Enduring Strategy 6 – Invest in digital healthcare and use data wisely

Investing in digital healthcare will provide patients and healthcare workers with effective and efficient processes and real-time access to information for those who need it.

View recommendations 21 to 22

10-year plan to implement digital technologies

Investing in a phased 10-year digitisation of the WA health system has been prioritised to provide people with greater health information, to enable access to innovative, safe and efficient services; and to improve, promote and protect the health of Western Australians.

Priorities for 2023

  • Delivery of WA Health Digital Blueprint
  • Phased roll-out of Digitised Medical Records (DMR) in identified hospital sites
  • Completion of state-wide Community Care Request for Information (part of Electronic Medical Record Program)
  • Phased roll-out of Single sign-on functionality
  • Complete the business case to establish a 24-hour State Health Operations Centre
  • Phased rollout of the Medical Imaging Replacement Program (MIRP)
Investing in analytical capability and real-time reporting

Building systems and supporting all clinicians and policy makers to have better access to the right information in a useable, real-time format will significantly enhance the capacity to evaluate policies, programs and health interventions. It will also assist in targeted planning and effective policy and clinical decision making.

Priorities for 2023

  • Implement and embed enacted Privacy and data legislation
  • Development of a 10-year data strategy for WA Health
  • Policy frameworks for consent for use of data
  • Enhance infrastructure to improve the availability of data across the WA health system
  • Targeted investment in data, analytics and reporting capability
  • Enhanced data sharing access to data linkage and analytics capability to enable research, whole of government planning and social investments
Enduring Strategy 6 achievements

Targeted investment and enhance data infrastructure

  • More than 1,000 clinical and corporate applications have been migrated to the new cloud environment. This work, led by Health Support Services was part of HealthNext program to support the WA Health Digital Strategy transformation. HealthNext enabled a more agile, cost-effective and needs driven digital health care service across WA while supporting the WA Government’s ICT infrastructure modernisation and ‘future proofing’ goals.
  • The Medical Imaging Replacement Program (MIRP) team successfully went live in March 2023 with the new Enterprise Medical Imaging Platform (EMIP) at Rockingham and Murray District Hospitals, and in April 2023 at Fremantle and Fiona Stanley Hospitals. The EMIP provides a suite of integrated applications that improve digital diagnostic imaging for clinicians and medical staff. Nine major public hospitals within the WA Health System will be progressively transitioned to the new EMIP, which is scheduled for completion in October 2023.
  • Since February 2023, more than 20 health sites across metropolitan and regional WA have successfully switched from paper to digital medical records. A Digital Medical Record (DMR) enables clinicians to have real-time access to a digital medical record for each patient regardless of the public health site the patient visits, enabling them to work more efficiently and effectively.  In the coming months, more health care sites will begin using the DMR, including some regional sites and King Edward Memorial Hospital.
  • HRplus, WA Health’s new Human Resources Management System has moved into the implementation and delivery phase, with design, building and testing work underway.
  • The Department of Health has provided linked data to help achieve the first major milestone of the State Government’s PeopleWA program. The program’s platform is expected to go live for government and external researchers in August 2023. The department will start quarterly data and linkage refreshes in 2024. The PeopleWA program will consolidate linked data into a single repository and provide one clear pathway for accessing all linked government data.

Enhanced data sharing access to enable research

The Data Library is co-ordinating a large, progressive data and analytics community within the WA health system which includes establishing a data and analytics centre-of-excellence to connect users and build skills. It is also developing an Analytics Portal, a central platform where staff can access products, events and information.

The Department of Health is working with partners across Government and research sectors in evaluating scalable, secure and privacy-preserving methods for sharing data sets to approved researchers and external organisations. The E-Research Institutional Cloud Architecture ‘ERICA’, developed by the University of New South Wales, is being tested with a view to being implemented (where appropriate) in 2023–24.

Targeted investment in data, analytics and reporting

More than 700 WA health system staff have already accessed a suite of training materials that develop fundamental knowledge about data capture, transformation and visualisation. Available through the learning management system (LMS), the suite includes:

  • REDCap: Foundations
  • Power BI: Up and running
  • Power BI: Intermediate – Data Preparation (available soon)

With the rapid adoption of self-serve data and analytic tools across the WA health system, the Data Library has created governance tools to guide staff developing their own products. These tools include:

  • Power BI Governance document (revision 3)
  • REDCap Governance document (revision 1)
  • REDCap Project readiness tool
  • Data and analytics product development best practice guides for REDCap and Power BI
The State Health Operations Centre is testing the new Snapshot Dashboard to improve patient flow across WA public hospitals.

Enhanced data sharing

Improvements in data sharing and reporting is supporting access to information across the WA health system, between agencies and the public. Without compromising data security, this includes:

  • developing a COVID-19 Power BI dashboard
  • developing a Power BI Auditing System to better inform capacity usage across the system and identify opportunities to upskill staff
  • facilitating the sharing of resources/information/projects between the North and South Metropolitan Health Services to reduce duplication of work for a range of initiatives
  • The Laboratory Information System (LIS), which delivers benefits for all WA public hospitals and facilities that are served by PathWest, is now live.
    • LIS integrates all areas of diagnostic testing, providing more accurate specimen tracking and quicker turnarounds of diagnostic results.
    • LIS promotes a seamless pathology data connection across the State which will deliver improved health care outcomes for patients.

Policy frameworks

Information Management Maturity Assessments, a requirement of Information Management Policy Framework, are identifying opportunities to improve information management across the WA health system.

Last reviewed: 03-07-2023