The Health Innovation Exchange

Shared Maternity Record of Care - A NZ Health IT Board Project

Maternity Care for women in NZ is largely community based for pregnancy and postnatal care, with a short period of time in Secondary/Tertiary settings around the time of labour and birth.

The Maternity Record has traditionally been paper based, but with advances in IT, more midwives are using an Electronic Practice Management System which include electronic records. 

These records however are the midwives own records, and are different from the DHB Clinical Records used during the labour and birth, and the midwife has to duplicate records for both her own and the DHB system.

Each DHB also has a different system of maternity records, and it is not uncommon for women needing to transfer between DHBs when complications in pregnancy and labour occur.

There is a need to be able to transfer information electronically between maternity providers in the community and DHBs, and also to GPs and Well Child providers, and a Standardised Electronic Maternity Information System would enable this to happen.

The NZ Health IT Board has developed a project - the Shared Maternity Record of Care - which is being trialled at 2 DHBs this year (2012), will eventually rolled out nationally, and finally be incorporated in to a National Personal Healthcare Record at some stage in the future.

Clinicians (GPs, midwives, DHBs) will be able to access the Record through a Clinical portal,women would be able to access their own records through a personal health portal.

There would be links to clinical data, such as scan and lab results, best practice information, Consultation and referral guidelines, Maternity Standards, and prompts for key information sharing requirements.

Links for women could also be included - key website, general and specific pregnancy related information.

I see this as a vital and much needed improvement in Maternity care for women in NZ and for those involved in providing that care.


Views: 143

Comment by Tinna Ko on April 26, 2012 at 23:29

Shared Maternity Record of care is another example of collaborative care approach for caring maternity patients by health professionals at different level. eg. primary and secondary.


Records sharing not only save time by avoiding duplication in record keeping but also reduce the potential of communication errors amongst clinicians. There is good evidence that patients who are able to acccess their own records are more responsible of their own health and are likely to have better health outcomes.


It would be interesting to see what systems are out there for sharing maternity records, and the positive outcomes that the new shared care model may bring.

Comment by Sharon Dooley on April 27, 2012 at 23:40

The shared maternity record is an example of an EHR in the maternity setting.  Here is my abstract for the assignment i am working on.

Electronic Health Records in New Zealand Maternity Care


The Electronic Health Record is ideally suited to Maternity Care.  Although the concept and variations of Electronic Maternity Records have been around for many years, it has not up until now had the ‘transformative change’ that was expected.  However, this ‘transformative change’ is now on the verge of happening, and in our own New Zealand maternity environment.

A national Electronic Maternity Record will soon become a reality in New Zealand, revolutionising the care we currently give, the way we communicate, share information, an enable clients access and control over their own health and health information.

This paper explores the Electronic Health Record and its benefits for maternity care in New Zealand, examines why paper records are still the most common type of Maternity Care Record, what are the features of a successful EMR, and where New Zealand is currently in the development of a national Electronic Maternity Record.

Comment by Mark Barrios on April 28, 2012 at 0:41

Would be good if the Ministry invests (not only in maternity care) on national web-based electronic health records of every New Zealander which can be accessed by the clinician/specialist who is looking after the patient (health record follows the patient and so does funding!). It will be like a national concerto which records patient history and demographics with diagnostic test reports. In terms of confidentiality, the web administrator only allows current care provider of the patient to access the record/information. It can also be an NHI manager where hospitals and health care providers can request the number (will help avoid duplication and mistaken identity issues).

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