Aaron van Delden firstname.lastname@example.org
(Republished with permission of New Zealand Doctor. To subscribe to news and information from the primary care sector, go to www.nzdoctor.co.nz)
Pegasus Health’s new practice management system will be called Sirius and rolled out to practices over the next two years.
The PHO’s chief executive, Vince Barry, says the system, based on Intrahealth’s Profile platform, is being adapted to integrate with Canterbury DHB’s e-referral and electronic health record programs before it is rolled out to practices later this year.
The PHO has now signed a licence agreement with Intrahealth, which was happy for Pegasus to give the system its own name, Mr Barry says.
Sirius is a cloud-based system, so the PHO has contracted Computer Concepts Ltd to host its practices’ data.
The cost of the licence has been borne by Pegasus, and Canterbury DHB is supporting the data migration process for practices in Canterbury. However, practices will need to pay for the hosted database and ongoing support.
An information pack sent to Pegasus practices in July includes an estimate for the cost of hosting and support for a medium-sized practice of 4500 patients, with an initial per-month cost of $900 (or 20 cents per patient), reducing to $693 (or 15.4 cents per patient) per month after three years.
But Mr Barry stresses the cost will depend on a number of factors; some practices already use hosted databases while others may need to update old IT infrastructure.
The PHO will be contacting practices in the coming weeks to arrange an initial meeting about migrating to the new system.
The meeting will cover off a readiness assessment of both business and technical systems at the practice to determine what it needs to do to adopt the new PMS.
However, the information pack indicates the roll out will begin in November. The four practices where Profile was trialled during a due diligence process will start to use Sirius from September.
Depending on the time frame worked out for each practice’s migration to Sirius, the implementation process will take between two and six months.
Mr Barry anticipates 90 per cent of the PHO’s 90 practices will migrate to the new system over the next two years.
There has been broad support for the new PMS, but practices will not be forced to adopt it, he says. The PHO has not ruled out continuing to support practices which stick with the system Sirius has been chosen to replace, Medtech32. However, Pegasus Health’s current policy is to support only one PMS.
In April, after a PMS review which began in December 2014, the Pegasus Health board decided to endorse Intrahealth’s Profile platform, and rebranded it as Sirius after the brightest star in the Southern Hemisphere sky. (www.nzdoctor.co.nz, ‘News’, 13 June).
The information pack notes Medtech32 will continue to be supported until the changeover is complete.
"When we know how many people have moved to the new platform, we will be better placed to make a decision on what systems are supported by Pegasus."