NSW Health Rethinks Systems Approach with Vaccine Platform – Strategy

NSW Health had to rethink its approach to system development and deployment when deploying the ServiceNow-based immunization management platform, which is now used to manage delivery of over 1.7 million doses. vaccine.

IT director Zoran Bolevich told ServiceNow’s Now @ Work event that the relatively new platform highlighted the importance of “CX, usability and agility” for an agency that is not used to systems intended for to consumers.

NSW Health has been rolling out the system since June 2020 to replace CoVax, an in-house solution that was developed over 21 business days in early 2021 with help from Microsoft, DGL and Whispir.

CoVax, which went live in February in Sydney’s South West Local Health District, was intended to support the immunization of around 150,000 frontline health workers, as well as people with chronic illnesses.

But as the system did a “pretty good job” with this limited scope of work for a few months, Bolevich said it had become clear that CoVax would need to take on more work.

“It became very clear that NSW Health was going to play a much larger role in the national immunization program, and that the reach [would need] to encompass the entire population of NSW, ”he said.

“So to cope with this increased scale, we then had to consider implementing a new platform, which was going to be adapted to this task. “

At the same time, with eligibility criteria continuing to change based on vaccine supply, Bolevich said there was a need for the platform to be “not only scalable but also very configurable and flexible”.

The Vaccine Delivery Management (VAM) platform that NSW Health ended up with is an end-to-end system much like what Victoria introduced with its Microsoft-based platform.

“It’s not just a reservation system, as important as those reservations are, but it’s actually an end-to-end vaccine delivery management solution,” Bolevich said.

He said it has a clinical management component, a clinical module for actual vaccine administration and functionality to report doses administered to the Australian Vaccination Registry.

The platform has facilitated nearly 1.7 million appointments and 1.2 million doses to date.

VAM operational in 10 days

Bolevich said that eHealth NSW’s existing knowledge and understanding of ServiceNow’s platform gave him the “confidence” to view EAM as the state’s immunization management solution.

“We already have a really fantastic platform team in eHealth NSW who have been able to partner with a very knowledgeable team from ServiceNow,” he said.

“They brought to the project their technological expertise as well as their development skills and their understanding of the best way to implement them in our environment.

Bolevich also said that by working together, the eHealth NSW and ServiceNow teams were able to “be super agile” and deploy the system to the first clinic in just 10 business days in June.

“It’s a fantastic time for the delivery, which then continued with daily releases of VAM, so the team is constantly improving. [and] change the product at an incredibly fast location, ”he said.

Along with the updates, ‘complex data migration’ also occurred, with teams working with vaccination centers managed by NSW Health to gradually migrate existing bookings to VAM.

User training and ensuring that “flows are optimal in all of these clinics” – some of which only do a few hundred vaccinations per day, while others do up to 20,000 – have also been underway. , did he declare.

CX learning curve

Bolevich said VAM has been a “big learning curve” for NSW Health because “systems for consumers or the general public … are a very different proposition from those systems that we have traditionally developed and deployed.”

“Most of our previous experience has been designing and deploying very good clinical systems or business systems that are primarily used by clinicians and other employees… within our organization, thereby digitizing the interior of [NSW] Health, ”he said.

“Now, with a system like VAM, the primary users of the system are, in fact, the general public, so we’re talking about the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who interact with these systems on a daily basis.

“And that requires a very different approach, a very different way of thinking and a very different way of developing and deploying systems.

“So, outside the scale, what is obvious is the customer experience, the user-friendliness and the agility that become really critical in order to be able to constantly improve, improve [and] listen to customer feedback.

Further away

ServiceNow is also used for a number of other consumer programs, such as collecting patient experience and care outcome metrics as part of the NSW Health Patient-Reported Metrics program.

“We use structured survey instruments to capture this information and we use the Now platform as a workflow engine,” Bolevich said, adding that the data is then used to adjust treatment plans.

The Now platform is also used in the area of ​​specialist outpatient services to digitize the referral process.

“In Australia, patients will usually see their GP, who will then refer the patient to a specialist,” he said.

“These processes are still somewhat on paper, and we are trying to digitize them and turn these references into an electronic workflow and manage them in a safe, fast and more efficient manner.”

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