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”.

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”.


Hear, hear! New e-referral form for Audika


E-referrals can now be made to Audika using Clanwilliam Health’s CareSelect service.

For more than 100 years, Audika (formerly Hearing Life) has been helping people with hearing loss get their lives back, and the new referral process will enhance its services, says Diem Smith, Clinician and Audika’s Group Clinical & Sales Trainer NZ.

Mrs Smith, an audiologist, says Audika was founded in 1904 in Denmark by Hans Demant who was determined to help his wife Camilla, who had hearing loss, lead a better life.

“That foundation of care carries on today in Audika’s 30 clinics located around New Zealand. We are passionate about helping people hear better and get their lives back,” Mrs Smith says.

“We aim to provide excellent hearing care to all our patients.”

Audika offers full adult diagnostic hearing assessments and hearing aid fittings, as well as providing the service to some children at designated clinics.

“We have ACC accredited clinicians who are able to see noise-induced/head trauma claimants and Veterans’ Affairs claimants. Our clinicians are also able to access the Ministry of Health’s hearing aid funding and subsidy schemes on behalf of patients.”

Helping patients reconnect

Mrs Smith says denial is the main reason many people with hearing loss do nothing about it, and it’s often a loved one or companion who notices the hearing loss first.

“It can get to the point where a person’s quality of life is affected if they can’t hear properly. Relationships can break down. If they can’t take part in conversations they withdraw and are isolated, so the sooner they get help, the better.”

She says it’s rewarding to help patients reconnect with the world again.

“It’s a fantastic feeling knowing you’ve made a difference to someone’s life when they get their hearing back and are participating with their family, friends and colleagues again,” she says.

“While the majority of our patients are older, we’re seeing more younger people with hearing loss due to recreational noise exposure from things like attending concerts or using personal listening devices with the volume up too loud.”

Ear wax removal service

Mrs Smith says some Audika clinics now offer ear wax removal by suction.

“Qualified ear wax removal nurses are hard to find so we’re proud to be able to offer this service carried out by our clinicians who have been trained up on how to do it.”

She says for more complex cases, they will still refer patients to a qualified ear wax removal nurse.

“As a healthcare provider, people can be assured that Audika has introduced a range of measures to ensure the safety of both our patients and staff.”

How to refer to Audika:

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

Healthvision: Same nurse key to successful patient outcomes

Stock photo

Having the same nurse visit Jeanette Miller’s home over a two-month period to treat a leg wound helped her recover much faster, the 80-year-old says.

Jeanette seriously grazed her lower right shin after falling on a concrete slab on her way to lunch with her husband in Noumea in October 2019.

The deep wound bled profusely and was treated with disinfectant and dressings. Upon her arrival home to Auckland two days later, Jeanette visited a GP.

After a few visits to the GP, she was asked if she would like some free ACC wound care home visits from a Healthvision NZ nurse to help the wound heal.

“I said yes straight away. I didn’t even know that you could get that type of help, but I’m so glad I did,” Jeanette says.

She describes her Healthvision nurse Pat Mankelow as “wonderful”.

Pat visited Jeanette in the comfort of her own home twice a week over a two-month period, starting at the end of November 2019.

Speedy recovery

Jeanette says the home visits helped speed up her recovery.

“It was nice to have consistency with the same nurse. I had so much confidence because the same person was treating me every time. She was always punctual too.

“She put a lot of thought and care into how to treat my wound and it has healed beautifully. She always told me what she was doing and why in a really clear way,” she says.

“Pat knew so much about wounds and gave me great confidence that it would heal. She was so professional and had all the right equipment to treat the wound.”

Jeanette says she looked forward to Pat’s visits.

“She was such good fun and we got to know each other and build up trust. I miss her visits now.”

She says having her come to her house was convenient.

“It meant I didn’t have to drive or travel anywhere to get to my appointments, which made it so much easier.”

