New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has enlisted IBM to help the department set up a cloud-based system to support the country’s national healthcare IT infrastructure.
The Ministry manages a set of technical services that support both internal IT systems and national health systems including the National Health Payment System, which processes transactions for pharmacies and healthcare providers, and a National Health Index, which supports planning and coordination in health service delivery.
The deal will see the Ministry deploy all of its internal systems on IBM’s managed cloud infrastructure (hosted in-country) for a minimum of five years.
“The agreement is a key element in improving the Ministry of Health’s ability to deliver shared services for the sector, which enables secure access to personal health records for patients and their health care providers,” said Graeme Osborne, Director of the National Health IT Board. “Our aim is to improve productivity and patient safety, and enable new models of care through strategic technology investments.”
The move follows an pledge made by Health Benefits Limited, the crown company set up in 2010 to support health service provision, to consolidate the infrastructure of all twenty District Health Boards onto IBM’s cloud platform.
“We continue to invest in advanced technology infrastructure vital for New Zealand’s long-term economic growth. IBM’s cloud services offer customers like the Ministry of Health the most comprehensive enterprise-grade cloud environment in New Zealand and will support new, enhanced services for the public, suppliers and staff,” says Andrew Buchanan, cloud business leader, IBM New Zealand.
“This agreement further demonstrates our leadership and commitment to health care innovation,” Buchanan added.