Health professionals from all over New Zealand converged on Christchurch last week for the 14th Annual HiNZ conference at Wigram Air Force Museum. Held for the first time in the South Island, the event eclipsed past years with over 700 registered delegates and a record number of exhibitors attending the four-day workshop and conference programme.
As the first keynote speaker for the conference, The Hon. Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health, provided a health strategy update, including the proposed roadmap for the NZ health sector over the next five years. He discussed how the eHealth initiatives to be implemented will ensure more effective, quality and productive healthcare services are available and, appropriate to the theme of the conference, he emphasised the importance of collaboration between patients, clinicians and vendors.
Chair of the National Health IT Board, Dr Murray Milner, and Graeme Osborne, Director of the National Health IT Board followed on from the Minister, discussing their current work and outlining their strategy for the implementation of an integrated health IT programme. The programme is focussed around four inter-related areas – a national electronic health record, the development of a national digital hospital blueprint, the establishment of a single IT prevention platform, and the use of health data to support health and social investment.
A key point that also came out of the morning’s presentations was the importance of the consumer experience. Both speakers stressed that the ‘voice of the customer’ should be a key component of every health IT project and that these projects should be more focused on the ‘whole of person’, and avoid creating separate silos of information and knowledge.
The message was made clear that both the Minister and the National Health IT Board are focused on their plan to facilitate the collaboration and centralisation of healthcare data and information across NZ.
Sysmex New Zealand staff were onsite at the exhibition hall, showcasing our experience helping DHBs across New Zealand streamline the management of diagnostic and clinical information and deliver integrated, quality patient care. It was great to talk so many new and existing customers and to show them what we have in store with Eclair Touch V2 and Eclair Touch Phlebotomy.
A special shout-out must go to the HiNZ Board and CEO, Kim Mundell, for taking the gamble and choosing not only Christchurch, but the Wigram Air Force Museum as their venue for the conference. Sitting down at a gala dinner surrounded by some extraordinary examples of aviation history was just one of many highlights of the event.
The award section of the HiNZ gala dinner evening proved to be an eventful night for the Sysmex team when we were crowned winners of the Best Trade Exhibit. “I don’t think I managed to say this on the night because we were so shocked,” said Marketing Communications Manager, Rose Harding, “But, it was such an honour as there were some really fantastic stands at this year’s event. We had an excellent team, both behind the scenes and on the stand. Without them, this award would not have been possible.”
The gala dinner also saw the presentation of the Sysmex Award for Health Informatics. Now in its fifth year, the award was presented to third year Auckland University student May Lin Tye by Deborah Steele, Product Manager for the Sysmex Health IT portfolio.
The 15th Annual HiNZ conference will be held at SkyCity, Auckland and has been set for October in 2016. Sysmex is looking forward to continuing their support of HiNZ and we hope to see you there.