South/South West Hospital Group PAS Delivers Major Benefits
Client:South / South West Hospital Group
- Consolidate, integrate Patient Administration System (PAS) across nine hospitals
- Enable group-wide sharing of certain information, e.g., appointments and waiting lists
- Facilitate delivery of better, safer patient care
- Transform business by consolidating and reorganising acute care delivery across hospital group
- Support patient flow using CSC’s i.PM solution
- Manage and update legacy data to enable integration of i.PM solution across all nine hospitals
- Improved care by successfully implementing single PAS across entire hospital group
- For patients: Ability to book appointments at any facility in the group from a single location
- For administrators: Improved patient tracking, enhanced billing and better coordination amongst hospitals
Improved Care — and Beyond: Patients, Hospital Group Reap Benefits of Single, Integrated System
With help from CSC, the South/South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) is Ireland’s first hospital group to implement a single Patient Administration System (PAS) across all of its acute care hospitals. Now, a single patient reference number linking all administrative and clinical activity relevant to that patient lets the nine hospitals in the group share information more easily, providing many benefits to patients and healthcare administrators.
In Ireland, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for providing health and social services to all citizens, using public funds. Hospitals in Ireland are organised into seven hospital groups, and the SSWHG serves a population of approximately 1.2 million. A primary goal of the group was to improve patient access by provisioning integrated care pathways.
Easier Access to Patient Information
A core application in healthcare organisations, a PAS is used as a master patient index to support activities such as appointments, billing, reporting and patient activities management. CSC’s range of patient management solutions, including i.PM, enable organisations to manage their patient, clinical, business and functional processes, making it easier to access patient information at the point of care.
SSWHG needed to meet a challenge set forth in Ireland that hospitals within a group should deliver better, safer care by carrying out particular functions and specialities on a group-wide level. “This was a challenging project which required significant input from a range of people — locally, regionally and nationally,” says Mike O’Regan, information services manager, Cork University Hospital. “The efforts of people on the ground were enormous, with significant support from their colleagues regionally and huge input from staff in areas such as data migration and the provision of the technical infrastructure.”
A key driver of this business transformation project was the need to consolidate and reorganise acute care delivery across the SSWHG facilities. “The system there was not at risk, but a strategic and tactical decision was made to amalgamate onto the single multi-campus system and de-commission the prior PAS,” says O’Regan. One goal was to deliver complex procedures in the major population centres such as Cork and Kerry, while less complex services would be delivered at smaller locations that could focus on particular specialities.
In integrating the PAS, the biggest challenge was managing many years of legacy data. The SSWHG had CSC’s i.PM in place at hospitals throughout the region, but University Hospital Kerry (UHK) had installed a separate version that was not connected to other hospitals in the group. Integrating all nine group hospitals into a single system was a complex task that involved migrating 19 years of patient activity data over to the new group-wide system. Also, the UHK system’s data collection method had to be aligned with that of the other hospitals.
Meeting Migration Challenges
The migration involved bringing down the regional system for nearly 2 full days, over a weekend, and manually entering patient data so the UHK data could be loaded into the integrated system. Another challenge: There had not been much coordination between hospitals — they continued to work in silos.
Once data had been back-loaded and patient charts re-labelled with new numbers to support patient tracking, the system went live. It has run smoothly ever since. Now, with CSC’s PAS solution, the SSWHG has begun tracking, reporting and delivering care on a truly group-wide basis.
“The achievement of the single PAS system is a long-held ambition, and it is fantastic to see it come to fruition,” says O’Regan. “It will now serve to anchor so many more clinical and administrative systems and practices and will allow true integration of patient data across multiple sites. This can only be good for the patients we serve.”
CSC provided technical assistance with the data migration, working closely with the SSWHG team in areas such as system configuration and database management. With the completion of the project, SSWHG is now Ireland’s first hospital group to have a single group-wide PAS with a common patient master index.
For patients, the group-wide PAS provides numerous benefits. Now, regardless of the hospital at which a patient registers their details, the demographic and administrative information is shared across all hospitals in the group. Also, each patient now has one unique identity and a single medical record number across the hospital group. This means that appointments can be booked at one hospital for clinics in another area, and waiting lists and episode histories can be shared across hospitals, leading to reduced wait times.
The PAS provides fully integrated business functionality to the hospital and includes programs for patient registration, admissions, transfers, discharges, clinic management, and patient document tracking and billing. The powerful PAS platform provides a foundation for a future move to CSC’s Lorenzo solution, a next-generation electronic medical records system.