Ocean rises to target PHNs and integrated care market

Industry News | Sept. 17, 2015, 10:22 a.m.

Published in PulseIT on September 15, 2015 by Kate McDonald:

Sydney-based health informatics firm Ocean Informatics is set to use the success of the LinkedEHR platform it has built in association with Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest) to offer its services and technology to more PHNs following a recent injection of funds from a private investor.

The company is also rolling out what it says is the largest implemented infection control system in Australia with its Multiprac Infection Control solution, which has recently gone live at Mater Health Services in Queensland and the five public hospitals in the Northern Territory. It is now live in 72 hospitals.

Ocean Informatics CEO Hugh Leslie said the investment has allowed the company to boost its staffing levels by 40 per cent and to provide 24-hour, seven-day support to better service the increased growth it has experienced over the last few years, as well as with plans to open a new office in Darwin at the end of the year.

“One of the issues that we've had recently is that we've had more work than we have been able to cope with to some degree,” Dr Leslie said. “This investment has really enabled us to spread our wings a bit and get some room to manoeuvre and it is making a big difference.

“One of our big clients is NT Health and this will allow us to have a local presence.”

Ocean's clinical data repository (CDR) platform has been used by NT Health for many years and forms the core of the territory's shared electronic health record, known as the MyEHR, which has now been connected to the national PCEHR. The NT is also looking to do a refresh of its primary and acute care clinical information systems, which Dr Leslie said Ocean hoped to work on.

The link between primary and acute care is also something the company is targeting with its Multiprac suite of clinical solutions. Ocean's technology, including Multiprac CP Care Planning and its CDR, forms the basis of the LinkedEHR system implemented by WentWest in late 2013.

LinkedEHR is the core IT infrastructure enabling the Western Sydney demonstrator model for NSW Health's four-year, $120 million Integrated Care in NSW strategy. This is trialling a new model of care for patients with chronic illnesses involving GPs, hospital-based rapid access clinics and nurse-led care facilitation, powered by LinkedEHR as the shared care planning system.

Dr Leslie said the increase in resources would allow Ocean to work more closely with other PHNs, not just on care planning but the whole gamut of integrated care.

“Integrated care – that transition of patients between primary care and acute care – is something that we don't do well here in Australia,” he said. “Actually I don't think it is done that well anywhere in the world, but is something that our platform and software can help with.

“I think the LinkedEHR project and integrated care work that we are doing with NSW Health is really interesting and we have a number of PHNs interested in talking to us about that.”

Dr Leslie said integrated care was more than just about care planning. “One of the things that we can do is help to integrate all of a PHN's systems. Like many organisations they have a whole lot of disparate systems and they need to try and bring them together. Care planning is just now part of integrated care.”

The new investment has also allowed Ocean Informatics to appoint a new chief operating officer in Richard Satur, who will be managing Ocean's increased delivery, development and support requirements as well as the company's plans to move its solutions to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

The company has also recently completed the roll-out of a new Staff Health module for infection and exposure reporting that can be a standalone module or work in conjunction with Multiprac Infection Control.

A new version of Multiprac IC – nicknamed Beluga 1.1 – is due to be released next month and in keeping with the marine theme and faster releases, this will be followed in six months by Cuttlefish 2.0.

Ocean's national engagement manager, Joe Griffiths, said Ocean had recently gone live with Multiprac IC at Mater Health Services Queensland's seven public and private hospitals and at NT Health.

Mr Griffiths said that when added to the 57 Queensland Health facilities it is already installed in as well as St Vincent’s Holy Spirit Northside, St Andrews Toowoomba and Ramsay Greenslopes and Hollywood, Multiprac IC is the largest implemented infection control system in Australia.

The Staff Health module has been implemented organisationally wide at Ramsay Health Care and is due to be implemented in NT and St Vincent’s Holy Spirit Northside, he said.

Dr Leslie said new staff have been added to Ocean's integration team and the company was also boosting its capabilities in product development, new enhancements and new products in the Multiprac suite. Support will be available 24/7 through a new helpdesk service.

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