Vic public health agencies to roll out IRIS for Health

Thursday, 29 July, 2021

Vic public health agencies to roll out IRIS for Health

The South West Alliance of Rural Health (SWARH) and Barwon Health in South West Victoria will realise their digital innovation strategy with InterSystems IRIS for Health, a data platform specifically engineered by InterSystems to extract value from healthcare data. SWARH provides information technology services supporting public hospitals and associated health services in a region extending from west of Melbourne to the South Australian border. Barwon Health’s facilities include University Hospital Geelong and community health centres in and around Geelong and the south coast.

SWARH and Barwon Health support different IT environments. These include a range of clinical and patient administration systems, specialist healthcare applications, and data analytics solutions. While these systems are connected, primarily by Health Level Seven (HL7) messaging standards, there is no single data repository supporting real-time data analysis.

With IRIS for Health, all healthcare data within SWARH and Barwon Health will be available for artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), business intelligence (BI) and clinical intelligence in real time. By embracing digital innovation, the organisations plan to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience, and optimise the use of resources. IRIS for Health will also future-proof the organisations’ interoperability and healthcare device integration capabilities. This includes API Management capabilities and deep support for emerging healthcare data standards like HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).

A single-stack solution for AI/ML, BI and clinical intelligence is predicted to simplify and accelerate the process of extracting value from healthcare data. It is also expected to improve the consistency and reliability of healthcare information and pave the way for machine learning. SWARH recognises that machine learning can be used to improve patient outcomes and experience. Andrew MacFarlane, CIO at SWARH, said IRIS for Health will enable the organisation to consolidate its healthcare data into a single repository for analysis and operationalisation. It will also enable machine learning models to be trained on historical data capture across the whole region.

“That underpins our innovation strategy to extract value from healthcare data to provide the best possible care and ensure the long-term sustainability of our operations,” said MacFarlane.

IRIS for Health enables the organisations to capture the data from HL7 and other messages to create a real-time health data lake or repository. It will also integrate with Barwon Health’s existing data warehouse to migrate previously captured information to the new environment. Both SWARH and Barwon Health use the Microsoft Power BI data analysis tool and will use the InterSystems IRIS Connector for Power BI. IRIS for Health will also enable other strategic goals for SWARH and Barwon Health, including the use of AI for better population health and the ‘Hospital of Things’, which will see the integration and analysis of data from healthcare and medical devices both inside and outside hospitals, combined with external population data, to improve the quality of care.

Image credit: © Studio

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