Case Management with Content Manager at Metro North Health

Metro North Hospital and Health Service received the Digital Transformation Award at the 2022 Micro Focus IM&G Forum. Tracy Formosa, Manager, Corporate Information Management, outlines a recent successful project to implement a Case Management System at Metro North Health.

Metro North Health is the largest Hospital and Health Service in Queensland with five hospitals and employs over 20,000 staff. I manage a small team of three who provide corporate record-keeping advisory services, implement information management governance and undertake a continuous Content Manager rollout function across the organisation.

Content Manager is Metro North’s approved corporate record-keeping system. Our aim in implementing the system is to embed as many business processes as possible so that we can leverage and promote the system as a business enabling tool in addition to a record-keeping system. We do this by streamlining, digitising and enhancing business processes into the system at the time that we onboard business units and customise configuration to make the system tailored to specific business needs.

We’ve done this quite successfully since 2014. Some examples of business processes implemented into Content Manager include executive correspondence; medical workforce onboarding and, more recently, case management for the Herston Biofabrication Institute for the manufacture and supply of 3D medical devices.

Our team recently led a project to implement case management functionality for Metro North’s Information Access Units (IAUs) by tailoring the existing records management system, Content Manager. This achieved significant cost savings, streamlined processes across Metro North facilities and aligns with the Queensland Health (QH) Information Management strategy by reducing the number of unique applications in use at QH that need to be managed and maintained. 

The initial challenge in finding new case management software was to go to market with the IAU teams’ business requirements.  A full open tender process revealed that none of the 20 tenderers were able to deliver a system within the budget for the project.  The cheapest options were at least double or even triple the budget and in some cases 10 times the budget. 

Doing nothing and maintaining the status quo was not an option. The existing case management software at two of the facilities was no longer supported and was incompatible with the latest version of Windows.  This meant their computers were unable to be upgraded and many poor performance issues ensued. 

The other two facilities were using an unsupported Access Database which was increasingly slow and at risk of becoming corrupted and losing data.  Information sharing was severely limited, with siloed business process across the five facilities and no unified case management processes or templates.

In late 2020, I was approached by the project sponsor, Helen Gregorczuk (Director Health Information Policy Access and Coordination) to evaluate whether Content Manager was a potential and viable solution for the case management of information access requests.

Upon assessing the original business requirements , I identified that Content Manager’s ‘out of the box’ software appeared to meet approximately 80% of the functional, business and technical requirements. The additional 20% functionality required included the need to generate documents from templates which some of the IAUs relied on heavily in their existing databases.

Dynamic document generation was not available in our current ‘off the shelf’ version of Content Manager so in 2021 we commenced phase 1 of the project to develop a proof of concept for how we could enhance Content Manager by introducing this functionality.

A series of intensive requirements-gathering workshops were held over 6 weeks, facilitated by WyldLynx, the successful vendor. Together we designed an innovative proof of concept for the required case management functionality which included a custom web interface that provided the dynamic document capability required by the IAUs.

The proof of concept was approved by the project sponsor and key representatives from the IAUs in 2021. Phase 2 implementation commenced in February 2022 with WyldLynx selected as the successful vendor.

The project provided a cost-effective solution for Metro North on a vendor-supported platform with a custom Web interface that generates dynamic documents and offers customised action tracking.  It is a cost-saving model than can be implemented more widely across Metro North and potentially the wider QH network.

Challenges included siloed business processes, insufficient storage with network drives running out of space and non-compliant recordkeeping practices. There were reputational, regulatory and financial risks in maintaining the old solutions, however we now have case management integrated within Metro North’s approved corporate record-keeping platform.

Our solution involved the implementation of two new Content Manager record types, an IAU Document and IAU Folder with customised metadata fields to enhance workflow and reporting. We implemented customised action tracking to enable the required case management functionality and created positions to facilitate assigning tasks.

A custom Web interface was important to allow the IAU staff to generate documents from templates saved in Content Manager. We utilised a solution that WyldLynx had originally developed for a large Queensland Government department and rebranded the interface to introduce Metro North’s approved style guide and colours (see image).

Other project benefits realised by the IAU teams are enhanced search timeframes and user experience. Previously, searching for records could take up to 5 -10 minutes and now this takes under a minute.

In addition, the capture of records is now enhanced and streamlined due to Content Manager’s native integration between with Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Instead of having two databases (plus network drives) to store case management records, we now have one repository to capture everything; a single source of truth that is compliant with Queensland Government legislation and standards.

Content Manager has improved performance by standardising processes across facilities, allowing for automation with templates and the generation of standard letters. Having a uniform platform for all facilities allows for greater efficiencies and less siloed work.  It has also allowed for the secure storage within the QH network of sensitive information and minimised any risks entailed in introducing new software.

Image of Custom Web Interface