ACC streamlines processes, improves patient care experience, and saves healthcare costs, for those requiring MRI scans

Jason Gleason

Client Snapshot:

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) vision is to create a unique partnership with every New Zealander, improving their quality of life by minimising the incidence and impact of injury.

ACC touches the lives of many New Zealanders & visitors to New Zealand who become injured; there are >2Mpa of claims on behalf of patients. It funds health, rehabilitation and service providers to ensure their patients get the right care at the right time, while keeping levies fair and stable.

The Accident Compensation Act 2001 sets out how ACC is governed and run. In the FY21, claims costs were in excess of NZ$5 billion.

The Problem

MRI scans are a core diagnostic tool for health professionals to assess the condition of patients, and to decide on any treatment, surgery and/or rehabilitation.

Average wait times from GP consultation to MRI appointment can be 25-30 days, this varies according to where in New Zealand the patient lives. From a patient care perspective, waiting times can delay further steps, e.g. clinical advice and rehabilitation. ACC pays for this ‘wait time’ from a financial perspective such as covering weekly compensation and care.

ACC needs timely and meaningful reporting of critical data relating to health care and a clearer picture of the various medical costs involved from providers, the recommended treatment pathways, and ultimately the rehabilitation outcomes.

The Approach

The GPMRI plan introduced a model of care where GPs refer patients directly to MRI providers (hospitals or other specialist radiology providers) for scans relating to specific patient requirements. Using technology provided by Eightwire, ACC can extract the necessary referral data set from the participating Primary Health Organisations (PHOs). When writing, four of the largest PHOs are using this facility, covering Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, and Canterbury regions.

Accessing the data quickly and easily using the Eightwire secure data exchange service has helped ACC build a complete reporting and analysis model. This additional information and insight can be used to assess where efficiencies can be considered and enforced.

The Benefits

The first two years of operation of the GPMRI model has brought multiple benefits:

A way in which patient wait time can be reduced, from the point of GP consultation, to MRI scan, to the process of rehabilitation. Bringing forward the treatment plan in many cases fosters a quicker recovery.

Treatment cost per claim and other data relating to performance have been investigated and managed more proactively and in a targeted way. This is partly due to greater transparency: the data share has opened up what was previously unknown, in terms of cost information, at the individual health professional level. Essential data is relevant to ACC’s contract management of the healthcare service providers.

The data captured through Eightwire is secure, critical to protecting patient privacy, especially given the sensitive nature of the information.

This model has played a part in reducing the variation in wait times depending on region, improving health equity. 

This model has been adapted and expanded to include a more comprehensive set of healthcare providers, bringing similar benefits to New Zealanders needing other healthcare services.

GPMRI is one of ACC’s growing list of data sharing success stories thanks to EightWire & DX. This case study relates to:

  1. Regular reporting, however, we also use it for multi-times per day critical path data sharing. 
  2. Working with PHO’s but we also work with DHBs & NGOs.

Advantages include:

  1. DX provides many endpoints so ACC can support most external party connection needs. 
  2. Internal security/privacy governance is minimised due to the confidence in using Eightwire and multiple uses.
  3. External parties get one data-share started with us then wish to expand from there.

Brent Fry, Consumed Services, Digital, ACC

More about us

Eightwire’s Data Delivery Service is driving a transformation in the healthcare sector. With an innovative approach to balance technical speed with security and privacy by design, Eightwire is delivering data from doctors to health networks, to secondary/ tertiary care, to government regulators. The healthcare and social services are Eightwire’s core business with over 3.5 billion data records delivered every month. Delivering over 4,000 records per second through Eightwire’s secure data exchange, allows the sector to deliver interoperability and analytics projects in 50% of the time required. With a presence in NZ, Australia, and Singapore, Eightwire is transforming healthcare across APAC.

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