Digitising Data Improves Aged Care Overview / Executive summary Ward Medical Management (Ward MM) is a clinical pharmacy company aiming to reduce medication-related harm in aged care communities….
Cloud Compute Automates Success. The overview With a workforce of over 2000 people, across 100+ offices and clients in 6 regions, SLR Consulting (SLR) needed a way to…
Port Authority (PA) is a state-owned corporation responsible for commercial maritime operations at multiple locations on the country’s east coast. They handle the navigation, maintenance, and security needs…
Overview / Executive summary Australia’s Daffodil Centre, a joint venture between the non-profit Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney. While Cancer Council had adopted Microsoft 365,…
Ward Medical Management
Digitising Data Improves Aged Care
Overview / Executive summary
Ward Medical Management (Ward MM) is a clinical pharmacy company aiming to reduce medication-related harm in aged care communities. Ward MM partnered with cubesys to digitise the process of recording the use of psychotropic medication in aged care homes and therefore increase efficiency and accuracy. To meet these requirements, we developed an application running in Azure.
The customer / client
Ward MM was founded in 1997 by clinical pharmacist Sue Ward. Now, Ward MM boasts as being the largest provider in Australia of clinical pharmaceutical services to aged care, with over 27,000 senior citizens currently under their care.
Ward MM seeks to reduce medication-related harm by providing support to general practitioners in clinical pharmacy decision-making and investing in the research and development of enhanced medication management systems. In addition to this, they provide medication training to health care professionals via Ward MM Institute to maximise precision and reduce medication-related harm.
To meet their legislative reporting requirements, Ward MM’s existing reporting and documentation process tracks and collects data on the medications provided to residents of aged care facilities. The data is used to inform staff at these facilities of the potential health risks of medications and the status of their residents, this then assists with making informed decisions on care. Ward MM uses this data to observe staff’s decisions and then flow on effects on residents in that facility.
The current process was very manual and was required monthly for every resident at each facility. This became more and more complex when Ward MM began to take on hundreds of facilities, with hundreds of residents in each facility. It resulted in an extremely slow procedure that was vulnerable to errors. They needed a new solution that was able to be adopted in a very limited time frame and within a tight budgetary constraint.
To help them manage their reporting requirements more efficiently, Ward MM partnered with cubesys to develop an Azure-powered serverless webapp. This application can be accessed securely from any modern computer/tablet device in Australia. Using Azure’s security resources and groups, we built a custom security model to protect resident data and allow only authorized users to access the app.
To allow Ward MM to scale and reach more aged care facilities, we also ensured the webapp could be used on tablet for easier accessibility. This enabled more staff at the aged care facilities to complete their reports. The app requires individuals to sign in using their account, select the facility they are working with and then the residents they are completing their report on.
This application is extremely intuitive and easy-to-use and contains several controls to minimise errors in data entry. The application aims to enforce and maintain consistency across the different facilities.
The new application is now providing aged care staff with a much simpler experience, with several manual processes now completely automated. As Ward MM digitises their data, staff will receive immediate feedback about a resident as well as any recommendations on care. Ward MM will be able to collect more data across the country concurrently using their new application ecosystem. Because the data is in real-time, Ward MM will be able to respond more quickly to patient needs.
But these wonderful outcomes weren’t the only major achievement for the project. Timeline was key, working in a close collaboration the joint team of Ward MM & cubesys delivered these outcomes in an amazingly short timeframe. Some key dates include:
- From the time the requirements were identified to when the first functional version of the application was built from scratch – 3 weeks
- Once the first functional version was deployed in their environment, testing started the next day
- The application was rollout to approx. 30 unique sites within 1 week of the final version being published.
- Overall, the lifecycle of the development, testing, handover, and support during their demos was – 8 weeks.
I’m extremely proud of the teams here. To deliver this level of impact, in such a short timeframe speaks volumes for the collaboration between Ward MM & cubesys teams. Fantastic result!
