Midlands Health Network improves care through managed IT service

Midlands Health Network is a not-for-profit primary health care innovator and development company owned by Pinnacle Incorporated, a network of general practitioners and health professionals operating in the North Island of NZ.

The Challenge

The company’s focus is on the design and delivery of sustainable, high value solutions for general practice teams that ultimately improve the health outcomes of New Zealanders.

Pinnacle Incorporated recognised the general practice network needed a more robust and stable IT environment. New IT tools and systems were putting increasing demand on general practice infrastructure, and practice staff were spending too much of their valuable time keeping their IT and patient management systems up-to-date, secure and in a healthy operational state.

The doctors wanted reliable and secure business systems that allowed them to spend more time with patients and to readily adopt new technology solutions that will enable them to deliver improved patient outcomes.

The Solution

As a result, Pinnacle introduced xcrania™ to provide a fully managed service that for the first time in NZ sets a minimum standard at which General Practice IT should be operating. xcrania™ aims to provide a specialist package in response to the minimum standards shifting general practice owners away from the current piecemeal buying and operating of practice  systems. 

On behalf of Pinnacle, Midlands Health Network worked with Datacom to develop xcrania™. The service delivers a total practice solution for the patient management and supporting systems from a cloud service, hosted in Datacom’s Orbit datacentre.

Datacom was prepared to share in the risk around the initial start up of the service in a true long-term partnering relationship, establishing a risk/reward model that has both MHN and Datacom focused on getting the right business outcomes. This partnering view, combined with our team’s national field services capability and established cloud platform provided a proven and trusted platform for MHN’s initiative.

The initiative had a high cost associated with the initial stand up of the service, and a significant period of time before a sufficient number of GPs were using the service to make it commercially viable. Datacom and MHN worked collaboratively to put in place a commercial structure that both parties felt was fair while recognising the commitment both were bringing to the venture.

The service has been operational for nearly 18 months, and will have a total of 500 users by December 2013 and 1,000+ users by March 2014.

“Pinnacle (along with Midlands Health Network and Datacom) has invested a lot of resource into helping to establish xcrania™ for general practices and other primary health organisations. It’s a significant step forward in addressing the technology deficit that exists in the sector and enabling new models of care aimed at delivering sustainable and affordable health care. We believe this service will also provide the infrastructure and desktop capability that Midlands Health Network needs, and it makes sense for us to demonstrate our confidence in the solution by migrating to the service ourselves.”

John Crane - CIO, Midlands Health Network


Today, GPs have access to their patient management system and other office applications through a centrally managed IT service that provides a single point of contact for all their technology needs and issues.