IT team prepares for new Patient Management System rollout
In the last year, the Pegasus Health Business Information Systems (BIS) team has initiated one of its biggest ever projects – the sourcing and establishment of a new Patient Management System (PMS) to address the needs of patients, providers and the wider health system.
Chief Information Officer Symon McHerron says the organisation wants to ensure local General Practices have the choice of a future proofed PMS system. “To find that system has involved a rigorous global search,” he says.
Earlier this year, Intrahealth's platform, which includes the Profile PMS, was selected by Pegasus as a future preferred provider, because of its ability to support innovation, an enhanced patient experience and clinical and business management. “It is well able to meet the challenges of modern day patient management from both a patient and practitioner perspective,” Symon says. “It is also an open platform that will allow us to work innovatively with third parties.”
The team at Pegasus is further developing the Intrahealth platform to ensure it is customised for the local General Practice environment, integrating with other local systems such as the Electronic Request Management System (ERMS) and HealthOne. In order to set it apart from the original Intrahealth platform, the service has been branded as Sirius.
Sirius will allow practitioners to access and contribute to patient information and history on the go, meaning that wherever a consultation is held they will be able to locate and update files from their phone or other mobile device.
The system will enable Pegasus to automate common clinical and business workflows, increasing practice efficiency. It will also integrate with other business management products such as clinical self-monitoring tools and financial systems.
Sirius’ patient portal will allow patients to make online appointments, order repeat prescriptions, and engage in secure messaging, if practices allow it.
Practices will also have the option of collaborating with other health providers through the system. “As an example, it might allow a pharmacist to send a security applied message to a practice if they need clarification on the validity or details of a prescription,” Symon says.
“One of the big pluses for general practices that decide to use it is that Sirius will be centrally hosted, with 24/7 availability support from the Pegasus IT team. All upgrades, security and backups will be looked after and all material will be safely stored in the data centre.”
“Pegasus practices have the choice to migrate to Sirius. Pegasus plans to continue to provide a Medtech32 support service for at least the next three years,” Symon says.
Since the business case for the new PMS was signed off in April 2016, the team at Pegasus has selected a data centre and infrastructure provider, set to work building the new service, and most recently established a training and migration team to ensure that practices that choose to migrate will receive all the support they need with Sirius during and after its implementation.
A clinical reference group of GPs, practice nurses and a nurse practitioner has been set up to advise on whether the new system will meet clinical requirements. A practice management and administrative reference group is also being established.
At the time of writing, the team was preparing the system for its test run in September 2017. “A practice that is already using Intrahealth Profile has kindly agreed to let us trial it with them,” Symon says.
Pegasus intends to have Sirius ready to roll out later in the year. Pegasus anticipates that once a rollout begins, it will scale up to a rate of about five new practices each month for about a two-year period. A comprehensive and ongoing training programme will be part of the rollout including training days, online content and videos.
“In the future, as practices develop new ways of working, the technology behind Sirius and the Pegasus team will be there to support them with their changing requirements,” Symon says.
Updates on the Sirius rollout timing are being provided through Pegasus World and emails to practices.