Epilepsy NZ educators continue to provide life-changing support

Epilepsy New Zealand educators are providing life-changing support to people around the country diagnosed with epilepsy.

The charitable organisation’s team of trained educators provide free support, information, advocacy and education to people living with epilepsy.

E-Referrals can be made to Epilepsy NZ using CareSelect.

One person with epilepsy describes the life-changing impact an Epilepsy NZ educator had on their life.

“My first seizure came out of the blue. I felt scared, vulnerable and worried about the future for me and my family. However, my world changed after I reached out to an educator.

“They spoke with me and I felt for the first time someone was listening as I offloaded all my worries, fears, and uncertainties for the future, myself and my family. I felt validated for first time since my first seizure occurred.”

The educator linked their family to community support and helped them navigate the situation with their employer.

“I was able to put a care plan in place, should I have a seizure at work. Educators are a vital support service for all people and communities living with or without epilepsy. Me and my extended whānau are forever grateful for the support we received.”


Support groups key

Epilepsy affects around 1% of the population and an estimated 48,000-50,000 people have epilepsy in New Zealand, Epilepsy NZ chief executive Ross Smith says.

Once a person has been diagnosed with epilepsy by their neurologist or GP, Epilepsy NZ continues the education and support.

“We’re part of the wider healthcare team and we help the person in their journey, supporting them every step of the way,” Ross says.

Support groups are a key part of that support, says one educator.

“Sometimes the diagnoses and impact of seizures can knock the resilience of individuals. Support group attendees benefit from the group experience, often soaking up information and learning effective coping strategies from other participants who are doing well.

“There is no time limit on when they share their personal story. When the individual feels the time is right, they often open up about their challenges and fears.”


Support at schools

Another educator describes the support offered at schools.

“After a prolonged seizure, I met with a young girl and her family to help them understand more about different types of seizures, first aid, seizure management plan (SMP) suggestions and ideas for her at home and school.

“I went to the young girl’s school, to give an understanding epilepsy training session to the teaching staff. We also talked about the young girl’s SMP, and other challenges she may face. Learning about epilepsy, her seizures and the SMP, really helped them all to have more awareness and gain confidence.”


How to refer to Epilepsy New Zealand:

  • Open the patient record
  • Select the HealthLink icon
  • Use the CareSelect search bar, type “Epilepsy New Zealand”
  • Click “Compose Referral”.

New e-Referral form for Onsite Ultrasound

Locally owned and operated Onsite Ultrasound has been providing high-quality ultrasound services for people in Hawke’s Bay for 14 years.

E-Referrals can now be made to Onsite Ultrasound using CareSelect.

Onsite Ultrasound practice manager Kelly Fraser says the new tailor-made e-Referral form will help make the pathway easier for doctors to refer patients.

“The e-Referral form is quick and easy to use, saves time and is way more secure compared to faxing, emailing, phoning or handing a patient a paper referral,” she says.

“E-Referrals are definitely the way forward.”

Onsite Ultrasound has a team of 10 people and operates out of two sites – one in Napier and one in Hastings.

“We provide high-quality ultrasound services using the latest technology and equipment,” Kelly says.

Services on offer include pregnancy, general abdominal, small parts, pelvic, vascular, obstetric and musculoskeletal scans. Ultrasound-guided cortisone injections are also available.

Kelly says customer service is a big focus for the small, friendly team.

“Our team provides high-quality imaging alongside great customer service with friendly faces every step of the way.”


Urgent reports available

Kelly says urgent reports are available within the hour if required.

“Our general wait times for scans is minimal and we also put aside appointments every day for urgent cases should they arise,” she says.

“We also get our reports out as soon as possible after a scan has been completed.”

Free ACC scans are also available for patients who qualify (a surcharge applies for radiologist procedures).

“We’ve had lots of positive feedback over the years and pride ourselves on the high-quality service we provide and our friendly team.”


How to refer to Onsite Ultrasound:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • use the CareSelect search bar, type “Onsite Ultrasound”
  • click “Compose Referral”.

