Some messages are more important than others. When a health emergency strikes, getting the right information to the right person at the right time can mean the difference between life and death.
So, when Healthpoint was tasked with improving the time-critical communications of a busy District Health Board (DHB), they turned to Vodafone to partner upon a reliable, effective text messaging solution that would get the most crucial of messages across loud and clear.
With a broad catchment area and the largest patient population in the country, Waitemata District Health Board has a huge responsibility for public safety. That’s why it’s imperative that when a health emergency occurs – for example, a natural disaster or outbreak of infectious disease – the DHB is able to quickly and clearly get the word out to its large network of primary healthcare providers.
This had sometimes proven challenging. Waitemata DHB’s system delivered urgent messages to the relevant primary healthcare organisations by fax and phone – meaning that if a health emergency did occur, every GP, pharmacy, community group and other healthcare provider in the area needed to be contacted individually. On top of this, primary health care providers were also often overloaded with a large number of messages that were duplicated, or not prioritised – adding more admin to an already busy environment.
Looking to improve communications, the DHB turned to Healthpoint – a specialist provider of health information systems. Healthpoint created the primary care communications platform Medinz. In what proved to be a hugely successful public-private partnership, Vodafone was also brought on board to advise on and provide a future-proofed text messaging solution within Medinz.
How Vodafone and Healthpoint created an effective partnership
A shared vision
Public health is a complex system responsible for a large and diverse network of people and organisations. Recognising this, Vodafone and Healthpoint worked together with a shared commitment to finding a text messaging solution that was simple, effective and reliable, while also delivering the best value to stakeholders.
Vodafone was one of six industry partners involved in the project, with others including respected healthtech companies like Medtech Global and myPractice. According to Vodafone Business Development Manager, Dean Rawle, the fact that all parties were not only experts in their respective fields, but willing to work collaboratively toward a shared outcome meant the process was an efficient one: “Because of the number of stakeholders in the health sector it can be difficult to get projects across the line,” he explains. “But in this case we said ‘let’s do it’ and within two weeks we had set up our first test.”
Delivering value through development
Healthpoint Managing Director Kate Rhind says the project needed to adhere to a lean, agile development framework: “We don’t do anything unless it’s going to add value for the end user, and all our software development centres around this,” she says. “Instead of developing from specification, we develop from actually talking with users and testing.”
Working within this framework, Healthpoint developed Medinz, the primary care communications platform. Healthpoint conducted trials at each stage of development and implemented changes based on feedback – understanding that new systems would need to meet the complex needs of the health sector, as well as drive value. Kate concludes, “Vodafone understood our needs and delivered really quickly, really well – and it works.”
Waitemata DHB is ready to respond to emergency
- The result of this process was a specially tailored text messaging system using Vodafone’s Ready Messenger solution that was configured to meet the unique needs of Waitemata DHB, based on the feedback provided throughout the collaborative process.
- This included enabling Medinz to easily send out broadcast text messages, according to the preferences of all medical practitioners within their base.
- The reliable web-based mobile messaging platform enables a single message to be sent out to multiple recipients at the same time (no more individual calls), while two-way messaging allows for responses to be sent and processed immediately.
- Medinz provides three different levels of messaging so that busy staff can prioritise their response according to importance, enabling faster decision making and reducing administrative load.
- All of this is directly integrated and run from Medinz via the Ready Messenger API, allowing them to reach their audience cost effectively and en-masse at any time, or at pre-set scheduled times.
- Plus, it’s all backed by Vodafone’s extensive and secure network, so users can feel confident knowing that messages will always get through when they’re needed most, and that there’s 24/7 support should they need it. These are improvements that not only save time, but may ultimately save lives too.
- Working together, Vodafone, Healthpoint and the other project partners delivered an innovative solution for a complex problem, in doing so setting a benchmark for urgent and emergency communications in New Zealand, and improving patient safety for Waitemata residents.
- To find out how Vodafone can help you get ready for the future, contact your Account Manager or call 0508 249 777.
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