“We’re a clinical organisation, not an IT organisation. We want to use technology to deliver great clinical care.”
Andrew Slater, Homecare Medical CEO.
Connected technology helps Homecare Medical serve the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders
Homecare Medical is a teletriage organisation owned by ProCare and Pegasus Health, two of New Zealand’s largest primary health organisations. It provides after-hour nurse triage services to GPs and in 2015 Homecare Medical launched the National Telehealth Service – funded by the Ministry of Health, ACC, and the Health Promotion Agency.
Homecare Medical’s clinical team offers advice, support, symptom assessment and triage to New Zealanders across helplines that include:
● Alcohol Drug Helpline
● Depression Helpline
● Gambling Helpline
● Poisons advice
● Immunisation advice
With the help of Spark’s cloud, contact centre, network and connectivity technology, people can contact the helplines 24/7, 365 days a year by telephone, text, website, web chat, email or Facebook. Everyone talks to a real person, only has to tell their story once, and gets the right care, at the right time, by the right person, in the right place.
A partnership based on a passion for NZ
Back in 2014, when Homecare Medical began to look at how they’d build this national service, it chose Spark as its network and connectivity partner because of Spark’s commitment to innovation and being at the cutting edge of disruption and technology. Homecare Medical also wanted a partner from New Zealand that cares deeply about New Zealanders’ lives and their health outcomes.
Spark and cloud business Revera had just 15 weeks to set up the National Telehealth Service, essentially ‘virtualising’ the business so nurses and other staff could work from anywhere in the country. Spark took a cloud first, digital-first approach to bring both scale and speed to the project, helping Homecare Medical go from 20 to more than 250 staff, from 20 computers to several hundred, and from one call centre to five - all within the timing deadline.
Importantly, the Homecare Medical team doesn’t have to worry about its own IT infrastructure or what’s new in the marketplace - that’s Spark’s job. Instead, Homecare Medical can use Spark’s technology to offer New Zealanders excellent clinical care supported by a joined-up service that ‘knows’ them.
Striving for even better healthcare
To make the National Telehealth Service even stronger, Homecare Medical is looking to add more communication channels and further integrate clinical teams. “I’m challenging the team about how, in five years, a nurse will deliver triage over Instagram for instance. It’s just one of the things we’re starting to think up with Spark to really understand how New Zealanders want to receive health information and interact with their health system.”