Triton Hearing opens ground-breaking new store

Triton Hearing’s new ground-breaking store in the Auckland suburb of Newmarket is the first of its kind to open in the Southern Hemisphere.

Triton World of Hearing offers a completely new interactive experience when it comes to hearing checks and high-tech solutions.

E-Referrals can now be made to Triton World of Hearing using HealthLink’s CareSelect service.

Visitors to the new store use interactive screens to learn about the latest innovations in hearing technology. A team of expert audiologists is also on hand to help and offer advice.

The store, which opened in February, compliments Triton Hearing’s existing clinics around New Zealand, including its nine across Auckland.

Triton Hearing’s Audiology and Innovation Head Craig Lett says the new store offers a “surround sound experience” for people looking for solutions to hearing difficulties.

Many Kiwis are reluctant to seek help for hearing difficulties because they worry about being thought of as “old”.

“It’s very much a hidden health issue. Almost 900,000 Kiwis, or about one in six, suffer from hearing difficulties and many people put off seeking help because of the stigma associated with hearing loss,” Craig says.


Hearing loss can impact wellbeing

Craig says even mild cases of hearing loss can significantly affect a person’s health and wellbeing.

“People who struggle to hear can become socially isolated. They often don’t interact with others as much as they used to and, for some, this can lead to depression.”

Research shows that on average people wait seven years to seek help for hearing issues.

“Loud noise and age are the most common factors leading to hearing difficulty, but most people even in their twenties are no longer able to hear high frequency sounds.”

As well as the stigma associated with hearing loss, Craig says cost and accessibility to care are also barriers to seeking help.

“For people who worry about being seen as old, we have totally invisible hearing aid options which can connect to phones and live stream music.

“For those concerned about cost, we offer a ‘Pay as you Hear’ subscription service across all levels of technology which customers can pay in monthly instalments.”


How to refer to Triton World of Hearing:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • use the CareSelect search bar, type “Triton Hearing”
  • click “Compose Referral”.

Bowel Cancer NZ launches brand new e-Referral form

E-Referrals to Bowel Cancer New Zealand can now be made using CareSelect.

Referrals were previously sent via email, phone or Bowel Cancer New Zealand’s website.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cause of cancer death in New Zealand and kills as many people as breast and prostate cancer combined. And we have one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world.

Bowel Cancer New Zealand nurse support co-ordinator and registered nurse Victoria Thompson says that while these statistics are sobering, there is hope.

“Bowel cancer is treatable and beatable if it’s detected early enough,” she says.

“The more people affected by bowel cancer that we can support, the better. The new e-Referral form will make it easier for patients to be referred to us so they can get the support they need.”


Variety of support available

Bowel Cancer New Zealand provides support for people living with bowel cancer and those recovering from treatment, as well as their whānau.

“We offer funded support in the form of free rehabilitative physiotherapy and counselling sessions, as well as support services, resources and patient and whānau support groups.”

Victoria is also available to answer non-urgent inquiries via the website, the 0800 BCNZ NURSE phone number or email, Monday to Thursday from 10am-4pm.


Bowel cancer affects any age group

Victoria says bowel cancer can affect anyone at any age.

“Bowel cancer is not just something elderly people can develop. It also affects a lot of young people too. Around 30 Kiwis aged 50 or under are diagnosed with bowel cancer each month.”

She says it’s crucial that people are aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer, which may include:

  • rectal bleeding
  • change of bowel motions/habits that come and go over several weeks
  • anaemia
  • severe persistent or periodic abdominal pain
  • a lump or mass in the abdomen
  • tiredness and loss of weight for no obvious reason.

Bowel Cancer New Zealand’s Never Too Young campaign runs through the month of August and highlights the fact that bowel cancer affects young people too, she says.

“If a young person presents with bowel cancer symptoms, it shouldn’t be dismissed because of their age. It should be investigated further.”


How to refer to Bowel Cancer New Zealand:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • use the CareSelect search bar, type “Bowel Cancer New Zealand”
  • click “Compose Referral”.

Top rate care at Nandish Chiropractic

Nandish Chiropractic in East Auckland has come a long way since it opened its doors in 2015.