Software and Services
Bespoke built serverless webapp hosted on Microsoft Azure.
Cloud Compute Automates Success.
With a workforce of over 2000 people, across 100+ offices and clients in 6 regions, SLR Consulting (SLR) needed a way to manage their client’s data and perform data processing in a scalable and secure way.
SLR Consulting is a leader in environmental and advisory solutions: helping clients achieve their sustainability goals. SLR’s stated ambition is to be recognised as the global leader in environmental and advisory solutions, helping their clients to achieve their sustainability goals. Cloud technology is playing a leading role in this sector, with increased use of data and computational models aiding environmental decision making.
SLR Consulting work with their clients on large scale groundwater models that require considerable amounts of compute power, and often take weeks to run. These models are critically important to the success of their consulting engagements and need to be delivered in a timely manner.
In their current environment the SLR engineers were using a network of workstations that sets a limit on the size and speed of processing, they were also tricky and time consuming to manage. Additionally, the workstations were often being used for other purposes, leading to congestion of processing power and often the need schedule or even re-run calculations.
The current processing speed for large scale models was 3 to 4 weeks. SLR needed a new, secure and predictable way to run large scale modelling quickly and cost-effectively.
I love helping our clients like this, the impact and benefits to users and business are so obvious! The Azure Cloud gives IT professionals the opportunity to have a real impact on the SLR business model, on profitability and on freeing up valuable consulting time – we simply couldn’t have done this without Azure Cloud.
cubesys was engaged to help SLR adopt and optimise Azure usage. During this process, the above problem surfaced and also came with a tight project deadline, for a large client. The modelling run they needed was looking like it wouldn’t meet the project deadline. This was causing delays and had potential of damaging SLR’s excellent reputation.
cubesys cloud automation engineers stepped up to the challenge and worked closely with the SLR Consulting team to adopt a new, cloud-based approach.
Using a Microsoft cloud service called ‘Azure Batch’, the team created a new agile approach, which allows SLR to run large-scale, parallel and high-performing computing batch jobs efficiently. Azure Batch creates and manages a pool of on-demand virtual machines that allows SLR to install the modelling applications, schedule jobs and reduce processing time from 3 to 4 weeks down to 4 hours.
This solution provides SLR the ability to scale from 1 to thousands of virtual machines in an instant. Its available on-demand, its fast, secure, and cost effective – the solution is turned on and paid for when needed.
SLR Consulting no longer need to spend valuable consultant time managing a network of workstations, nor wait weeks to provide their clients the results of modelling calculations. The Cloud based solution is automated, secure, fast, and cost-effective. Agile solutions like these provide the SLR team a competitive edge and allows them to focus on the clients’ needs, knowing they can count on timely data from computational modelling runs.
And the original project? It used Azure Batch to spin up 175 virtual machines for a few hours, completed over 1000 model runs, and got the results needed early, avoiding project delays and kept the client happy.
Port Authority of NSW
Port Authority (PA) is a state-owned corporation responsible for commercial maritime operations at multiple locations on the country’s east coast. They handle the navigation, maintenance, and security needs of commercial shipping, managing Sydney’s two world-class international cruise terminals and responds to maritime emergencies.
In 2014, the PA decided to review its technology infrastructure. From the review, Port’s initial focus was on upgrading the disaster recovery environment. Also, the organisation faced a two-year deadline to take on IT management for the four other ports, including corporate business software and specialised technologies used in the port operation. After careful consideration, PA decided that the cloud was the best choice. They realised upgrading its on-premises infrastructure would be too time-consuming and costly, and other factors were resulting to the decision. Ian Chilton, Senior Manager, Solutions Development and Services, Port Authority of NSW explains.
The main driver was gaining a more flexible and scalable IT architecture. We’ve gone through a lot of changes including a period of partial privatisation, and we’ve merged with other ports within the state. So we were really looking for options offering flexibility and scope for change at this stage whilst also making some cost efficiencies.
