The objective of this application is to have access to the right information, at the right time. This is critical as that information is essential to treating patients some of which are in life-threating situations.
PROMPT was created by Barwon Health 12 years ago to address the issue of medical errors resulting in deaths – the third-leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
The focus was on implementing tighter controls to automate and create an accredited program. After the initial success of rolling out the software to more than 105 hospitals over Australia, a roadblock was hit as the program was built on a platform that couldn’t extend any further. Unless it could secure funding to rebuild, PROMPT would have to be discontinued. Fortunately, the State of Victoria granted funding for a SaaS model to be created and at that point Barwon began talking to Lancom.
Once Lancom was awarded the project it could see that this wasn’t just another commercial assignment. This was a project for the greater good that had the potential benefit 1000’s of people. This was an important ethos that worked to motivate the team.
With the impetus in place, and the vision set, the next job was determining how to get there. The things that can go wrong with a complex project outweigh the things that can go right. The key to overcoming this is to put a premium on confidence – in each other, in the processes, in the execution, and in our ability to problem solve.
We presented Barwon with a vision in what the future could look like providing confidence that we had the ability to get them there. At the heart of this is the ability is to create technology that is future proof. Like Barwon we use technology to solve issues within our business, followed by commercialisation and continuous improvements in response to customer needs.
In line with the vision we created a road map of how we would move PROMPT to an end point of achieving the project’s goals or even exceeding them
“You never know exactly how a project is going to go, how things are going to change. Best case scenario is that something is delivered which replaces our current product. But when its within budget, timeframe and exceeds expectations - well, that's even better." Joanne McGowan - PROMPT Product Owner, Barwon Health.
This is a project that needed everything that modernisation has on offer. It needed:
The ‘new’ PROMPT needed to retain its core integrity while gaining the flexibility to open up other possibilities.
For Lancom this is the kind of job which represents an ultimate challenge that demands we make use all of our disciplines to future proof a vital resource that was going to do a ‘good’ for a many people
"It wasn’t about taking this application and rewriting it into a modern environment, that would have been easy and something that 100 businesses could do. What this was about was road mapping the future. To take all the learnings and create a reliable application that could scale and grow so that 100,000s of users and 1000s of hospitals could leverage its use, while at the same time, get it to be faster and better, future proof it by building in features that hadn’t even been contemplated yet." Waruna Kirimetiyawa – CEO, Lancom.
Our team was made up of developers, designers, engineers, and those that synchronise everyone and everything, so everyone is working in unity. We call this DevOps.
Some background. At Lancom, everyone is a member of the A-team. We have high standards when we employ people and higher standards once they are on board. Everyone is committed fully to this project and enjoy the challenge. We wanted our client to get a real sense of this right at the outset.
Developing a partnership approach with Barwon Health was key starting with a single, shared vision. The project involved give and take, and we constantly knew where we sat with each other on various issues. Barwon Health was transparent and always available, and we quickly developed a mutual respect.
" We could see that Lancom knew their stuff and did their homework. It didn’t matter who we were dealing with, they always delivered to the same high Lancom standards that we came to expect. They knew if something was below par and they always worked to get it right. You only get that when there is a certain level of sophistication within an organisation." Joanne McGowan
"I never doubted the team's capability and I always knew we were going to nail it. To me, solving complex problems is the very definition of a highly effective team." Ben Walton - Service Excellence Manager, Lancom.
Deciding on an infrastructure design and partner is as important as the partnership between Barwon and Lancom. AWS ticked all the boxes and more. With AWS we had the choice of the widest range of databases and security that is military grade.
Their focus on compliance and governance is exceptional. Their pace of innovation is brilliant, and their eye remains firmly on the customer and creating what they need next. We found that they were innovating as we were developing, which meant we were able to offer the project more than what we expected.
Working with AWS meant we have a platform on which we can use the prebuilt services that were right for this project, rather than having to create them. We get the best out of AWS because we have spent a considerable amount of time ensuring our people have become experts.
We built on the security that AWS offers. Its auditing services are brilliant. We didn’t have to build a search facility, as we could plug in AWS and away we went. We had 105 hospitals with local servers running the application. We needed to migrate all of these into the cloud, so there was a massive infrastructure set up. Again, working with AWS we could create code to automate this process, thereby reducing risk of mistakes and increasing speed.
“To get the utmost out of AWS, you have to be so familiar with what they provide, we do it day in and day out, we are experienced, qualified, certified and always up for learning more”. Wernsen Wong - Software Development Team Lead, Lancom.
Once we built everything, it was time to migrate the old documents into the new. This was done each night using middleware. We wanted to ensure that AWS was working with very little input from us, which then allowed us to get on with what’s needed next; like replication across the world.
We achieved the fundamentals of the project to a very high standard. The value that we created was based on the fact that we are experts in each discipline and there is a smooth continuity between each of them. There are no silos. A client doesn’t work with development and then experience a drop in performance levels when they move to managed services. It actually means that value can increase exponentially.
“Lancom didn’t just give us an App, high five and walk away. They gave us a long-term relationship, with additional value at every turn. They are people we want to do great things with, for a very long time. The project looks great, it looks amazing and we are just showing it to users, who are so excited to see it, which makes us excited all over again. The value that this project has created gives us the opportunity for massive growth. After roll-out, the next step is stability and then with Lancom, the world is our oyster." Joanne McGowan.
When a client chooses to continue working with its technology partner after a massive milestone is achieved, like what has happened with PROMPT, there is no greater proof of the supplier’s competency. But when they say, ‘we love you guys’, well that goes beyond competency. That’s the magic that happens when you put a purpose led application, with a sophisticated client and a high performing team. That’s what occurred on this project and we couldn’t be happier, or prouder.
“Lancom are extremely intelligent, they are very knowledgeable, they have credibility and walk the talk. They are real people and they are funny. They speak to you at a level you can engage with. It feels like a family business with expertise and professionalism. There’s nothing I can’t do with Lancom, because they will figure out a way. I think it is rare to get a vendor who are great people, with incredible knowledge as well. I want to keep them around for a long time.” Joanne McGowan.
First step is the migration of the 105 hospitals. As of June 2020 we will be out of the old system and fully operating in the new. We have a five year contract to look after, three was part of the original project and a two year extension. After deployment we move into business as usual, support and facilitation. This is a not for profit organisation, and funds will be invested back into the application to continue developing the impact it has on the clients it serves. We need to continue to get better.
“If run well, a project at BAU stage opens up endless possibilities. But we have to be able to identify the ones that are going to work and this can only happen when the day to day activities are going well. We must never overlook that this is an incredibly important part of our job.” Waruna Kirimetiyawa – CEO, Lancom.