Hāwera Hospital leads search for eMedicine system for Te Manawa Taki region

3 March 2021

Hāwera Hospital may be small but it is taking giant steps in the search for an electronic medicines prescribing and administration (eMedicine) system for Te Manawa Taki (TMT, formerly Midland) region district health boards.

Over the next six months Taranaki’s rural hospital will be piloting OPENeP, a secure eMedicine system currently used in the UK and parts of Europe, which provides a clear overview of patients’ medication records in a single, shared location.

Steven Parrish, Taranaki District Health Board (Taranaki DHB) chief information officer and the pilot’s governance group chair says, “This project is ground breaking in that not only is it the first regionally-led e-medicine trial in New Zealand, but it will also be the first instance of OPENeP in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Of all TMT hospitals, Hāwera was the logical location for the pilot due to its size and experience with eMedicine.”

While Taranaki DHB has completed partial eMedicine system implementation, other TMT region DHBs have remained on paper-based medication management processes and are looking to make the move to an electronic system.

Mr Parrish says, “Over the last 40 years the range of medicines available in New Zealand has expanded markedly, the effectiveness of medicines to treat disease has improved and medication regimens have become increasingly complex, so eMedicine systems like OPENeP are a key enabler in improving quality care and clinical outcomes.

“Empowering clinicians with this technology reduces clinical risk, provides consistency in practice and more collaborative and coordinated approach to patient care between healthcare providers throughout the health system, supporting the delivery of quality, patient-centred care,” he added.

Kate Quirke, managing director of Alcidion (OPENeP supplier) commented, “We are excited to extend our partnership with New Zealand DHBs to the implementation of electronic medication management at Te Manawa Taki.  We believe the OPENeP solution will deliver measurable benefits to DHBs and look forward to extending these across the region, on successful completion of the pilot.”

OPENeP will go live at Hāwera Hospital in June 2021 and if successful will form the basis of a regional rollout throughout TMT DHBs.

The pilot project is supported by the Ministry of Health and will be used as a ‘proof-of-concept’ study on integration of discharge medication into community-based patient management systems like those used in pharmacies and primary care.


OPENeP is a comprehensive electronic prescribing and medication management system supplied by Alcidion NZ Ltd. It is constantly improved in collaboration with pharmacists, doctors, and nurses.

It was selected for the pilot from a range of international providers following a thorough procurement process.

The system is designed as a stand-alone solution, with easy integration options to connect to the existing electronic health record system, and medication-related decision support systems. Provisions include:

  • Medication reconciliation
  • Inpatient and outpatient prescribing
  • Pharmacist review
  • Medication administration
  • Comprehensive discharge


Last updated: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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