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Information Systems for Public Health
Community and Public Health maintains an Information Systems capability, with a strong emphasis on the effective development and use of software and systems which directly support the work of Community and Public Health, and other partner agencies.
The Information Systems team developed and now maintain the following web-based applications:
- The South Island Public Health Action Network (SIPHAN) Information Base – an information sharing/ discussion group system currently in use by public health networks, and health work stream groups.
- Content Management System-based public health websites including:
- Web portals and file sharing systems supporting joint work, including Health in All Policies workplan between the Canterbury DHB, Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury, as well as the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS).
- HealthScape – a database system recording and reporting on public health service activities and group collaborations.
Community and Public Health are also able to provide the following services to our DHBs and other agencies:
- on-demand desktop GIS mapping and analysis;
- data management and analysis; and
- development of applications and software, such as the My Medicines patient information database – created in collaboration with the Canterbury DHB Department of Clinical Pharmacology.
Our particular interest is the sustainable provision of cost-effective information services and applications utilising existing capabilities and infrastructure within the regional public health sector.
Contact Chris Ambrose for more information on any of the applications or services mentioned (03 364 1777).
My Medicines: Making information available for patients and health professionals
My Medicines is a digital library of patient information about medicines. The information is available to print or download in a variety of formats to allow for different requirements.
Commonly used content like side effects can be easily edited and then updated across the whole library.
HealthScape: a highly adaptable database system
The most successful of CPH web applications is HealthScape – developed in-house by Information Architect Chris Ambrose.
HealthScape is similar to a patient management system such as HealthOne except it is focused on settings, not patients. HealthScape has been used for more than 10 years to record the interactions CPH staff have in settings such as schools, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and licensed premises. It allows staff to see what interactions other staff have with a particular organisation and what was discussed.
HealthScape was upgraded to a new platform in 2018, and this CPH application is now supporting public health services for eleven district health boards.
CPH General Manager Evon Currie says that HealthScape provides an amazing overview of what public health is doing. “It’s no surprise that HealthScape is becoming more and more popular. It helps avoid duplication and promotes transparency, by providing up-to-date and consistent data on what’s happening. It runs off existing DHB IT infrastructure and software and supports a paperless environment” says Evon.