This year's finalists in the healthcare category of iTnews' annual Benchmark Awards demonstrate just how pervasive technology has become to the sector, from the hospital to the pathology lab and right through to buying insurance.
The diversity of entrants shows that no aspect of the industry can claim to be untouched.
All three shortlisted for this year's award have shown a commitment to making Australia's health system more efficient and easier to navigate as our population gets older and more reliant on clinicians and hospitals.
Please join us in congratulating:
Peter O'Halloran - National Blood Authority
Since being crowned Healthcare CIO of the year in 2015, Peter O’Halloran has been busy working on a mammoth effort to link up all of Australia’s hospital pathology labs with the National Blood Authority’s central database to create a single, real-time view of the nation’s critical blood stores.
His team has now completed what it claims is a world first: a proof of concept proving the viability of linking hospital-based lab systems into the NBA’s central BloodNet database, using real-time APIs.
Already, 170 hospital laboratories have been linked up to BloodNet successfully, meaning the authority now has unprecedented visibility of stock levels and the status of perishable blood products across close to a quarter of the national blood supply, and is onboarding new labs at pace.
Ultimately, O’Halloran and the team want to minimise wastage of critical and expensive blood products, which is currently estimated to cost the country $30 million a year.
The new system will also give the health system much greater resilience to respond to disasters and other crises, like the 2008 blood shortage that put elective surgery on hold in Australia for a week.
Judith Day - Cabrini Health
Mobile clinicals and electronic medication management
Nearly all Australian health organisations are somewhere on the journey towards electronic patient management. Cabrini Health in Victoria, however, is pushing ahead of the pack.
Cabrini has been digitising patient records for a number of years and under Day has added electronic medication management and a mobile interface for clinical staff that gives doctors web-based access to patient records wherever and whenever they need it.
The Cabrini team’s vision has been to go beyond electronic health records to fully web-accessible health records that can be securely accessed from a mobile device. The system has made checking up on patients as easy as possible, cutting down on the time doctors spend on the phone or in the car. It is reporting high rates of voluntary take-up of the mobile solution via an organic, incentive-based rollout.
Additionally, Cabrini believes its rate of missed medications have been cut down to zero thanks to the new associated eMM system, and it is expecting significant savings from its pharmacy operations.
Tahir Tanveer - Australian Unity
Omni-channel sales strategy
Australian Unity has seen its customer engagement transform as the result of an end-to-end platform overhaul under which it replaced its 20-year-old bespoke CRM systems with a responsive suite of solutions and an online sales portal.
The new platform means a customer who calls in to ask about a policy can pick up where they left off at any time, switching between online or over the phone.
The health insurer has automated a customer needs analysis, taking contact centre staff through the best options for each caller so they can focus on providing consistent advice and an empathetic ear to new and returning customers.
The new system is already registering significant business dividends and Tanveer says contact centre staff report it as being “as easy as using Facebook”.
Voting will now commence for members of the iTnews LinkedIn CIO Group. If you're a CIO but not a member, head on over and request to join today.
Winners will be announced at the 8th CIO Strategy Summit on February 17 at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.