Doctor holding a tablet viewing patient medical records.

Cloud systems at the heart of improved patient care

23 December 2020

Having systems in the cloud rather than on-premise is a pivotal part of the digital transformation of NSW Health. Shifting ICT services to the cloud offers greater scalability and flexibility as well the ability to build once and reuse common digital platforms, architecture and services across the organisation.

“We’ve listened to our customers and we’re now drawing on cloud computing solutions to bring greater agility and unlock further innovation,” said Farhoud Salimi, Executive Director, Service Delivery, eHealth NSW.

Cloud strategy facilitates modernisation

In keeping with the NSW Government’s Cloud Strategy and eHealth NSW’s Infrastructure Refresh Project, the move to the cloud is enabling us to modernise legacy systems to support essential healthcare services, and take advantage of new cloud capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data analytics.

These cloud-based services have enabled NSW Health to fast-track the delivery of multiple projects, including critical initiatives that formed part of the State’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Doctor holding a tablet viewing patient medical records.
Cloud-based solutions are providing an anywhere, anytime solution for our hospitals and specialist medical services.

The State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC) Quarantine Exemption Unit operates a cloud-based call centre, which eHealth NSW set up in just 10 days, for people seeking information on such things as mandatory hotel quarantine.

A range of functional tools and applications integrated into the NSW Health electronic medical record (eMR) platform, the State’s core medical management system, are also cloud-based, providing an anywhere, anytime solution for our hospitals and specialist medical services.

Workload transformation leads to better reporting

Cloud-based solutions have also helped improve NSW Health’s financial reporting, through the Oracle Enterprise Performance Management tool, as well as providing email archiving tools to support NSW Health staff statewide.

The eHealth NSW-managed Clinical Information Access Portal (CIAP), which provides information and resources to clinicians to support evidence-based practice at the point-of-care, is also the first server-less workload transformation completed as part of the eHealth NSW workload refresh strategy.

“We’re empowering health entities to leverage these capabilities in partnership with us,” said Adam Stanzione, Cloud Services Manager, eHealth NSW.

“We’ve built basic guardrails into these products to help reliability and security. With a few clicks via the Service Catalogue within SARA, our customers can now be set up with their own virtual data centre in just one business day.”

To date, the Ministry of Health, NSW Health Pathology, North Sydney, Central Coast and Hunter New England Local Health Districts have all been onboarded to NSW Health’s statewide cloud platform. This brings the number of NSW Health cloud instances to over 200 which is a significant achievement towards meeting the NSW Government Cloud Adoption targets.

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