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Mater Health Services Gains New Insight to Predict Hospital Staffing and Training Demands

Mater Health Services operates a network of seven hospitals and employs 7,000 staff providing care to around 500,000 people each year, with plans for future expansion.
  • 17 June, 2009 09:22

<p>SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – 17 June 2009 – IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Mater Health Services, Brisbane, now has the ability to better predict future demand for nurses, doctors and their entire health care workforce, improving the provision of future patient care using IBM software for workforce planning and analytics.</p>
<p>Healthcare is a people-intensive industry, with minimal ability to automate patient care workflow. Combined with workforce demographics that are expected to negatively impact the industry over the next 20 years the visibility of current and future workforce data is essential to maintaining a future operating service to the community.</p>
<p>Operating in an industry facing a shortfall of more than 14,000* nurses nationally by 2010, magnified by an aging population with an increasing demand for health and aged care services, Mater Health Services needed a workforce planning and analytics solution to sustain its ongoing ability to provide the highest quality of care and service to the community. Mater Health Services operates a network of seven hospitals and employs 7,000 staff providing care to around 500,000 people each year, with plans for future expansion.</p>
<p>“The power of the IBM Cognos workforce planning solution enables us to be forward thinking. We can now extract bottom-line data to spot trends which will then put us on the front foot to react quickly and adjust staffing as needed. For example, in providing the organisation with accurate and informed attrition rates across the organisation, we’ll be better able to fill the talent vacancy pipeline in time to meet the organisation’s moment of need,” said Caroline Hudson, Executive Director of People and Learning, Mater Health Services.</p>
<p>“Like many other health care providers, we were previously using multiple decision-support tools that used different sets of rules to measure attrition with no consistency. As a result, there was uncertainty and conflict when determining if the data was accurate. IBM Cognos will provide us with certainty and transparency to plan for job role requirements – from doctors, midwives and nurses through to our valued army of volunteers. With IBM Cognos we have a 99.8 percent confidence in the data being robust. This will provide our organisation with intelligent, actionable information that drives consistent, timely care and sound business decisions that health plans need today,” said Ms Hudson.</p>
<p>The decision to choose this solution follows an organisational review of several industry solutions but only IBM Cognos was able to provide the scalability and robust reporting, along with the essential implementation services, required for long term scenario planning and talent management.</p>
<p>“We realised the value of working with a vendor which has a strong customer orientation which is nothing short of extraordinary. The decision to go with IBM Cognos Workforce Performance products and services was strategic for us especially since its acquisition by IBM, which we knew would provide us with peace of mind in terms of ongoing development of the toolset itself.”
“IBM Cognos provided valuable design advice, adding value to the tool that we had not included in the original design specifications.”</p>
<p>In the future, Mater Health Services will be able to model data which can then be fed into the design of learning and development programs at tertiary institutions, enabling the industry to train the right people for the right job at the right time. This will result in the industry’s ability to attract qualified staff directly matching a particular skill in demand at a certain point in time.</p>
<p>This technology will also help the organisation forecast more immediate skills requirements resulting in Mater’s ability to rapidly drive new learning programs for its current staff and cross train in new roles and functions.</p>
<p>“At Mater, our goal is to provide high quality services to our patients and be a centre of excellence in healthcare. The software is a packaged analytic application that can provide interactive insight into workforce issues such as capacity, acquisition, development, retention, performance, and compensation with consolidated analytic reporting from multiple systems,” said Hudson.</p>
<p>IBM Cognos 8 Workforce Performance software is a key component of IBM’s approach to information management, where industry-specific software and consulting services are geared to helping clients use information as a strategic asset across their businesses. IBM Cognos Professional Services provides a range of services across the lifecycle of a project from solution planning and implementation to business improvement, to help organisation mitigate risk and maximise return on investment.</p>
<p>IBM works with clients around the world to create smarter healthcare systems. This includes better integrated data so doctors, patients and insurers can share information seamlessly and efficiently. IBM also helps clients apply advanced analytics to vast amounts of data to improve medical research, diagnosis and treatment to improve patient care and help reduce healthcare costs.</p>
<p>* Australian Health Workforce Advisory Committee</p>
<p>For more information about Mater Health Services, visit</p>
<p>For more information on IBM, please visit</p>

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