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Clinicians' Challenge
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Entries now open for the 2016 Clinicians' Challenge

The Clinicians’ Challenge is a joint initiative from the Ministry of Health and Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ). We are looking for innovative ideas using information and technology to improve health care. The challenge is funded by the Ministry of Health and supported by HiNZ.


Now’s your chance to share your ideas for solutions that are effective and can really make a difference to patients and clinicians. You might have an idea or have developed a mobile app that captures information directly from patients, a smart system with better use of available information, or a clinical decision support tool. Extra marks will be awarded if your solution uses SNOMED CT.



There are prizes for two winners and two finalists. Each winner receives a $8,000 grant, and the other two finalists receive $2,000. The grants help the winners carry out further work on their proposals. All four finalists will receive free registration to the HiNZ Conference.


Entry categories

The challenge has two categories:

  • New idea – for a digital system or application that uses information to improve patient care, improve workflows, brings efficiencies, or supports better integrated care
  • Active project/development – for an innovative system or application you are developing, or have already developed, that improves the way you work, supports better patient care, and delivers efficiencies and better integrated health services.


Judging criteria

The judges are appointed by the Ministry of Health and represent a mix of perspectives: clinicians, government and industry. The judges will consider the following criteria when scoring entries:

  1. Is the case aligned with the themes in the New Zealand Health Strategy?
  2. Does the case promote clinical integration, information sharing and using data to support clinical decision making?
  3. Is the case solving a local or wider issue? Can it be replicated regionally or nationally?
  4. If the case were ‘solved’, what benefits would the solution deliver? 
  5. Does the case use SNOMED clinical terminology, or could it?

Up to five points are awarded for each criteria for a total score out of 25 points. The judging panel then review and discuss the top scored entries to decide on four finalists, two in each category.


Entry and finalist requirements

Your text entry should be a maximum of 1100 words, which includes a short 100 word executive summary. In addition to this, you are able to upload a supporting document so that you can include illustrations, charts or graphs in your entry but this should be kept brief, as the judges aren't obligated to read long screeds of supporting data.


The deadline for receipt is midnight 12 September 2016 (there will be no extensions). The four selected finalists will be required to give a 5-minute presentation to the judges during the HINZ Conference at SKYCITY Auckland, on Tuesday 1 November 2016.  


The two winners and the two runners up will be announced and presented with certificates at the HINZ Awards Dinner on Wednesday 2 November. The winner in each category will receive a grant of $8000. The runner up in each category will receive a grant of $2000. All four finalists will receive free registration to the HiNZ Conference.


The winning clinicians will be expected to undertake their proposed development, field trip or study by 30 September 2017, and are expected to present the findings at the next HINZ Conference in 2017. 


Entries close Monday 12 September 2016

To enter click here


Q. Can non-clinicians enter?

A. Yes, but there needs to have been a clinician involved within the project team. Non-clinicians can be part of the project and the entry documentation, but it needs to be a clinician (nurse, doctor, allied health) who can collect the prize on behalf of the team.


Got another question? Email us.


Past Winners

2015: Dr James McKelvie, Senior Registrar, Waikato DHB, won the new ideas category for his electronic referral, risk assessment and real-time audit of cataract surgery initiative. Dr Hong Sheng Chiong, Ophthalmology Registrar, Gisborne Hospital, won the active project/development category for his oDocs Eye Care initiative which uses mobile technology to increase access to ophthalmic care. The two runners-up were Dr Lance O’Sullivan, a GP in Kaitaia and 2014 New Zealander of the Year, who presented vMOKO, an initiative that uses mobile technology to remotely diagnose and treat skin conditions in schools in the Far North; and Rob Ticehurst, Principal Pharmacist, Auckland DHB, who proposed a joined up system to manage patient risks associated with medication allergies.


2014: Nelson Marlborough District Health Board (DHB) emergency physician Dr Tom Morton won $10,000 for his work developing Emergency Department at a Glance, an information system that displays data to manage patients’ journey through an emergency department. The finalists were: Dr Allister Williams, a consultant physician and nephrologist from Taranaki DHB and Dr John Garrett. Dr Williams proposed MyKidneys, a web-based smartphone app to give people with chronic kidney disease the advice and support they need to participate in their own care. Dr John Garrett proposed a tool to electronically record information on clinical consultations about sick children or newborn babies.


2013: Dr Aniva Lawrence and Dr Kyle Eggleton won with a proposal for an online health survey for young people which could then be put into an electronic record and used to provide targeted health services. See the 2013 winners’ announcement.


2012: Opotiki GP Dr Jo Scott-Jones won the award for looking at how improvements could be made to standing orders to allow nurses to have a greater role in patient care, such as administering routine medicines.


2011: Dr Janet Liang, an intensive care specialist from North Shore Hospital, won with a proposal for a language interpreter system to improve communication with patients, particularly in emergency situations when there wasn’t time to organise interpreters. Dr Liang's app is now available commercially.


2010: A MidCentral District Health Board colorectal cancer care nursing service won the award with a proposal to ensure a seamless and timely interface between hospital and community-based continued care and social support systems.


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