Faster healing outcomes

Healthvision’s national manager of nursing and rehabilitation Julia Morris says having the same registered nurse from the beginning to the end of a patient’s treatment ensures continuity of care and faster healing outcomes.

“Our team of specialist wound care nurses can visit ACC patients in their home, work or school and have access to highly specialised burn and wound dressings, which is all free of charge to patients.”

Julia says if there are any underlying vascular conditions, Healthvision can provide patients with a Doppler assessment and issue two pairs of free compression stockings if necessary.

How to refer to Healthvision:

Healthvision accepts free ACC burn and wound referrals for patients in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Christchurch.

E-referrals can be made electronically via Medtech32, Medtech Evolution, MyPractice and indici.

If you’re not sure how, Healthvision can provide free training. Simply call Healthvision on 0508 733 377, email [email protected] or call their relationship manager on 022 5900 125.

If your practice uses Medtech32:

  • Open the patient record
  • Select the HealthLink icon
  • Click on the ACC Burn and Wound Care link currently located at the top of the right column, under ‘Referred Services’


Tailor-made care at Miranda Smith Homecare

Referrals to New Zealand’s longest running private homecare agency,Miranda Smith Homecare, can now be made using HealthLink CareSelect.

Established in 1999 by Miranda Smith, the agency offers a range of services including personal, respite and specialised care all in the comfort of the patient’s home.

Miranda Smith Homecare employs over 300 carers and has offices in Auckland, Tauranga, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington and Canterbury, with support staff available in Manawatu.

Managing director Miranda Smith says her organisation prides itself on the high standard of care it provides and also its ability to arrange care at short notice.

“We offer a few hours of care a day through to 24/7 care. We have a very large scope and assist with anything from showering, dressing and meal preparation, through to respite and end of life nursing care,” Miranda says.

She says a lot of people find they suddenly need home-based care.

“We have a quick turn around and can organise care within 24 hours if needed. If we get a call in the morning, we can often have it organised on the same day.”

She says many patients have family who live out of town so it’s reassuring for the family to know there’s someone on the ground to keep an eye on their loved one.

Care plans to suit patient

She says the care plans are tailor-made and flexible to suit the patient’s needs and wishes.

“Patients love the fact they can choose their own carer and that they have the same person looking after them for the duration of their care, which provides a nice continuity.”

Patients also have flexibility around when they want their carer to come, if they want to meet a new carer or if they want their care to stop and start.

“For example, they may just want their carer during winter and not need them during the summer months. It’s all about providing a personalised service and ensuring patients are getting the best care possible so they can maintain their independence.”

Miranda says her organisation has an excellent reputation for matching the best carer to suit the patient’s needs.

“Our carers are all carefully selected, screened and undergo a robust induction and training. Their training is also specific to the person they’re caring for – if they’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, then they’ll get specific training on how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s.”

Homecare products available to buy

Miranda Smith Homecare recently started offering homecare products for sale.

“We sell mobility, bathroom and bedroom products including things like shower stools and walkers.”

She says the products are really helpful for people who have come out of hospital or who have had a health crisis.

“If they’ve decided to stay at home, they can get a whole range of products to assist them in one go from one place.”

How to refer to Miranda Smith Homecare:

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

A family affair at HiNZ Conference

It was a family affair at the recent HiNZ Conference, with HealthLink, Toniq and Konnect NET exhibiting together for the first time under the Clanwilliam ANZ Group banner.

The annual digital health conference was held this year at Claudelands in Hamilton from 18–24 November and was the biggest yet with 1,250 delegates, 120 booths and 300 speakers.

HealthLink, Toniq and Konnect NET, which are New Zealand companies, have all recently joined the Dublin-based healthcare technology company, Clanwilliam Group.

HealthLink CEO Michelle Creighton says the conference was a great opportunity to showcase together what the three companies are doing in the health IT space.

“It’s a really fun opportunity for us to get together and is mutually beneficial. Having long-term partners is crucial for the sector and we have that because we are part of the Clanwilliam family.”

