Generating requirements for a future interactive smart patient tracking system for the Western Australia Country Health Service (WACHS)
The Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS) section of the Western Australia Country Health Service (WACHS), sought to develop an interactive smart patient tracking system to improve the efficiency and safety of patient transport throughout Western Australia. Currently there is no single organisation in WA with overview or responsibility for patient transfers, and the current system takes clinicians away from the bedside. Rapidly changing technology has created new opportunities to drastically improve patient transport coordination, particularly in country WA where vast distances create unique challenges. The purpose of this requirements generation project was to clearly identify all stakeholder factors that the system will be required to deliver for in the future.
The project partners were the Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS) section of the Western Australia Country Health Service (WACHS) and NGIS.
The vision for the Acute Patient Transport System is to streamline and make transparent the coordination of patient transport within regional locations and between regional locations to city or major regional hospitals. To determine the requirements of such a system a consultative workshop-based process was undertaken to explore and articulate business and functional requirements, develop a solution concept of the system, and a plan for its implementation. The project also built a demonstrator of the future system so that stakeholders could interact with it to get a feel for what a fully developed system would look like. The recommended implementation plan, based on WACHS requirements, was structured into two delivery streams:
- Innovation Stream – undertaking rapid prototyping of real time tracking options to imbed tracking capability into the core system
- Core Systems Stream – staged and controlled delivery of the system, including a pilot and minimum viable product
The outcomes of this project will ensure that any future project to develop the system can do so with complete understanding and validation of the requirements as a build proceeds. Documentation of stakeholder requirements will ensure consideration is made of IT interoperability, future support needs, and reporting required with other systems prior to launching into any solution. Development of the demonstrator enabled users to provide feedback on its functionality and usability, reducing risks for future development of a full-scale system.
Some benefits of the future system are that it will pinpoint patients in real time, managing all active requests and provide multi-faceted decision support and predictive analytics enabling clinicians to save time and improve overall patient care across regional WA. It will be highly visual, providing WACHS stakeholders with a common operating picture, using a map to help plan activities and to direct transport operations.
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