Enhancing medical care with the Microsoft Azure cloud

Working over huge geographical distances, rural Australian healthcare suppliers face a big problem in reaching their sufferers to ship the care that they require.

So as to fight this drawback, the Gippsland Well being Alliance (GHA), a consortium of all of the publicly funded well being providers within the Gippsland area of Australia, needed to discover a answer to enhance its digital medical file (EMR) system, which is an digital illustration of a person’s medical info. By doing so, it aimed to offer well timed info to well being professionals and directors wherever wanted, maximising the effectiveness of affected person care and optimising the usage of its restricted assets. 

“When clinicians have info on a affected person’s well being standing and historical past, they will make extra knowledgeable selections and supply a better high quality of care while additionally optimising scarce assets,” says Jon Millar, chief info officer for GHA. “That is about enhancing the standard of well being service throughout a a lot greater footprint within the Gippsland area and helps us ship on our dedication to empower clinicians to ship a world-class service.” 

Follow administration and digital well being file know-how supplier Allscripts gained the tender to ship an EMR answer to the organisation in late 2017. The Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH), GHA’s specialist referral and trauma centre, was chosen as the primary website to implement the Allscripts Dawn EMR medical suite. Powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud, Dawn supplies a single affected person file throughout all care venues.  

“We selected Allscripts and its Dawn platform on Azure as a result of it was essential for us to have a completely managed service,” says Adrian Shearer, chief know-how officer for GHA. “We had been in search of an organisation that might ship all the infrastructure, design and safety as a part of the answer.” 

The EMR was first launched within the 30-bed emergency division in April 2019 and is now totally useful throughout inpatient providers at LRH and group psychological well being providers throughout the area. Whereas within the planning part of the implementation of GHA’s EMR it was anticipated that the system would wish to accommodate roughly 300 customers, however by the point the system was accomplished there have been greater than 400 registered customers. In contrast to a system utilizing bodily infrastructure which can have required further servers to handle this elevated demand, the cloud-based Dawn platform was capable of accommodate this variation with a lot much less complexity and value. The system additionally permits for the addition of momentary customers, equivalent to exterior physicians. 

The Dawn platform has additionally helped GHA to guard affected person’s private info. The platform advantages from firewalls constructed into Azure that allow preventative menace detection, lowering downtime and stopping in depth injury to programs. Knowledge sovereignty can also be achieved with backup and catastrophe restoration websites being located in Australia. 

These safeguards got here into motion in 2019, when GHA was the sufferer of a classy cyberattack. The assault blocked entry to all the organisation’s main programs, together with the monetary administration system. Nevertheless, regardless of the severity of the assault, there was no indication that the hackers had been capable of entry private affected person info. Although a number of programs needed to be indifferent for quarantining functions, however the resilience of Allscripts’ cloud-based platform imply that there was no web loss. 

“It’s actually thrilling to see the pace, flexibility, resiliency and safety that the Azure cloud can provide in supporting the implementation of those essential medical programs throughout the Gippsland Well being Alliance,” stated Dr Nic Woods, chief medical officer for Microsoft Australia. “Many well being providers are shifting to all these deployment fashions to allow them to give attention to getting extra worth out of the answer slightly than having to fret about all facets of safety which can be baked into cloud providers.” 

Given the profitable implementation of Dawn EMR, GHA determined to increase its use throughout the area to the emergency departments of the Central Gippsland Well being Service, Bairnsdale Regional Well being Service, West Gippsland Healthcare Group and Bass Coast Well being. Dawn will then be rolled out to inpatient providers in any respect 4 hospitals, serving to ship the advantages of the EMR answer to well being providers within the area.  

This text was initially printed within the Winter 21/22 difficulty of Know-how Document. To get future points delivered on to your inbox, join a free subscription.

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