Dialog Health


Dialog’s Experience in the Health industry

Dialog is committed to supporting the national E-Health agenda. The following projects reflect Dialog’s experience in the E-Health priority areas.
Queensland Health wanted to improve its ability to share information with General Practitioners (GPs) and to support enhanced health outcomes for persons treated in the healthcare system.

It selected Dialog IT to create a secure online portal to provide General Practitioners with patient healthcare information from Queensland public hospitals.

There was a wealth of information available through an existing application called The Viewer, which is a mature and well accepted system used by Queensland Health clinicians and staff.

Dialog built upon this platform using the Microsoft .Net framework, SQL Server and other secure internet technologies.

The data available includes:
  • Pathology
  • Radiology reports
  • Discharge summary information
The new Health Provider Portal went live in June 2017.
The Queensland Health Electronic Medical Record (ieMR) Program provides a patient-centric focus to healthcare delivery across a networked model of care.

Each hospital created their own programs with site project teams to deliver aspects of the overall ieMR program. An example is the Cairns Digital Hospital Program.

Dialog project managed the Radiology Information System PACS implementation for the Cairns & Hinterland Hospital & Health Services (CHHHS) as part of ieMR.

It enabled Medical Imaging to maintain their current PACS driven workflow, as well as a number of Cairns specific enhancements, that are highly valued by the CHHHS Medical Imaging department.

Dialog developed the site Project Management Plan and project schedule and managed the project on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Project Director and Project Board. This involved complex implementations at the District and local site levels.

Dialog carefully managed the site project team and co-ordinated implementation and integration activities with Queensland Health’s Systems Integration team, the Service Integration Management team, Cerner and Central Data Networks.
Dialog worked with Ocean Informatics to create and successfully deploy the My eHeath Record (MeHR) system for Northern Territory Health and remote hospitals in South Australia and Western Australia.

My eHealth Record is a relatively low cost solution enabling hospitals to share important patient history clinical information instantly across large geographic areas directly from a single data repository. It allows a more complete picture of the patient’s medical journey to be accessed not only in the present time but also historically.

MeHR streamlines the patient’s journey through the health system. It eliminates the need for paper records to be mailed or faxed and for multiple telephone calls between health providers. It provides more timely access by clinicians to medical background of patients. Patients are also able to request a copy of their medical journey.

The development of MeHR involved extensive consultation and engagement with organisations across state and territory borders. This consultation applied best practice stakeholder engagement principles; the process was carefully planned and documented in a community engagement strategy prior to the engagement of other stakeholders’ project.

MeHR was implemented using the OceanEHR atomised repository. Over 4 million records were carefully migrated from a relational database structure to a generic structure storing XML documents. The system is used by over 60,000 patients and has received over 135,000 additional clinical documents each month. It is used to view over 35,000 clinical documents a month by more than 3,000 registered clinicians.

From the outset the functionality and scope of MeHR had a strong focus on targeting Aboriginal people, who have disproportionately higher levels of chronic disease, and the mix of consultation partners reflects this emphasis.

The solution won first prize in the Improvement in the Patient Journey category at the 2012 WA Health Awards.

Medicare Australia was engaged by the National e-Health Transition Authority (NeHTA) to design, develop, implement and manage, the capability to issue unique identifiers to individuals, practitioners and organisations within the health environment.

The unique identifier was critical to the establishment of a national electronic health record (EHR) capability. Dialog was engaged by Medicare Australia to provide Business Analysts who documented the two initial components comprising the Policy and Business Requirements based on NeHTA UHI Business Requirements.

Dialog was subsequently engaged to work with Medicare Australia to build the UHI solution.

Health Connect was a joint Commonwealth and State Government funded project aimed at improving the level of health services through improving information flow. Dialog was contracted to coordinate the NT Health Connect Trial for which the objective was to set-up protocols and infrastructure in the Katherine region to improve health outcomes by sharing medical information between health providers throughout this remote region.

This trial was one of several trials for a national Health Connect project. Part of Dialog’s service was the provision of the IT coordinator role, responsible for the following tasks:

    • Develop numerous requirement specifications in consultation with stakeholders and coordinate IT staff in the delivery of these documents

    • Participate in extensive liaison with various software vendors around Australia and New Zealand

    • Development and negotiation of contracts with companies involved in peripheral services

Reporting to the Trial Manager and the IT Director of DHFThe Dialog team also worked on the “Health Connect” Consumer Identification Exploratory Project, with responsibility to:

  • Research current unique client identification methods and standards for use at both the national and local (NT) level.

  • Investigate business requirements of non-government Northern Territory health organisations for unique client identification.

  • Develop a conceptual framework for the requirements of the NT health system in relation to unique client identification.

  • Develop and test a core minimum data set for uniquely identifying consumers within the health sector.

  • Identify and analyse issues relating to the use of the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) unique identifier as a national unique identifier.

