Name: Noel ToalTitle: Chief information officerCompany: DPV HealthCommenced role: August 2019Reporting line: CEOMember of the executive team: YesTechnology Function: 21 staff, 4 direct reports
Improving the maturity of its ICT operations over the past two years has helped DPV Health – a not-for-profit provider of health care services to expand its services. It also set the foundation for implementing key AI, data governance, data analysis, IoT, and automation initiatives.
“Our key focus has been on leveraging technology to support excellent care and improve accessibility of healthcare services, while also enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our internal operations,” says CIO Noel Toal.
One of the most significant recent initiatives was a time-critical implementation of a new system to support delivery of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and government-supported Home Care Package (HCP) services.
An audit report identified that existing systems did not support the introduction of these services with the use of unsuitable systems and spreadsheets creating inefficiencies.
“The executive identified that the current systems were inadequate for the implementation and growth of HCP services,” says Toal.
“The new system allowed sustainable delivery of uncapped HCP services for the first time. This expanded service delivery to more clients beyond the capped block funding, and will support planned government funding changes from block funding to fee for service.”To manage the increase in permanent and casual staff needed for the NDIS and HCP services the new platform was also integrated with a new human resource information system (HRIS). This replaced eight previous HR, payroll, online learning, and timesheet systems, simplifying operations and eliminating duplicate employee records.
“The HRIS and NDIS systems were integrated with our finance system, which was migrated from on-premise to a new cloud-based system,” says Toal.
“Additionally, we were able to streamline our recruitment, onboarding, training, and credentialing processes, making it easier to manage our growing workforce.”
Another major initiative for Toal and the technology team was co-designed and implementing the clinical-grade network (CGN) for the community health sector with Optus and the Department of Health (DH).
“The CGN improved network resilience, security, and speed across all 20 DPV Health sites, facilitating data sharing options with other health organisations and migration of servers and files to Azure Cloud and SharePoint,” says Toal.
“We implemented business continuity and disaster recovery measures, including auto-failover, automated testing, and data loss prevention controls to improve privacy and health data compliance.”
The Department of Health is now rolling out the clinical-grade network to all other community health organisations.
Toal and his team also developed and implemented a data strategy which has established a Microsoft data lake, powered by Synapse and other advanced tools, with pipelines to integrate data from various electronic health record systems.
The data lake functionality integrates DPV Health’s previously siloed client data and has laid the groundwork for bringing data into its new CRM system. It also integrates data from the new human resource information and finance systems for improved analytics and reporting, says Toal.
Integrated care planning
“This is the basis for future integrated care planning and improves client engagement; creating a comprehensive client record that consolidates information from multiple systems.”
Meanwhile, a recently implemented unified communications system and contact centre caters to a multilingual audience. The system provides skills-based routing and real-time queue management, and supports clients who speak a first language other than English.
“Our new unified communications and contact centre, with multilingual capabilities, embodies our value of inclusion, improving their access to services,” says Toal.
“By tracking the client phone journey and caller sentiment, we can identify areas for improvement, address caller complaints, and enhance the client experience. The new omnichannel capabilities and integration with our new CRM enable us to personalise the client experience, and broaden engagement across multiple channels.”
The team also developed a range of PowerBI dashboards including a team leader analytics dashboard, service supply and demand predictive tool, and dashboards for the NDIS and HCP services. The dashboards provide team leaders with real-time information which has enabled them to improve productivity and provide more appointments. Insights gained from the analytics has enabled targeted engagement which has reduced the number of appointments missed and cancelled, improving appointment attendance rates.
Louis van Wyk