Plunket takes baby steps into the cloud

The familiar New Zealand charity has the ultimate goal of a digital Plunket book, and more intelligent services for nurses and others working with clients.

fathers day baby dad
Getty Images/Aleksandar Nakic

If you were born in New Zealand, you likely have a Plunket book. Given to the parents of every newborn, it charts the first 1,000 days, and beyond, of a baby’s life. Turning these treasured books into a digital health record is on the roadmap for the Plunket charity’s IT team, which is transforming its organisation’s online presence.

Whānau Āwihina Plunket chief technology and innovation officer Richard Ashworth says enabling a digital Plunket book is the “ultimate goal” of the organisation’s deliberate journey into the cloud, which began with the migration of health records five years ago.

The digital Plunket book will hold all essential facts and stats about each baby as they grow, will be an online repository for immunisation records, and will enable parents to record each milestone — the first crawl, walk, and inevitable tumble.

“It will be super helpful to other health providers down the track. You never know what is going to be useful in a certain situation,” Ashworth says. “Being able to provide this data to parents so when they go into some other consultation, they will be well informed and they won’t have to remember ‘Did they check the teeth of my child at three years old?’”

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