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News > DHA News > NZHIT says Hira could transform how we experience healthcare

NZHIT says Hira could transform how we experience healthcare

20 Dec 2021
DHA News

Details about Hira were shared last Friday, 10 December, in webinars held by the Ministry of Health in partnership with NZHIT, Health Informatics NZ (HiNZ) and the Medical Technology Association of NZ (MTANZ).

Ryl Jensen says currently, information about our health – like our history, the medicines we are on, and our test results – are often stored on different medical databases and IT systems.

“This means health professionals sometimes have to make decisions about a person’s healthcare or treatment without having all the information. There is a proliferation of platforms, 20 siloed district health boards, and a raft of different systems which can contribute to the postcode lottery of our healthcare system.

“Hira will support people’s health information to be brought together into one place, in a way that is secure and confidential. In time, this will include information such as a person’s medicines, laboratory test results, allergies, and vaccinations; as well as demographic information like their name, gender, ethnicity, and date of birth.”

The Hira programme is being co-ordinated by the Ministry of Health, in partnership with consumers, the health and disability sector, and technology providers. The Ministry says Hira will enable access to a virtual electronic health record by drawing together a person’s latest health data from trusted sources. When it is in place, consumers will have better access to and control over their health information, and providers will have secure, easy access to patient information, in the right context and at the right time.

Ryl Jensen says Aotearoa New Zealand was once seen as a leader in digital health innovation and could be again.

“Major projects like Hira are a critical building block towards a world-leading health and disability system, enabled by digital health. Digital health has the potential to reduce or eliminate inequities in access to healthcare and improve the health and wellbeing of different populations.

“In Aotearoa New Zealand, we need to aggressively invest in data and digital infrastructure and new ways of working."

For more information: Ryl Jensen on 021 741 700


NZHIT is a not-for-profit, incorporated society, established in 2002. Its membership of over 160 represents the majority of digital health companies and organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand as well as health care providers, consultancies, legal, insurance, banking, government, regional agencies, and international companies with an interest in digital health.

It is a leader in supporting a digitally enabled approach to healthcare in Aotearoa New Zealand. Its members contribute to the development and implementation of innovative digital health solutions. NZHIT wants to help move Aotearoa New Zealand into the fourth industrial age – the digital revolution.

About Hira (national health information platform)

A Ministry of Health team is working in partnership with consumers, the health and disability sector, and technology providers to deliver an ecosystem of data and digital services known as Hira.

Hira is a te reo Māori word that means ‘to have a significant bearing on future events’, and to have a ‘widespread effect’. The name speaks to the Hira promise of enabling better health outcomes for all New Zealanders.

Hira will enable a whole new way for a person’s health information to be accessed and updated. It will transform the way people interact with health services and use their health information.

Consumers will be able to access and control their health information through their choice of website or application using a digital device such as a smartphone, tablet or computer. Change and adoption is a significant focus for the programme and we will also consider what options exist for people who don’t have access to, or prefer not to use, technology.

Hira is a critical enabler of the Government’s upcoming reforms of the health and disability system. The scope for Hira will be continually reviewed as planning for the implementation of the reforms continues.

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