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”The efficiency gains are numerous, a key example being the ‘Monthly Project Report’. This was originally a very manual process, it required all 112 staff to stop work for half a day a month to collate the information. The information was used for reporting and planning, but there was no easy way of linking it back to previous months or using the data to look at trends. With the development of an ‘information layer’ the process is now automated, and clinicians now spend this time treating patients”.
Pegasus Health: Smarter data to deliver better patient outcomes
Gary Allen, Knowledge Manager at Pegasus Health, is charged with optimising use of systems and data to enable a data driven culture at one of the largest primary health organisations in New Zealand.
Pegasus is a highly complex organisation offering diverse services, from 24-hour surgery to mental health services. Its numbers are staggering: Providing support to more than 100 independent general practices, including approximately 300 general practitioners, and 400 practice nurses to deliver care to more than 400,000 enrolled patients.
To help such people undertaking vital work operate better, Pegasus realised in 2011 they needed reliable data from every possible source which would lead to shared information, knowledge and eventually wisdom.
That led them to Montage, Christchurch-based Business Intelligence (BI) specialists. Gary doesn’t hold back when he talks about Montage:
“Montage are great. They understand the industry... They understand us. We see them as an extension to the team.
They [Montage] brought high-end capability to find solutions and provided technical leadership to achieve numerous goals.”
In Pegasus’ data warehouse environment, for example, data from multiple sources has been developed around patients and care received, for general practice teams to act on.
The adoption and support of a new patient management system, therefore, presents a challenge. Using a system operated by most as a key data source, each practice chooses which management systems they operate while Pegasus wants to continue to collect information about its enrolled population. Data extracted from multiple general practice Patient Management Systems will go into data warehouse architecture that will collect, standardise, and normalise data across the general practice systems which may have varying data standards.
A very deliberate and structured approach will give Pegasus Health the flexibility to respond to future systems without significant rebuilding. The longer-term relationship means Montage understands the complexity of Pegasus Health data.
“They listen, which is bloody good. Montage has got that really healthy balance between offering you what you probably need but not actually pressure-selling. They recognise your position and respect it.”
“I certainly see them as a partner, rather than just a vendor. It’s been a very bottom-up relationship, and about the longer game.”
Lead by Duncan Turner, Montage Practice Lead for BI & PMO, the Montage relationship gives comfort.
“Whenever I go ‘Oh, *#$@,’ and give Duncan a yell, he’s got some pragmatic advice and thoughts on paths forward.”
Montage also helps Pegasus’ own team development, now at three BI developers, at various career stages but still needing guidance at a level that Pegasus couldn’t afford permanently.
“They’ve been excellent both in terms of identifying the gaps and tailoring what needs to happen to the individual skills,” Gary said.