The Northern Territory is collaborating with the Australian Government on the progressive implementation of eHealthNT initiatives across the Northern Territory. In partnership with the Australian Government and key stakeholders across the Northern Territory, eHealthNT undertook to;
  • Progressively implement the Shared Electronic Health Record (SEHR) across the Northern Territory.
  • Engage and maximise the registration of NT residents receiving health services from participating health care providers.
  • Expand the Shared Electronic Health Record coverage to include Nganampa Aboriginal Medical Service and remote Indigenous communities in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Homelands of Northern SA.
  • Undertake a feasibility study to assess the inclusion of Aboriginal Medical Services in the East Kimberley region of WA.
  • Implement the Shared Electronic Health Record into 3 major urban GP practices in Darwin.
Following on from the initial implementation of version 1 of the HealthConnect repository (central data store of shared eHealth records for 5 or 6 participating medical systems around the NT), eHealthNT then implemented version 2 (built from scratch), referred to as the SEHR Repository to meet the revised federal eHealth requirements.

Dialog was responsible for the analysis, design, development and on going support of both versions of the repository, which now supports some 35+ medical sites around the NT and is a key support tool for the Federal intervention into remote communities in the NT.

The Department of Health and Families awarded Dialog a Project Excellence award for the implementation of the SEHR Repository which was implemented in November 2007.
The Northern Territory Department of Health and Families were building a Commonwealth funded GP Super Clinic in Palmerston and required an IT plan detailing the hardware, software and networking that would be provided.

The super clinic provides 24 hour medical and allied health services and is equipped with facilities to support training and education. Dialog developed a costed plan for the provision of systems to support the operation of the super clinic, including the requirements for shared electronic health records and secure messaging, telecommunications, video conferencing and consultation rooms equipped with closed-circuit television for observational learning.
The Department of Health and Ageing (DHA) e-Health agenda includes a substantial investment in:

  • The national HealthConnect initiative conducted jointly with state and territory governments.

  • The Broadband for Health Program, including the Managed Health Network Grants Program, with activities in collaboration with DCITA.

  • The HealthInsite information portal.

  • National e-Health interoperability standards development by the National e-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) in conjunction with state and territory governments.

  • Other Departmental programs related to e-Health initiatives, including the Practice Incentives Program and Community Pharmacy Arrangements.
Managed Health Network Grants support eligible health care organisations wishing to establish advanced broadband services with the capacity to support secure electronic messaging and seek to further stimulate and drive e-Health activity nationwide. The funding available through these grants will be used to provide network support for the health care providers to improve connectivity and access to information and digital applications.

The DHA e-Health Branch had a requirement for Information Technology advice and services to assist it with the formulation and delivery of its e-Health initiatives. DHA contracted Dialog to review and assess the technical and business reports provided by recipients of Managed Health Network Development and Application Service Provider Grants. The reports submitted included:

  • System Specifications,

  • Bill of Materials,

  • Implementation Plan,

  • Support Plan,

  • Test Plan,

  • Marketing and Sustainability Plan,

  • Evaluation Plan,

  • Other reports/plans as indicated on individual Application Service Provider and Development Grant funding agreements.

  • Final Report

In advance of funding being provided, Dialog prepared and submitted reports and documentation to DHA providing technical and business analysis advice which facilitated consideration of submissions made by the organisations. Subsequently, Dialog undertook an audit of the completed projects to ensure they met documented objectives.
Dialog delivered a clinical portal to Calvary Health Care ACT which complies with the new Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) Discharge Summary process.

Calvary Health Care ACT is a major provider of health services in the ACT and is part of the Little Company of Mary that owns a number of private and public hospitals and aged care facilities around Australia.

The PCEHR is an Australian Government initiative to provide every Australian with an online summary of key health related information. Health Care Professionals can contribute to an individual’s PCEHR based on owner consent.

Dialog provided Calvary Hospital with project management, project support, business analysis and change management activities. Dialog worked in partnership with Orion Health and ACT Health to replace Calvary Hospital’s ageing Discharge Summary system. Dialog’s team:
  • Gathered the Clinical Portal requirements from each clinical unit.

  • Tested the configuration

  • Managed the integration and deployment of the new clinical portal compliant with the PCEHR Discharge Summary data
Underlying these massive changes to the clinical environment was a customised people change management program created to ease deployment and address adoption hurdles within Calvary Health Care. Dialog also provided key resources to drive consumer adoption of the PCEHR through events and other adoption strategies in ACT and New South Wales.

Calvary’s implementation met and exceeded all targets set by the Department of Health and Ageing, and the team were recognised for their outstanding performance and results.

Client Testimonials

“The Initial Planning Study project management team from Dialog was fantastic. Our project team members all agree that without the support from Dialog we may not have come in on time”  
Chris Scott Director eHealth NT Operations, Department of Health and Families, Northern Territory Government
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