Streamlining the delivery of sensitive personal information for patient benefit

Jason Gleason

Case Study

Client Snapshot:

The Western NSW PHN is one of 31 Primary Health Networks established by the Australian Government to support frontline health services. With a focus on increasing the effectiveness of primary healthcare, the Western NSW PHN has over 100 general practices, covering more than 430k square kilometres and servicing more than 300k residents. Western NSW aims to deliver the right care, to the right people, in the right place, at the right time. They work closely with general practice, Aboriginal health services, other healthcare providers and the community.

The Problem

Like many primary healthcare networks, Western NSW relies on PAT CAT to store anonymised primary healthcare data on an onpremise server. When it came to sharing this data more broadly with their general practices though, they needed to sync it to the cloud for security and redundancy gains. They had been using SQL Server Integration Services to manage data in Azure DB, but increasingly found it wasn’t fit for purpose. There were numerous challenges including difficulty in setup, reliability and security.

The Approach

Western NSW needed to replace a difficult and expensive process they had used to move data in the past. They needed an automated data delivery service for providing better analytics while still meeting high security and privacy specifications.

With Eightwire’s secure system connectors, Western NSW was able to connect to on-premise PAT CAT and cloud data stores in a few hours. This was carried out by internal staff with minimal technical experience and meets security and privacy requirements out of the box.

Another critical component of adopting a new data delivery service was the strict rules governing health data – Eightwire needed to comply with Australian Privacy Principles as personal health data is classified as sensitive personal information. Eightwire was able to provide detailed security documentation that guaranteed the security of patient data, ensured that data would stay within Australia, and that Western NSW would remain in control of the data at all times. It was important for the PHN that they knew where the data was stored and maintained at each step of the data sharing process.

When sharing sensitive personal information with general practice staff, the data was encrypted at rest and in transit and didn’t remain after the transfer was complete.

The Benefits

The benefits of using the Eightwire Data Delivery Service are twofold. Patients and their doctors know that patient data is being shared in a timely, secure manner, that cannot be viewed or intercepted by Eightwire or other organisations. Western NSW is experiencing quality, real-time data reporting that is now reliable enough to drive planning and robust decision making.

Eightwire has been processing data for months without needing Western NSW staff to step in and fix data errors or update systems. Western NSW is now poised to deliver greater impact with data-led decision making across their network. Over time, the PHN hopes to expand the usage of Eightwire to pull data directly from PMS systems and integrate more systems across the state.

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