Progress with priorities for health information management and information technology.

Discharge summary
A clinical note summarising the care of a patient about to be discharged after a stay in hospital, and sent to the primary care provider who will continue to care for the patient.

Discharge summaries may contain structured and free texts, clinical images, the results of investigations, and a record of the drugs prescribed.

District Health Boards
Organisations responsible for protecting, promoting, and improving the health and medical independence of a geographically defined population.

Each District Health Board funds, provides, or otherwise ensures the provision of services for its population.

Health Event Summary
Any clinical communication from one health provider to another:

  • in the course of the clinical management of a patient;
  • summarising the patient’s current care, which enables other providers to share in and co-ordinate the care. This definition includes traditional referral and discharge letters, and a broader range of communications.

Health information
In relation to an identifiable individual, means information:

  • about the health of that individual, including that individual’s medical history;
  • about any disabilities that individual has, or has had;
  • about any health services or disability services that are being provided, or have been provided, to that individual; and
  • provided by that individual in connection with the donation by that individual of any of their body parts or any bodily substances.

Health information standards
Standards that cover:

  • data formats for records and their content;
  • codes and other vocabulary for medical and health services terms;
  • the interchange of data, for example, through messaging; and
  • security and controlling access to information.

Health Information Strategy Action Committee
A committee accountable to the Minister of Health, with the role of providing governance, oversight, and leadership in implementing the Health Information Strategy for New Zealand 2005.

Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO)
The Ministerial Committee established to lead the preparation and implementation of information management and information technology standards for the health and disability sector.

Health Level Seven (HL7) messaging standards
Internationally-monitored standards for data supporting clinical patient care and the management, delivery, and evaluation of health services.

Health Practitioner Index
A national database holding information (for example, name, practising status, qualifications, and scope of practice) about health practitioners, non-practitioners (for example, hospital admission clerk, medical centre practice manager), health organisations, and health delivery facilities.

The Health Practitioner Index will let practitioners transfer, access, and manage health information electronically and securely.

Information management
Covers all business uses of information including collection, recording, storage, amendment, analysis, and exchange.

National Health Index
The National Health Index stores National Health Index (NHI) numbers. An NHI number is a unique identifier that is assigned to each person using health and disability support services in New Zealand.

A person’s NHI number is stored along with that person’s demographic details (name, address, date of birth, sex, New Zealand resident status, and ethnicity).

The NHI and associated NHI numbers are used to help with the planning, co-ordination and provision of health and disability support services.

New Zealand Health Information Service
A group within the Ministry of Health responsible for collecting and disseminating health-related data.

Patient management system (secondary care)/Practice management system (primary care)
The system used to keep track of patients. In the case of secondary care, the focus is usually on tracking the admissions, discharges, or transfers of patients.

In the case of primary care, the focus is on patient clinical information and maintenance of the register of patients.

Primary care
The first level of contact that individuals, the family, and community have with the national health system.

The care given is therefore general (that is, not specialist), comprehensive (covers physical and mental well-being, and includes both preventative care as well as medical treatment), continuing (in that an individual often visits and establishes an ongoing relationship with a particular general practice), and accessible.

Primary Health Organisations
The local structures through which District Health Boards implement the PrimaryHealth Care Strategy. Primary Health Organisations are not-for-profit provider organisations funded by District Health Boards to provide primary health care services for an enrolled population.

A Primary Health Organisation provides services directly by employing staff or through its provider members.

Referral letter
A clinical note sent by a (usually primary) care provider to a specialist colleague (orthopaedic surgeon or cardiologist, for example) requesting assistance in the clinical management of a patient whose clinical condition is outside the general practitioner’s ability or resources.

The contents of the referral may contain structured and free texts, clinical images, and the results of investigations.

Secondary care
Specialist care that is typically provided in a hospital setting.

Standards New Zealand
The body that establishes national, regional, and international standards and other specifications to improve the quality of goods and services; facilitates trade and commerce; and promotes safety, health and welfare.

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