Q&A with Steve Miller and Carrie Naylor-Williams, MidCentral DHB

In February, our next-generation software platform Miya Precision went live for the first time anywhere in the world, with successful launches at Palmerston North Hospital and Horowhenua Health Care Centre, part of New Zealand’s MidCentral District Health Board (MDHB).

We spoke with Carrie Naylor-Williams, Integrated Operations Lead, and Steve Miller, Chief Digital Officer, on how the project is tracking, the improvements and benefits seen by staff to-date, and what makes them most excited about the future of digital healthcare.

How is the Miya Precision Phase 1 project going?

Carrie: Last December, the deployment of MIYA Patient Flow and MIYA Bed Management across 17 wards, the emergency department and the Hospital Operations Centre at Palmerston North Hospital and 1 ward at Horowhenua Hospital was completed.

At the conclusion of the first phase in February, the original defined scope was achieved and additional extensions such as the inclusion of journey boards for the Surgical Shorter Stays Unit and Intensive Care, training outpatient clerks to raise bed requests and a number of software enhancements to meet business requirements, were successfully implemented.

What improvements and benefits have nurses seen so far?

Carrie: Charge nurses report greater visibility and improved communication, not just within their own teams but also with other nursing colleagues and support staff. This has reduced the amount of telephone calls required and the constant chasing for updates.

For example, by using the iPad the charge nurse does not have to be present on the ward to track the discharge progress of a particular patient or the flow of patients in and out of the ward.

Steve: Nurses are able to drive continuous improvement and get better insight from information available to them at the bedside via mobile. It’s bringing new efficiencies in terms of how nurses can access, but also act on, that information through data-enabled decisions.

How will Miya Precision assist in bringing about transformational change in MidCentral DHB?

Carrie: It means that staff can work in different ways. Senior clinicians can source diagnostic results whilst on a ward round and immediately act upon or explain the results to the patient. Referrals and discharge plans can be activated on the ward round, reducing delays and enabling timely interventions and discharges. This is just the start of the journey to integrate technology and data to improve the patient’s pathway and both patient and staff safety.

Steve: Collaboration and partnerships are fundamental to our digital transformation journey. What you tend to find in the healthcare sector is a poor ability to execute change.  As we move towards an agile, integrated service model, it involves a fundamental shift in how healthcare and wellness is delivered.

We enjoy working with the Alcidion team. It’s an important engagement to us and we want to move the partnership forward and execute a number of other phases, to continue to enhance the product and support our digital transformation.

What makes you excited about the future of digital healthcare?

Steve: In our digital strategy, we’ve done a lot of work to understand what consumers want.  I believe we’re going to see consumer-led disruption, where consumers are more active, engaged and empowered to demand a far better healthcare experience. Technology gives us the opportunity to automate, simplify and digitise experiences and help patients better navigate through the healthcare system.

Carrie: What is exciting is that there is still so much that we can and want to do to improve the care that we provide to our patients that can be enhanced through the use of digital healthcare. Through our work with Alcidion, we have seen that there are endless possibilities and that our visions can be realised.