It’s now one of the city’s largest chiropractic clinics with six chiropractors specialising in different fields.

E-Referrals to Nandish Chiropractic can be made using CareSelect.

Nandish Chiropractic has five departments: the Spinal Clinic, Headache and Migraine Clinic, Concussion Clinic, Pregnancy Clinic, and Paediatric Clinic.

Nandish Chiropractic founder and principal chiropractor Karen Singh says she loves helping people thrive by encouraging a proactive, holistic approach to healthcare.

Dr Singh has a keen interest in complex and chronic pain, spinal disc compression and stress. She also runs wellness classes teaching patients how to manage stress effectively.

“Chiropractic care is a proven and effective way to align the spine and nervous system to operate at its optimum potential,” she says.


Three-step process

Each new patient goes through a three-step process.

“They have an extensive health history check, physical assessment (postural, range of motion, orthopaedic, neurologic and spinal), and a report of findings with clinical diagnosis and a care plan tailored to the patient’s needs. We believe education and empowerment is key in the healing and recovery process,” says Dr Singh.

“We like to help people understand why things are happening and what they can do to help themselves. We also focus on stress and the effects it has on the body and functionality. The body is like a car – it won’t function as well as one that gets regularly serviced.”

Dr Singh says a common issue is device use and changes in the spinal curve due to an increased load on the neck and spinal nerves causing poor posture, headaches and premature degeneration.

“We help realign their posture, educate them about spinal ergonomics and where their screens should be to be proactive and avoid future problems.”

She says people sometimes confuse chiropractors with physiotherapists.

“Physiotherapists focus on injury rehabilitation, whereas chiropractors focus on the underlying issues with the neck, back and nervous system.”

Dr Singh says her team regularly holds workshops with health practitioners to explain what chiropractors do.


How to refer to Nandish Chiropractic:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • use the CareSelect search bar, type “Nandish Chiropractic”
  • click “Compose Referral”.

e-Referrals for Freedom Medical Alarms go nationwide

E-Referrals for Freedom Medical Alarms can now be made for patients living outside of Wellington.

Previously, e-Referrals could only be made for patients living in the capital, but they can now be made nationwide.

Freedom Medical Alarms national manager Debbie Booth says it’s exciting for the service to be expanding.

“It means we can provide support and reassurance to a much larger number of people,” she says.


Peace of mind for everybody

Freedom Medical Alarms is a joint venture with HealthCare NZ and Wellington Free Ambulance. It’s the only medical alarm directly connected to the Central Emergency Ambulance Communication Centre.

“That means patients are directly connected to trained emergency call-takers at the push of a button.”

Debbie says it’s reassuring for patients and their family members to know that medical help is readily available.

“It provides peace of mind for everybody and freedom from worry.”


Funding available

Freedom Medical Alarms is a Work and Income accredited supplier.

“If a patient qualifies, an alarm can be funded through the Disability Allowance.”

The cost of an ambulance call out is covered for all patients, Debbie says.

Freedom Medical Alarms also has a GO pendant that can be worn out in the community but isn’t currently funded.


Landline or cellular network

Patients can choose either a neck or wrist pendant, which they press in an emergency. The alarms work via a landline or the cellular network.

A key safe can be installed as part of the set up so paramedics can easily access a patient’s home in the case of an emergency.

“The patient’s next of kin is also contacted if an ambulance is called.”

Debbie says the demand for Freedom Medical Alarms is increasing.

“We’ve seen a surge in demand since the COVID-19 pandemic because people are living alone and isolated. We also have an ageing population and people want to be able to live in their own home for longer.”


How to refer to Freedom Medical Alarms:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • scroll to the “Referred Services” heading
  • select Freedom Medical Alarms.


Clanwilliam Health offers Cloud access to Connected Health

Thinking outside the box

Thinking outside the box is nothing new for health IT company, Clanwilliam Health. But its latest software development is literally doing just that.

Clanwilliam Health has developed HealthLink SecureIT Cloud, which enables health professionals in New Zealand to access the private Connected Health network from the Cloud.