Senior Manager, Solutions Development and Services
Port Authority of NSW
The PA chose Microsoft partner cubesys to help with the first phase of its transition to the cloud, migrating its disaster recovery and development environments to Azure.
cubesys are experienced with the entire Azure platform and Microsoft products in general. We were very impressed with the quality of their engineers and the extra mile they’ll go to deliver projects.
Senior IT Infrastructure Specialist
Port Authority of NSW
The organisation had the same confidence in Azure, hence making their move to the cloud platform and seeking cubesys for assistance. Tzikas says, “We looked at multiple hosting vendors when we undertook the tender process. The Azure platform stood out to us because of its flexibility, multiple sites, security, and Microsoft’s good partnership with cubesys.”
The latest disaster recovery solution is based on Microsoft Operations Management Suite, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Backup services. cubesys also assisted the PA on installing a development and test environment on Azure, using Azure Site Recovery for migration and creating a self-service portal for developers to manage Azure Virtual Machines. In addition to that, cubesys also took over the PA’s disaster recovery process as a managed service.
Chilton further explains “The transition to Microsoft Azure is about moving from a model based on capital expenditure to a system based on operational expenditure. That’s what a lot of the industry is doing: moving from a ‘we own’ to a ‘we subscribe’ model.” Port Authority is looking forward to a more agile environment efficiently providing better services to a mobile workforce of marine pilots and other port personnel. By moving to the cloud, the Port Authority can take on current and future trails more easily.
Overview / Executive summary
Australia’s Daffodil Centre, a joint venture between the non-profit Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney. While Cancer Council had adopted Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure for the rest of the non-profit’s operations, the Daffodil Centre modelling team were still using on-premises, legacy infrastructure to run complex models. Migrating to Azure has improved model simulation time from a week to half a day.
The customer / client
Australia’s the Daffodil Centre, a joint venture between the non-profit Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney, is focused on finding the most effective ways to reduce cancer death and illness. The non-profit is transitioning its cancer modelling research efforts to the Azure cloud to accelerate the pace of research into prevention, early detection, treatment, and care. Increasing the speed and scope of research-based insights could help the organisation save even more lives.
While Cancer Council had adopted Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure for the rest of the non-profit’s operations, the Daffodil Centre modelling team were still using on-premises, legacy infrastructure to run complex models.
The research teams had to schedule who was going to use the organisation’s 48 virtual machines and sometimes waited weeks for their turn. If time-sensitive questions or issues cropped up, turnaround timing lengthened, and scheduling congestion increased.
The on-premises infrastructure used ageing hardware and software which required frequent repairs and patches to maintain security. The non-profit faced a choice: Either heavily invest to upgrade the ageing infrastructure or transition to the cloud.
An organisation-wide cloud-first strategy led the Daffodil Centre modelling researchers to work with cubesys to test the cloud’s ability to handle complex scenario-based modelling studies. The team successfully created a use case based on a prostate cancer model in Azure Batch and automation delivered by Azure DevOps.
Cloud adoption gives the research teams access to the tools that will accelerate their work and take away the constraints that slow them down with their current on prem systems.
With the limitations of legacy technology, research teams had to be extremely careful in what details or new scenarios they added to their research. Removing that constraint empowers the team to provide nuanced and timely information to its partners.
In the old on-premise environment, It could take about a week to run a model simulation, but by shifting the work to the cloud’s unlimited compute power, researches can now expect to cut that run time to a half-day. They will be able to run as many of these models in parallel as they like, instead of having to queue up one after another, giving research teams more flexibility and control over work timelines.
By running fully automated models on demand, researchers can reduce their administrative overhead and spend more time on research tasks. IT administration and system maintenance has been removed or vastly reduced has as the associated cost.
The cubesys team is now in the process of recreating their two most complex models, for bowel and cervical cancers, in the Microsoft cloud.
Software and Services
- Microsoft Azure
- Azure Batch
- DevOpps Automation