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Cloud and AI for better mental health services

Down under, in Victoria’s Southern Campase Loddon Mallee region, the Bendigo Health Psychiatric Services (BHPS) is using cloud and AI tools to improve their services.

Mental healthcare provision has become increasingly important in Australia. Over AUD 9 billion has been spent in this sector, with almost 10% of Australians receiving mental health treatments.

BHPS can feel the pinch. An average of thirty patients are referred to their centre daily. While this may seem like a small sum, the centre services 1160 active patients and manages the records of about 20 000 patients.

Naturally, administration will take a toll.

Taking to technology might be a good measure to plug any potential gaps. Cloud platforms allow clinicians to collaborate and refer to information real-time anywhere. Natural language processing also reduces human labour. While this is all well and good, initiatives factor existing limitations and conditions.

The elephant in the room is the sheer geography BHPS could potentially serve in the region. The Southern Campaspe Loddon Mallee region takes up as much as a quarter of Victoria’s landmass. The information system must be able to support users from around the region.

Hence, a series of solutions have been formulated and installed to lift a load off clinician’s shoulders, improve patient care, and work around structural constraints.

Bianca Matthews, Development and Systems Coordinator of Psychiatric Services said, “If our triage referral pathway is streamlined and as efficient as possible, we have access to the information that we need in real time to make critical clinical decisions around what a patient’s care needs are enabling a timely and appropriate response.”

BHPS has co-developed and deployed a cloud based digital clinical system. The cloud solution will assist staff in providing services to consumers and patients of BHPS. The aim is to make operations efficient and more streamline.

A second initiative is the use of a Natural Language Processing software developed by US-based IT giant. Instead of penning notes by hand, the software helps transcribe a clinician’s speech into text.

Clinicians may also connect to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s (CSIRO) Ontoserver reference sets for their work. These help clinicians to familiarise themselves with Australia’s latest clinical terminologies. Armed with the database, clinicians may reduce errors in drug prescription.

Collectively, the solution will help clinicians do their job better. Matthews says, “We spend less time chasing the information we need…or waiting for that information to reach us with a report that comes through 24 hours later. We (now) have that information…in real time…to work with the patient – to work out and tailor our response to their immediate needs across the region.”

The above innovations can be deployed in most clinical settings. BHPS needed something more to create an integrated system across the sprawling 37 000 km2 region.

For BHPS’ residential and community services specifically, a tailored psychiatric service solution is crafted on Azure. Integrating Bendigo Health’s other systems becomes much easier. Any disruption is avoided since patient health information can be wholly accessed at the point of care by all authorised users regardless of location or time. The flexibility afforded reduces treatment delays or working with incomplete clinical information. Clinicians have the full breadth of information to deliver the best service possible.

Since BHPS offers around the clock regional triage services from around the region and provides specialist services for new or soon-to-be mothers with mental health symptoms, it is critical that staff have real-time access to information to adequately deal with those in crisis. Quicker response times correlates to higher patient safety.

Furthermore, a dashboard which aggregates information real-time instead of next-day reports supports providing services at the point of care. The information on the dashboard is tailored to individual staff and their teams. Only pertinent information is fleshed on it, improving efficiency.

The second phase of BHPS’ digital transformation will utilise the NLP service. There is also a focus on streamlining documentation requirements and clinical and medico-legal pathways.

Like most medical centres, the amount of paperwork generated tends to be inflated.  However, going paperless does not mean compliance is compromised. A Mental Health Tribunal Coordinator is thus employed.

With an automated system, the Mental Health Tribunal coordinator is notified immediately about the legal status of patients from anywhere in the region. In turn, the required Mental Health Tribunal hearings can be scheduled accordingly. Simultaneously, the administrative staff can complete the necessary paperwork on the database. Effectively streamlining reporting requirements with the Department of Health.

With Azure underpinning Bendigo Health and BHPS’ information systems, reps are confident it will help the organisation evolve with the times and rise to new challenges.

Danny Lindrea, Director ICT Architecture & Applications for Bendigo Health, said, “This is the first time I’ve seen it all in the one platform, one window…I think [this] is very powerful once you get to this platform and how you apply that to the model of care – the option you’ve got to suit healthcare workers and to keep treating the patient safer, better, more efficient and in real time.”

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com