Health professionals have traditionally needed a HealthLink SecureIT Gateway black box physically installed on their premises to access Connected Health.

Connected Health is a standards-based, commercial model for the delivery of universal connectivity across the New Zealand health sector.

It operates over a network delivered by a number of private service providers and allows health professionals to safely share patients’ health information without using the internet.

New Zealand is the only country in the world that has a private network for transferring health information.


Busting the myth

Clanwilliam Health Chief Technology Officer John Carter says there is a myth that accessing Connected Health from the Cloud is impossible.

“That’s simply not true. We’ve developed the technology to connect to Connected Health from the Cloud in an affordable, secure and easy way,” he says.

Mr Carter says many organisations and businesses are moving to the Cloud and there’s been a lot of frustration with not being able to modernise the ability to connect to Connected Health.

“So, we came up with a solution with our Cloud-friendly deployment that’s the same cost as the black box. Plus, we will manage it for customers,” he explains.

He says health organisations and businesses wanting to move to the Cloud don’t have to worry now about not having access to Connected Health.

“It’s affordable, easy to do and you’ll still have the ability to do exactly the same things.”

He says the entire health sector will benefit from this development.

New Epilepsy NZ e-Referral solution goes live

Epilepsy New Zealand’s new e-Referral solution will make GPs and practice nurses’ lives a whole lot easier, says its chief executive Ross Smith.

E-Referrals can now be made to Epilepsy NZ using CareSelect.

“Prior to the new e-Referral solution, GPs had to go to our website, download a referral form, fill it out, scan it and then send it, which was very time consuming,” Ross says.

“The new e-Referral solution is quick and easy to use, so it will make life a lot easier for everyone involved.”

He says it is exciting to move from the old, clunky, time-consuming referral system to the new, fast electronic one.

“In this day and age, you have to have the ability to electronically make referrals and share health information. It just makes perfect sense.”

Epilepsy NZ is a nationwide charitable organisation that’s been supporting people with epilepsy since 1956.

Ross says a person can be diagnosed with epilepsy at any stage in their life.

“It’s life-changing. In many cases, you can no longer drive, and it can also affect your employment and other activities you would normally do.

Trained educators provide support

Epilepsy NZ employs a team of trained educators who provide free information, advocacy, education and support to people with epilepsy around New Zealand.

“Once a person has been diagnosed by their neurologist or GP, we continue the education and support. We’re part of the wider healthcare team and we get alongside the person and walk the journey with them.”

Epilepsy affects about 1% of the population and an estimated 48,000–50,000 people have epilepsy in New Zealand, Ross says.

“We would love to have more funding to do research on prevalence in New Zealand and the social impact it has, especially on children. There’s a lot of stigma and discrimination out there about epilepsy.”

Epilepsy New Zealand’s Purple Day is held on 26 March each year to raise awareness about epilepsy.

“Workplaces, community groups and schools can organise a local awareness day by holding a morning tea, mufti day or other event to help raise awareness,” Ross says.

How to refer to Epilepsy New Zealand:

  • Open the patient record
  • Select the HealthLink icon
  • Use the CareSelect search bar, type “Epilepsy New Zealand”
  • Click “Compose Referral”.

New CEO to lead Clanwilliam Health

Clanwilliam Health is pleased to announce Mike Weiss has been appointed as CEO effective from 1 October 2020.

Mr Weiss previously served as Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer of the business.

He takes over from Michelle Creighton who decided to step down after more than 10 years in senior leadership roles in the business.

“My sincere thanks go to Michelle for her many years of exemplary service; she has left the business well placed to continue to support healthcare providers, funders and patients in New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong,” Mr Weiss says.

“As Deputy CEO I’ve worked closely with Michelle and I, along with our leadership team, will ensure that this transition is smooth for our customers.”

Clanwilliam Health was created in 2019 when Auckland-based healthcare technology companies HealthLink and Konnect NET merged. Mr Weiss served as CEO of Konnect NET prior to the merger.

Mr Weiss says he is delighted to have the opportunity to lead Clanwilliam Health.

