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New Zealand’s Health Care Home gains international interest

The New Zealand Health Care Home and its harnessing of data to improve long term health outcomes gained international attention at a recent conference in Sydney.

Pinnacle Midlands Health Network Chief Executive, John Macaskill-Smith was invited to speak at the McKinsey Global Integrated Care Conference in Sydney last week on how the network was spearheading an integrated model of primary health care and a shift to consumer-led health services.

The annual conference is run by leading global consultancy firm, McKinsey and Company, and attracts health leaders from throughout the world. Themed, Getting to the Next Generation of Integrated Care, attendees this year included hospital board members and CEOs, clinical leaders, and national policy makers.

Macaskill-Smith's presentation was focused on how greater data transparency and utilisation will enable better care to be designed around and delivered to individuals.

This involves shifting to a model focused on long-term health and wellness promotion that is consumer led, and away from costly hospital intervention, of which people have little influence or control.

The talk garnered particular interest from representatives of major US-based providers such as Kaiser Permanente and the UK National Health Service, as they work to move to more preventative and sustainable models of primary care based around GPs and primary care.

He said: "Over the past century, most health systems have promoted a sense of hope - a Bob the builder fix me up as opposed to working with individual to stay well.

"Emerging technology has enabled greater personal access to information, which is encouraging individuals to consider health care as consumers rather than grateful recipients and look to staying well and avoiding illness.

"Through this we can support new primary care teams and improved models for delivering healthcare. The focus will be helping consumers to stay healthy and avoid expensive hospitalisation and sick-care interventions.

"We can create these teams, but we also need to furnish them with the intelligence they need to properly plan services and provide individual support to each of their patients.  There also needs to be a rebalancing of funding and a general shift of focus by the health systems away from hospitals to community care.

"Use of population data and predictive modelling will enable us to see the major trends in healthcare and plan services around them. This will be backed up by data about individuals using real-time biometric information and clinical observation.

"This intelligence combined with the professional skill, judgement and experience of our practice clinical teams, as well as that of wider allied health professionals, will enable everyone to be provided with the advice, support and services to help them live healthier lives."

Pinnacle is one of the New Zealand pioneers in the move to a patient-centred model of care based around the Health Care Home. It is one of the founding members of a consortium of the four major health networks, including Procare, Pegasus and Compass, currently rolling out this model across the whole of New Zealand.

Through more intelligent use of technology to fix the traditional bottlenecks in the primary care system and use of data to better target for improvement, the Health Care Home is beginning to show strong positive results.

"This includes an increase in capacity with the same staffing levels and a decrease in unplanned care through Emergency Department presentations in an environment of increasing use.

"The conference was an invaluable opportunity to see where we stood in relation to primary care elsewhere in the world, and it's heartening to see that our model holds up well and in many cases is ahead of the curve of many other health systems," said Macaskill-Smith.

For more information about the Pinnacle and the Health Care Home, visit

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