Client: National Hospitals Funding Body
Services: Project management, project assurance
Project value: $720,000
When hospital funding data is made public, there’s a strong incentive to get the data right. Hospital administrators, knowing that their data is open to scrutiny, will invest time in reporting accurate information. Consumers and policy makers can make better-informed decisions as a result.
That’s the rationale behind publichospitalfunding.gov.au, an initiative of the National Hospitals Funding Body (NHFB). The website publishes online reports on funding, linked to the services that each local hospital network has delivered. Reports are aggregated at state, territory and national levels.
Asura was commissioned to project-manage the build of this site, including the back-end reporting processes. As we delved into this project, though, we saw an opportunity to solve another problem.
As well as publishing funding information online, the NHFB also had to provide this information each month to state and territory jurisdictions as PDF reports, ready to be tabled in parliament. Each jurisdiction had a prescribed format for the report, and a mandated deadline for submission.
When we first came on board, preparing these reports was a laborious process. NHFB staff had to manually collate data tables, paste them into the word document, then convert it to a pdf. Reports were aggregated at the state and national level, so errors in the source data, or manual transcription errors were transmitted up the chain.
We suggested a simple solution. The processes used to publish the funding data online could be easily adapted to auto-generate the pdf reports. With a few clicks, data would populate the report templates, ready for checking. Manual data transcription processes were virtually eliminated.
If an error was discovered in the original low-level data tables, NHFB’s team could simply enter the correct information and re-generate the ready-to-publish reports. There was no need to manually edit a chain of reports.
And we were able to deliver this added function using the risk budget of the website build project so it came at no added cost to the client.
We delivered the website build with a tight turnaround: 7-weeks from start to launch, using the same Agile processes we used to project-manage the MyHospital site.
The reporting tool continues to deliver enduring value for the NHFB. More than 8,500 reports have now been generated, and sent off to health authorities. Each month, the NHFB’s management has the peace of mind of knowing that they can meet their mandatory reporting deadlines, and ensure that Local Area Hospital Networks are fully paid for the services they deliver.