Following Plunket’s announcement last week of plans to pilot an innovative new information system called PlunketPlus, there has been speculation around the demise of the ‘Plunket book’.
Plunket books were first produced by Plunket about 90 years ago. Since the 1980’s the books have been produced by the Ministry of Health and are now called Well Child/Tamariki Ora Health books.
Plunket has been advised that the Ministry of Health has no plans to phase out these books.
Plunket receives government funding to deliver Well Child services to 85 per cent of children. Many children are seen by other Well Child/Tamariki Ora providers. The Ministry of Health ensure that all families get the book, known to previous generations as a ‘Plunket book’.
Currently, the records of Plunket nurses are paper based. These are the records that are to become electronic, not the information which is recorded for parents to take away and keep in their Well Child/Tamariki Ora Health book. Plunket will continue to fill this book in with parents. It is a valuable resource and much treasured keepsake.
The PlunketPlus system aims to improve child health outcomes through access to in-depth, accurate and timely clinical information.
PlunketPlus will improve our frontline services by providing greater support to frontline staff. It will allow staff to capture and access information electronically in the field, freeing up their valuable time from administration and record taking and allowing them to focus even more on the children and families they are working with.
The first pilot of the system is not expected until about mid-2012. The next 12 months will be spent on further analysis, design and development of the system.