Melbourne Health embraces IBM digital uplift

Stuart Corner

Melbourne Health is one of Australia’s leading public healthcare providers, responsible for the Royal Melbourne Hospital, NorthWestern Mental Health and the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory.

All up, these encompass 71 buildings across 33 sites with more than 10,000 staff and some 32,000 assets.

Melbourne Health was using paper-based systems to manage its assets and the many processes and procedures undertaken by staff for everything from patient care to building maintenance, meals and cleaning.

These processes and procedures were time-consuming and opaque: Melbourne Health was not easily able to gather the data on many aspects of its operations needed to support funding requests.

Health hospital
Healthcare worker: Melbourne Health has upgraded

Critically, it was unable to achieve compliance with the Victorian Government’s Asset Management Accountability Framework (AMAF), which meant it risked losing government funding.

Meeting government’s mandate

Melbourne Health selected IBM’s Tririga, hosted on IBM Cloud, for its computer aided facilities management (CAFM) to address these issues and IBM appointed TRIXi Building Insights to undertake the implementation. TRIXi has been working with Tririga since 2012.

At Melbourne Health, as part of the Tririga implementation, TRIXi was also responsible for integrating the product with accounts payable, accounts receivable and general ledger and asset management register supported on an Oracle Cloud system shared by all Victorian health districts.

Implementation commenced in 2019 and was scheduled to take 12 months but was accelerated to enable Melbourne Health to meet the challenges created by COVID-19. It was completed in March 2020.

400 paper-based tasks digitised

The system has now digitised the former paper processes required to fulfil some 400 tasks and enables resources to be quickly redirected to meet immediate demands, for example cleaning tasks initiated by a COVID infection.

Digitisation of engineering and maintenance tasks enables service levels to be set and monitored and jobs costs to be identified.

The status of facilities such as availability of patient rooms and whether they have been cleaned ready for use are instantly visible.

Melbourne Health is also planning to use Tririga to support a centralised asset management register: a single source of truth on its assets.

This will provide better understanding of assets and their utilisation, which will in turn improve decision-making on investments and support applications for grant funding.

A Tririga feature facility condition assessment (FCA) will be used to create a register of capital assets and estimated replacement schedules to support capital expenditure planning.

A happier workforce

Melbourne Health’s Tririga implementation continues to evolve, and TRIXi has an ongoing role.

TRIXi managing director Mark Williams says current initiatives are around energy management, assessing the organisation’s carbon footprint and deployment of IoT sensors for condition monitoring of machinery such as air-conditioning systems.

Another project is to track food trolleys with Bluetooth low energy devices. When Tririga was first implemented, the more detailed information it provided revealed that 75 per cent of staff movements in Royal Melbourne Hospital were related to feeding patients.

A strategic decision

Mr Williams said Melbourne Health had taken a strategic decision to deploy Tririga.

“It’s mostly used by large, global corporates that have massive facilities portfolios. For the issues Melbourne Health was facing, organisations typically buy point solutions, such as an asset management system or a work management system. I think their strategic intent and their procurement process was pretty innovative.”

IBM Business Unit Executive for AI Applications David Small said one of Tririga’s key features that led to it being selected was its ability to cater for almost all requirements.

“In the RFP process, Melbourne Health gave us a whole series of scenarios, that were very, very detailed. We took their requirements, and demonstrated to them that Tririga could meet the vast majority of those requirements out of the box.”

The next planned use case for Tririga is for space management, Mr Small said.

“They are looking to optimise their use of space across the hospital, which is something they have never done previously.

“We now have 212 CAD drawings in Tririga, for every floor of the hospital and every building. That’s a big push for the second half of this year.”

This article was produced in partnership with IBM as a member of the InnovationAus Editorial Leadership Council.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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