Mrs Creighton says there are big problems to be solved in the sector.

“We need collaboration and partnerships to solve those problems and together we are greater than the sum of our parts.”

She says Clanwilliam has an incredible understanding of the health IT sector.

“We are on the world stage with them and they understand our business and let us do our business, which is fantastic.”

A more powerful base

Konnect NET CEO Mike Weiss says having friends and sister companies to work with is hugely beneficial.

“The world is changing fast and connecting and collaborating with others creates a more powerful base. Each company brings its own expertise and knowledge to the table,” Mr Weiss says.

“Being part of Clanwilliam gives us access to capital and other technologies and also allows us to tap into deep expertise within the group”

It’s all about patient care

Toniq general manager Andrew Grant says it was exciting to exhibit at HiNZ for the first time and for it to be under the Clanwilliam Group.

“We are a group who genuinely get on and work well together,” Mr Grant says.

“At the end of the day it’s about the patient and their journey across the whole health system and ensuring they have the best possible health outcomes.”

All three companies are looking forward to exhibiting together again at the next HiNZ Conference.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the HiNZ organisers. These conferences are crucial to the betterment of the health sector by encouraging the collaboration that’s needed,” Mrs Creighton says.

New referral pathway for Green Prescription (GRx)

Health and wellness programme Green Prescription is first in a number of community services that will be able to be referred to via CareConnect.

E-referrals to Green Prescription can now be made via the CareConnect referral platform (in addition to the CareSelect platform).

Up until now, CareConnect has been used only for referrals from primary to secondary care.

The new CareConnect form automatically refers patients to the correct Green Prescription provider – either Harbour Sport or Sport Auckland – based on the patient’s address.

Harbour Sport Active for Life Manager Laurinda Howarth says this will save GPs time and hassle.

“GPs won’t have to search for which Green prescription provider to refer their patients to because the system will do it automatically for them, which will save heaps of time and hassle,” she says.

The district health board will automatically receive a copy of the e-Referral for their records, giving them a more complete picture of the patient’s health. This currently doesn’t happen when referring via CareSelect.

Harbour Sport and Sport Auckland will also be able to communicate back and forth electronically with the GP who made the e-Referral, making communicating a lot easier.

Secure and accurate

Laurinda says referring a patient via CareConnect ensures the referral is received securely and with the correct and necessary information.

“Referrals made via email or fax can go missing and unfortunately we have had some experience with that happening. We can’t action a referral if we don’t receive it.”

Having all the correct and necessary information in the e-referral is also crucial.

“If we have the correct and necessary information in the referral then we don’t have to ring the GP or the nurse to get it, which saves everybody time.”

She says the teams at Harbour Sport and Sport Auckland are passionate about helping people increase their physical activity and improve their nutrition over the 12-week programme, and beyond.

“We want to help more people through the Green Prescription programme. We want to affect change and we have such great teams of highly qualified and highly motivated people who can do that.”

She says people are often confused about what they should be eating and what is healthy.

“There is so much information overload around fad diets and what’s good for you which can be very confusing for people. We help people a lot with nutrition but we keep it simple so people don’t have that confusion,” she says.

“We’re getting such great results with people leading more active and healthier lifestyles. We do a lot on eating well on a budget and a lot in the mental health space. When people feel connected to their community and feel wanted and valued, they feel better.”

How to refer patients to a Green Prescription provider:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • click on the CareConnect e-Referrals link
  • launch the “Green Prescription” service
  • complete the referral form.

New e-Referral form for Ready Steady Quit

Are you ready? Electronic referrals to the free smoking cessation programme Ready Steady Quit just got easier for some GPs.

GPs who don’t already have a within-PMS referral pathway for Ready Steady Quit can now make an e-Referral via CareConnect.

The Ministry of Health-funded programme is available to patients living in the Auckland and Waitemata District Health Board areas and has been running since July 2016.

