Supporting cross-regional collaboration among Aboriginal health and wellbeing organisations

Background 

A number of Aboriginal organisations that Jawun partners with use electronic practice management systems to deliver community health and wellbeing services. These organisations have identified that their systems could be better optimised for real-time presentation of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data and relationships in patient health and treatment outcomes.

In 2020, Jawun’s corporate partners Microsoft Australia and the APS provided a number of technically skilled secondees and in a first for Jawun, a project team of secondees were placed with 4 Aboriginal organisations across 4 regions to collaborate on a combined health data dashboard project. Aboriginal partner organisations involved were: Moorundi Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (Lower River Murray), Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Services (Central Coast), Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative (Goulburn Murray) and NPY Women’s Council (Central Australia).

The opportunity for collaboration was enhanced by Jawun’s pivot to virtual secondments in 2020. Previous data dashboard secondment projects (showcased in this 2019 case study) demonstrated the potential of collaborating to implement dashboards in organisations across multiple regions. They generated valuable intelligence on key requirements for data dashboards and the benefits of these tools to health service providers delivering community programs and services. Furthermore, they proved the effectiveness of Jawun’s approach where a series of secondees work consecutively to define stronger and smarter solutions for improving the capacity of Aboriginal partners.

Approach 

The pivot to a Jawun virtual model in 2020 fostered a unique and unparalleled opportunity to guide collaboration and learning across regions, while also mitigating the risks of continuing in-place secondments and ensuring the continuity of support to Jawun’s partners. Subsequently, this combined health data dashboard brief was established, capturing the requirements of multiple organisations, drawing on the data and technical skillsets of 3 Microsoft secondees (Viren Joseph, Pramiti Bhatnagar and Preet Kaur Hundal) and uniquely combining this with the user experience specialisation of an APS-ATO secondee (Beatrice McAllister).

Moorundi Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Service (Moorundi) in the Lower River Murray was able to motivate the group of partners around the benefits of the initiative. Their experience in 2019 of collaborating on dashboards with a fellow South Australian health service, Yadu Health in the Far West Coast had significant gains at both organisational and community level. The dashboards fast-tracked reporting activities by making report-ready visualisations of real time information available immediately, but more importantly created efficiencies that allowed Moorundi to focus not on business administration but on what really matters: their clients and community.

A month prior to the beginning of the secondment, Jawun facilitated a workshop where Moorundi showcased their health data dashboard (established by Stuart Fitton in 2017 and advanced by Pankaj Sadiora in 2019, both of whom are secondees from the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank). This workshop was attended by 9 staff from Yerin, Rumbalara and NPY Women’s Council. The session specifically highlighted the potential management and reporting benefits of the dashboards, integration to existing systems, and how the dashboard solution could be customisable to what each organisation wanted to understand. The Aboriginal partner organisations involved saw how Moorundi has used it from a performance management perspective, for KPI tracking and funding applications. Not only did this clarify the benefits of this tool, it also generated excitement about the upcoming secondment.

Julie Colombi, senior quality and compliance manager at Rumbalara who attended the workshop commented,

The data dashboard presentation was  music to my ears  and is certainly a fantastic business intelligence tool that could be rolled out across all services areas within Rumbalara… Power BI makes it incredibly easy to bring data together into one place, for greater accessibility, organisation and visibility in reporting… this powerful toolset will definitely provide better insights, interactive dashboards and rich reporting across the organisation in real-time, and the integration of external data will provide a whole new reporting experience for our organisation.”

 The initial phase of the project required secondees to review, update and troubleshoot the existing Health Data Dashboard previously established by Jawun secondees at Moorundi, and provide Power BI training to their staff. In the next phase, introductory Power BI training was expanded to 11 staff from 6 Aboriginal organisations over 2 sessions. This training helped staff build capacity and skills to understand, interpret and report their data differently. This was followed by the final phase of the project, where Microsoft secondee Viren Joseph delivered 1:1 coaching sessions to Yerin, Rumbalara and NPY Women’s Council. These sessions began to enable the development and implementation of new data dashboards, interfaced with the existing management and data collection systems of these organisations. These data dashboards will enable organisations to centralise data collection, management and reporting, drive continuous quality improvement, provide transparency and accountability on service, inform Boards, management and executive staff, and improve the delivery of services for community. 

In 2020 Jawun also launched an online platform to provide all Jawun partners a space to connect and collaborate: My Jawun. To further support the opportunity for secondees and their supervisors to collaborate on the data dashboards project across all regions, a new sector hub on My Jawun called ‘The Health Hub’ was established. According to Beatrice McAllister from the Australian Public Service (APS-ATO), 

“Collaborating with people from various organisations and across nearly all of the Australian States and Territories took online teamwork to a new level”. 

Outcomes 

The outcome of this first stage of the project is an improved understanding of the data requirements and various benefits and opportunities that dashboards can offer Aboriginal health and wellbeing service providers, and subsequently their communities. Specifically, to ensure that this technology informs organisations with real-time data and information, efficient business administration processes, and increased transparency and accountability. These data-driven dashboards will also support and inform funding applications and accreditation processes. 

Collaboration amongst the health organisations and the secondee project team allowed them to collectively define the ideal method for presenting data in a way that provides an immediate understanding of organisational management, data and reporting. The project gave the ability to incorporate the learnings of 4 organisations – facilitating collaboration through the sharing of information and resources to put together a framework for the optimal presentation of their data.

Paul Hussein, the business manager at Yerin, said of Viren’s secondment:

He was very versatile and personable to deal with and very effective in discussion and direction. He provided options for management to incorporate effective data management and dash-boarding strategies, allowing us to effectively visualise data, performance indicators, improved client and program KPIs, benchmarking and better practice”.

Next Steps 

Future iterations of the project will involve building, implementing and integrating data dashboards at Yerin, Rumbalara and NPY Women’s Council, complemented by training secondments, with potential to expand the project into additional regions and organisations. Several Aboriginal organisations have already expressed interest in joining the cross-regional project team in 2021.

Further, the development of Jawun’s understanding of the usefulness of dashboards for the presentation of key data has enabled us to envision the incredible potential and relevance to other organisations to which this intelligence can be applied.