“Clanwilliam Health has a rich heritage of supporting healthcare providers, payers and patients in New Zealand and Australia through a range of products and services,” he says.

Mr Weiss says Clanwilliam Health will remain focussed on its customers, patient outcomes, provider experience and protecting sensitive information.

“There are significant growth opportunities in New Zealand and Australia. The organisations that will be successful in the next decade are those that are able to master the balance between focussing on their core value proposition and being able to collaborate with others for better patient outcomes.”


Next stage of the journey

Clanwilliam Health is part of the Ireland-headquartered Clanwilliam Group family of healthcare technology and services businesses.

Beginning in 2017, Clanwilliam Group has invested in excess of NZ $100m in the Australasian healthcare technology market. Other Clanwilliam Group businesses in the region include Toniq and MBS.

Clanwilliam Group CEO Howard Beggs says Mr Weiss will lead the next stage of Clanwilliam’s journey in New Zealand and Australia.

“Clanwilliam Health is the anchor for Clanwilliam Group’s continued growth, innovation and investment in the Australasian market. We remain committed to investing in strong and innovative healthcare technology businesses that support clinicians in delivering great care to their patients.

“I’m confident that Mike and the local leadership team will execute on Clanwilliam Group’s vision of making healthcare better for everyone”.


For media assistance, please contact:

Maggie McNaughton

Clanwilliam Health publicist

021 613198

[email protected]

Mercy Radiology’s new digital scanner

Mercy Radiology’s new digital PET-CT scanner is the latest tool available in the fight against prostate cancer.

It was unveiled last month at Mercy Radiology’s new Milford clinic on Auckland’s North Shore. In New Zealand, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.

Mercy Radiology has 14 branches located around the wider Auckland area, offering a full spectrum of diagnostic radiology services.

Referrals to Mercy Radiology and Mercy Breast Clinic can now be made via CareSelect.


Clarity is everything

Mercy Radiology Group’s director of strategic programmes Alexis Stewart says the new digital PET-CT scanner provides better quality images compared to analogue scanners.

“This means cancers can be detected earlier and therefore treatment can begin earlier. If cancer is caught earlier, survivorship and quality of life can be greatly improved,” Alexis says.

PSMA scanning is also used to help detect cancers.

“Radioactive isotopes find and bind to the cancerous cells making it easier to pinpoint where the cancer is and if it has spread. This accurate information can then be used to help make the right and most effective treatment choices.”

Another new tool Mercy Radiology is using in the fight against prostate cancer is Lutetium therapy.

“Lutetium locks onto cancerous cells and leaves the healthy cells alone, which means less side effects compared to other palliative treatments like chemotherapy. Again, greatly improving our patients’ quality of life,” she says.

The therapy is currently used only for prostate cancer patients receiving palliative care, however new research from Australia is strongly suggesting it may be used for all prostate cancer patients in the future.


Early detection key: All 2D mammograms replaced

Alexis says Mercy Radiology recently replaced all its 2D mammogram machines with 3D tomosynthesis machines.

“The 3D imaging picks up more cancerous cells earlier than the 2D imaging, particularly for women who have dense breast tissue. Early detection is proven to improve survivorship.”

Mercy Radiology’s one-stop clinics are also helping in the fight against cancer by providing patient streamlined services and care that eliminates the need for multiple appointments over a long period of time.

“This fast-tracks the time to diagnosis by getting earlier detection and treatment. For some of our clinics, you can have your diagnosis and an initial treatment plan in as little as 45 minutes compared to the traditional two to six week wait,” she says.


How to refer Mercy Radiology Group:

Mercy Radiology have branches in the Auckland CBD, Botany, Epsom, Milford, Orewa, Pakuranga, Red Beach, Rosedale, Silverdale, St Lukes, Takapuna, Warkworth, and Westgate.

Refer to their central Booking Team who will make an appointment at the location most convenient to your patient.

  • open the patient record
  • launch the HealthLink homepage
  • using the CareSelect search bar, type Mercy Radiology or Mercy Breast Clinic
  • click “Compose Referral”.