Most prescriptions being entered or scanned into Dispensary have a patient NHI.  The MOH NHI database contains ethnicity and the ethnicity of patients is becoming more important to pharmacies who want or need to target services at patients in particular demographics.

Ethnicity on The Dispensary Patient record, MANUAL recording

When a patient is added to Dispensary, it is possible to manually set the patient to one of the following ethnicities: 

  • NZ European
  • Maori
  • European
  • Pacific Islander
  • Samoan
  • Cook Island Maori
  • Tongan
  • Niuean
  • Chinese
  • Indian

Most forms in use by Pharmacies historically, supplied this selection list of ethnicities along with an unspecified and other option. For this reason the list in Dispensary is limited to these choices.

The MOH NHI database allows for many more ethnicities which are structured so that more than one ethnicity can be recorded against an NHI. These are broadly allocated to 3 levels.


NHI lookup by NHI number: Automatic recording for Maori/Pacific Islanders

When an NHI lookup is performed by NHI number (not by name), dispensary will automatically set the ethnicity of the patients identified as Maori and/or Pacific Islander on the MOH database, provided the lookup screen is accepted (F12 NHI OK).  It is not necessary to set or save any other details from the NHI database.

Exiting the lookup using the ESC key will not update the ethnicity.

Quick Lookup from the Rx Entry screen

(to set Maori/Pacific Islander ethnicity)

  • F2 Edit Patient
  • F3 NHI/PSC lookup
  • 1 Search by NHI number
  • F8 Search using NHI shown
  • F12 NHI Ok
  • F12 Accept Details

Focus on Maori/Pacific islander patients

The new pharmacy agreement includes an Advanced Professional Advisory Service payment.  This is higher for pharmacies who have a large number of Maori and/or Pacific islander patients, especially if they also happen to have either a community services or high health user card.

Pharmacy may wish to focus pharmacy service on these patients to ensure their loyalty.


Finding/reviewing Maori/Pacific Islanders in the pharmacy database

The Dispensary software automatically records the ethnicity of patients when an NHI lookup (by NHI number) is used.

These ethnicities are set – as specified in the APAS service description.

  • New Zealand Maori (Ethnicity code 21)
  • Samoan (31), Cook Island Maori (32), Tongan (33), Niuean (34)
  • Other Pacific Islanders (code 3*)


Bulk edit patient reporting

A criterion to select Maori/Pacific Islander patients as defined above has been added to Bulk edit patient.  Setting the Maori/Pacific Islander tickbox (on page 2) will return all patients recorded with ethnicity codes beginning with 2 or 3.

Find active patients identified as Maori/Pacific islander by going to 

  • 9 Other
  • 2 Bulk edit patients
  • F3 Add
  • Set period to a date range for the Rx activity required – e.g 01/04/18 to 30/06/18
  • F11 next page.
  • Tick Maori/Pacific islander only
  • F11 next page, F11 next page, F12 Accept to display the relevant patients

Bulk edit options can be used at this point to help manage these patients:

  • F9 Contact clients to put these patients into a contact list for subsequent review
  • F5 Set Note, Append a note to the patients – eg. (M/PI – ask if they would like reminders, get mobile number etc.…) and maybe Set ‘Prompt note’
  • F4 Set Other, 2 Institution - Put them into an institution?  Shows up on the Rx screen when patient is selected. Also useful for filtering patients for repeats due reminders and for general reporting.

Note on NHI Validation

When an NHI has been validated it appears in black on Rx entry screen and in Edit patient the NHI is labelled as NHI(validated).

A validation requires the NHI to be set after the lookup.  (F4 Set NHI).

The ministry is keen for pharmacies to validate unvalidated patient NHI’s but there are no payments or audit issues associated with doing this, so it is entirely optional.