Whānau Tahi

Whānau Tahi spring soiree highlights the Care in being Connected

Diana Phone strongly believes people that provide healthcare should be working with each other.

“No silos, so there is one care plan that everyone is contributing to so the patient care is right every time,” says Phone, who is a pharmacist who divides her time between Waimauku Village Pharmacy and as clinical lead at Ko Awatea which is part of Counties Manukau Health.

Her work in this space has brought her the Professional Service of the Year award, the Innovations award and the overall Supreme award at the 2017 NZ Pharmacy Awards.

Phone says some of the challenges she and other pharmacists are working on is how to enable pharmacists to communicate with GPs and nurses more effectively.

“I know that with a growing health burden and the demand on health care we have to change the way we practice and to be able to do that and to be more efficient we have to change some of the processes of our model of healthcare,” says Phone.

“Key to achieving this is to embrace technology to enable communication and integration,” she says at a forum organised by Whanau Tahi.

The digitisation of healthcare records and the technology to connect the dots between siloed providers is critical to transforming, and improving, today’s healthcare system.

“Unfortunately, while costs and staffing levels have risen, New Zealand’s healthcare sector has experienced a drop in productivity. Smart IT systems is a key enabler for productivity, efficiency and quality in any sector, it would appear that healthcare IT could make a better contribution towards lifting sector performance. The digitisation of healthcare records and the technology to connect the dots between siloed providers is critical to transforming, and improving, today’s healthcare system.”

She cites the work done by the Waimauku Village Pharmacy which adapted the Whanau Tahi Shared Care programme.

“This IT ability has facilitated our workflow,” she says. “We are saving an extra two to five hours per patient collecting and writing up the same background information, it has allowed continuity of care, increased productivity and prevented repetition of work,” she states.

“As a result of these change ideas (i.e. collaborating with the GP team, staff buy-in and engagement, redesigning our model of care to focus on medicines management services and adapting Whanau Tahi Shared Care IT programme) we have increased the number of patients receiving targeted medicines management service from 70 patients to 190 patients.

“There has been direct cost saving for the patients as well as the GP and Pharmacy business through timely interventions and less follow-up,” she states. “But most of all, we value spending time getting to know our patients, really understanding their needs and helping them to create more meaningful outcomes.”

Diana Phone talks:

From article in CIO magazine - read the whole article here