Ready Steady Quit’s Stop Smoking Services Manager Angela Chong says the face-to-face programme is tailor-made to suit a patient’s needs and has a 50% success rate for those who set a quit date.

“Once a patient has been referred to us, one of our Smokefree Practitioners makes contact with them and arranges a time to meet at their home, workplace, café or at one of our drop-in hubs,” Angela says.

Multi-lingual support

Language is no barrier for patients, with Smokefree Practitioners available who are fluent in English, te reo Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Niuean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Hindi, Gujarati and Czech.

“We work with the patient on a quit plan and quit date that suits them and we provide education and behaviour-change support. It’s driven by the patient and we are there to facilitate and help them achieve their goal.”

Follow-up meetings are based on the patient’s needs and can be face-to-face or on the phone. The programme is personalised so doesn’t have a set time frame.

“The number of follow-ups depends entirely on the needs of the patient. Some people need weekly meetings and some only need a couple of meetings.”

Support tools available

The programme offers free nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, gum and lozenges to help patients quit.

“We help determine the level and strength needed and we train them how to use them properly. If they aren’t on the right dosage or using the correct technique, they are not as effective for managing their withdrawal symptoms.”

The programme also uses carbon monoxide monitors, which are similar to breathalysers.

“It measures carbon monoxide levels in the blood and patients can see the level drop as they reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. It’s really encouraging for them to see the progress they’re making.”

She says they don’t provide vapes but provide education on the differences in devices and e-liquids and how to use them.

“Vapes are a significantly reduced harm option and can be a viable transitional tool for some patients to become smokefree.”

The programme is available to any age group and people can re-enter the programme. People can also take part in the programme in groups, which they can create with whānau, friends or workplace colleagues”.

Maternity Incentive programme

Angela says GPs can also mention in the notes section of the e-Referral form if the patient is pregnant and a smoker.

“We also have a maternity incentive programme that helps pregnant women and their whānau become smokefree and create a smokefree home for their baby.”

How to refer to Ready, Steady, Quit:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • click on the CareConnect e-Referrals link
  • launch the “Stop Smoking” service
  • complete the referral form, entering the email address you want updates to be sent to on your patient’s engagement with the service.

From horseback to Smart Form for Access Community Health

From nurses visiting rural patients on horseback to the use of an e-Referral Smart Form, a lot has changed since Access Community Health was established in 1927.

However, one thing has remained the same – a total dedication to caring for people in the comfort of their own homes.

Access Community Health specialises in home-based healthcare and support around the country.

Referrals for the Canterbury region are now possible via Access Community Health’s new Smart Form, making the process much easier and quicker for Canterbury GPs.

Highly skilled workforce

Clinical manager Gwendolynn Johnson says Access Community Health’s team of skilled nurses and domestic support workers provide a range of services to people in the comfort of their own homes.

“We offer a district nursing service as well as domestic support to help them maintain an independent lifestyle,” she says.

“Our nurses assist with a range of health needs such as medication management of insulin, wound care, compression bandaging and complex negative pressure dressings.

“Our domestic support workers help with housework, meal preparation, shopping and personal care such as dressing, toileting and showering.”

Access Community Health, which recently became a member of the Green Cross Health group, also has a dedicated Palliative Care Team on board.

Wide range of patients

Patients range in age from the very young to the elderly, including some who are over 100 years of age, Gwendolynn says.

“We see a range of patients whose needs vary from simple assistance with daily household chores up to, and including, full personal care and healthcare for patients with debilitating illnesses. We also assist children with disabilities. We help them and their parents to ensure they can live a full life integrated in their community.”

Gwendolynn says there are many people in the community living with complex health needs who are living longer so there’s a real need for home-based support.

The nurses and support workers are available 24 hours, seven days a week for patients.

“We offer a very high standard of care and all our employees go through induction, training, and yearly competency assessments.”

How to refer to Access Community Health:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • click on the Access Community Health link.

If you need help making a referral or have any other questions, please call Access Community Health on 0800 284 663.