital, at the MoH.
Meanwhile, the updated deal will see more cybersecurity tools deployed at public health services, improving protection and resilience to cyberattacks.
THE LARGER TREND
Alongside this announcement, the ministry also reported that it has devised a strategy and two-year action plan to enhance health data collection, management, use and sharing. Deputy Director-General for Data and Digital Shayne Hunter underscored the need for the health system to be effective in harnessing data to provide the “best possible health care or to ensure the system is equitable, sustainable and performing well”.
“Data is often duplicated, it’s not always digitised which makes it harder to access, and there are variations in the way information is recorded,” he noted.
The Data and Information Strategy for Health and Disability focuses on engaging people about the collection and use of their personal health data; ensuring quality, accessible data; supporting a more cohesive system; and developing accessible digital health services.
Actions to carry out include developing a national health and disability data catalogue and dictionary; crafting equity measures for data standards; making ways for people to authorise others to access their health information; improving data literacy and capabilities in the health and disability workforce; and creating a health data sharing and accessibility framework.
As part of the roadmap, national and local health data governance councils will also be established to partner with Maori and consumers and to serve as representatives of local communities.
“There’s a lot of support for improving the way we manage, share and use data. As a sector, we began taking stock of what’s working well and where we need to improve prior to the health reforms but the transition to a new operating model for health and disability provides opportunities to really accelerate that work,” Hunter stated.
ON THE RECORD
“It makes sense to take a more strategic approach across health agencies as we move to a new operating model for the health and disability system. That way we can get the most value from our investment for the benefit of health care for New Zealanders. Technology is a key enabler for the reforms and these arrangements give Health New Zealand and the Maori Health Authority the tools they need right from the start,” Douglass said.
PatientBond, Vizient Team up for Digital Behavior Change Tools
Patient engagement SaaS provider PatientBond and healthcare performance improvement and analytics company Vizient are partnering up to provide Vizient member healthcare organizations with digital patient engagement and behavior change programs.
WHY IT MATTERSPatientBond’s digital engagement workflows can be personalized with psychographic insights, with the aim of activating patient behaviors and driving improved patient engagement and outcomes.
Through the partnership, Vizient’s customer base, which includes academic medical centers, pediatric facilities, and community hospitals, will offer programming including care gap closures, condition specific messaging, screenings and appointment reminders and appropriate use communications.
The aim of the programs is to reduce hospital readmissions and improve digital health risk assessments.
Other programs included in the deal will provide psychographically segmented marketing campaigns to advance patient/member activation, as well as patient and physician matching or find a doctor services based on psychographic insights.
The deal will also provide extensive market research insights and dynamic payment reminders for partners.
THE LARGER TRENDPatient-reported outcomes are a critical way to assess the ongoing state of patient health and satisfaction, and a growing number of digital tools are helping them do so.
The financial upside for care providers is also noteworthy: Jackson Hospital significantly improved its finances with digital patient engagement tools, switching from letters and phone calls to automated emails and text messages along with some help from analytics.
At Rush University Medical Center, the hospital has deployed similar digital tools to reduce the strain of avoidable readmissions and ED recidivism when resources already were at capacity.
Last year, Cardinal Health announced the launch of a digital patient engagement platform aimed at addressing medication adherence challenges – a significant issue for the health industry and patients.
In 2019, Vizient collaborated with Civica Rx on provider needs analytics data to reduce Rx costs. By providing insights into purchasing patterns and provider needs through its analytics and data capabilities, Vizient helped Civica Rx anticipate gaps in drug availability and affordability.
ON THE RECORD“PatientBond brings consumer science and dynamic intervention technologies to healthcare with unmatched clinical and business results,” said PatientBond CEO Justin Dearborn in a statement. “Vizient’s member healthcare organizations can benefit from PatientBond’s personalized patient engagement at scale with proven and consistent results.”
Source Here: healthcareitnews.com
LifePoint Health Inks Data Deal With Health Catalyst
Brentwood, Tennessee-based LifePoint Health has entered a new collaboration with Health Catalyst and will use its analytics technologies to help bolster care quality, lower costs and improve population health management.
WHY IT MATTERSLifePoint Health will integrate Health Catalyst’s data operating system and analytics tools to gather performance metrics and drive improvements in healthcare quality, reporting and operational and financial decision-making.
By discovering and sharing clinical data, the partnership will help reduce variation in clinical outcomes. Health Catalyst’s tools dovetail with LifePoint’s national quality and facility recognition program goals to measurably improve patient care, safety and satisfaction as well as improve access and lower costs, according to the company.
In addition to the cloud-based data platform, LifePoint will use Health Catalyst’s analyzer, insights, AI, patient safety monitoring and data entry applications. The suite of tools can help increase organizational speed and interoperability, according to Health Catalyst.
THE LARGER TREND
While healthcare organizations are just beginning to scratch the surface of using data to drive improvements, according to Health Catalyst President Patrick Nelli, the company’s strategic acquisitions have provided them with the ability to customize software and services around core care systems.
One of them was its purchase earlier this year of KPI Ninja, whose event-driven data processing capabilities complement Health Catalyst’s own platform, enabling customers to build new services and operational tools around their core care systems.
LifePoint, meanwhile, has been making acquisitions of its own, such as its June 2021 addition of specialty hospital company Kindred Healthcare, with an eye toward a delivery network that taps into Kindred’s specialty hospital and rehabilitative expertise and its behavioral health platform.
ON THE RECORD“The Health Catalyst DOS platform, along with our technology product suites and applications, and improvement expertise, will best position LifePoint Health to achieve, sustain and scale the highest standards of care across its network,” said Health Catalyst CEO Dan Burton in a statement this week.
Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.Email: email@example.comHealthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.
Fifteen Months for Domestic Worker Who Stole Jewellery
On Thursday, a Palma court sentenced a domestic worker to fifteen months for the theft of jewellery from her employer, a woman in her eighties.
Between 2015 and the end of 2020, the 45-year-old Chilean worked two days a week at the woman’s home in Sa Indioteria, Palma. Over that period, she stole various items of jewellery. The woman only realised this at the end of 2020, which was when she reported the matter to the National Police.
The police established that these items, which included watches, rings and bracelets, were sold in gold-buying establishments in Palma. The woman later verified that these were hers. As well as the jewellery, a hearing aid was stolen.
In January 2021, the domestic worker was arrested. Described as being in an “irregular situation” in Spain, her lawyer obtained agreement for the sentence to be suspended so long as a sum of 10,700 euros is paid over three years, at a rate of 297 euros per month, and she does not commit another crime during this period.
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