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HomeHealthStudy finds link of improved child health equity to data system

Study finds link of improved child health equity to data system

by News7

A data system created to serve as a single longitudinal record of child demographic information in New Zealand has been associated with improved equity in basic child healthcare.

This relationship was explored in a recent paper published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 

FINDINGS

The National Child Health Information Platform tracks milestones achieved by each child enrolled in Northland, Waitematā and Auckland from birth to age six. 

Analysing milestone data, the study found a notable increase in GP enrolment of children between 2018 and 2021 in communities covered by NCHIP compared with non-NCHIP areas. 

It also noted less reduction in the 8-month immunisation coverage of children during the recent pandemic in areas tracked by NCHIP. 

These findings, according to the researchers, suggest population-level benefits, particularly on health equity, of systems that integrate a child’s healthcare milestone information such as the NCHIP. 

THE LARGER CONTEXT

In New Zealand, children are eligible for 30 child health milestone checks – including metabolic screening and immunisation, from birth to age six to ensure their healthy development. 

Previously, keeping track of these milestone checks was a challenge as data sharing between providers was mainly relationship-based while organisations held data on health checks independently. 

In 2020, then-District Health Boards in New Zealand’s northern regions worked with Orion Health to implement the NCHIP. The cloud-based system now provides a single view of the milestones achieved by children and care provider relationships. Newborn children in the country are also automatically enrolled in NCHIP via local birth registration.

Source : Healthcare IT News

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