New Zealand Health IT elected three new board members at its Annual General Meeting on 23 November.
NZHIT is the industry body for the health IT sector and represents a range of members that includes health technology companies, healthcare providers, government agencies and supporting members including academia, clinicians, researchers and policy makers.
The successful new board members, selected from 12 nominees, are Ross Peat, Steve Vlok and Russell Craig.
Outgoing board chair Jodi Mitchell said at the meeting that she had never seen the organisation in such a strong position.
Membership has grown over the past three years from 69 to 133 and the diversity of types of organisations has also increased to include people from areas such as social services, health care providers and insurers.
NZHIT’s membership has also expanded to include banks and the Bank of New Zealand hosted the AGM and networking event following the meeting.
Mitchell said much of the recent growth and success of the network has been due to the hard work of chief executive Scott Arrol and membership and operations manager Talie Schmidt-Geen.
“Scott has pushed to have a true network,” she said.
“Not just us doing things for you, but us all participating and collaborating together and our position within the political landscape has increased.”
This year is the 15th anniversary of NZHIT and Arrol told the AGM that its members now represent 100% of New Zealand’s health-related data.
The organisation has ended 2017 in a strong financial position and is looking to add even more value to members in 2018. The network will focus on developing its Vision for Interoperability and work on ‘key position statements’ to present to government.
“Our members have really engaged and that’s what has turned this network into what we enjoy today,” Arrol said.
BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander spoke at the networking event following the AGM about how he sees the economy tracking over the next few years.
He advised members not to listen to overseas commentary about what is happening in New Zealand following the election of a new government, as foreigners “don’t have the foggiest” about how the country operates.
Alexander said the level of dependence on overseas loans to fund credit in New Zealand is too high at around 31% and that presents a risk as if there is a shock to the international market, those loans could be called in.
He advised companies, including health IT companies represented at the event, to “take money where you can find it”, which in many cases is from overseas investors looking to connect “cross-breed” technologies from around the world.