Queensland Health has outlined plans to implement a localised payroll model and new electronic record-keeping system in its Annual Report 2009-10, tabled on September 16. The report comes in the wake of the department’s long-running problems with its Health Payroll System and the Queensland Auditor-General report on the beleaguered system.
The new initiatives specifically respond to the Auditor-General’s recommendation that the department consider “re-engineering the payroll process to include an appropriate mix of local decision-making with efficiencies of centralised processing”.
To implement the local component recommended by the audit, the new model will allow “complete end-to-end payroll processing at local payroll hubs, supported centrally with technical payroll leadership, policies and procedures and whole-of-payroll systems performance,” according to the annual report.
Director-General of Queensland Health Michael Reid said in the introduction to the annual report that the new model will create “strong links between payroll hubs and local hospitals and builds on our delivery of a new payroll system”.
The new model will be implemented as part of Queensland Health’s Shared Services Initiative.
The department has also flagged an overhaul of its record-keeping system, aimed at streamlining and consolidating physical and electronic non-clinical documents.
Part of the Queensland Health Strategic Record-keeping Implementation Plan, the electronic Document and Records Management System Project (eDRMS Project) will provide a single, standardised system that promotes file sharing and secures access to department documents.
The department anticipates a number benefits from the new system. “An enterprise-wide eDRMS will enable Queensland Health to maximise the value of administrative documents and records with consistent and timely capture and compliance management. It will improve accessibility, reduce duplication and promote information-sharing across Queensland Health.
“The eDRMS solution will also enhance life-cycle management of Queensland Health non clinical records by automating controls governing information security and disposal,” states the annual report.
The eDRMS will run on HP TRIM software which was selected as part of the whole-of-government electronic Document and Records Management System Standing Offer Arrangement conducted in late 2009.
The annual report also addressed the issue of patient information security within the IT environment at Queensland Health’s corporate office in Brisbane and the emergency departments at Princess Alexandra and Redland Hospitals.
The report also highlighted a number of measures aimed at improving security, ICT governance and planning more broadly.
Firstly, it stated that “While adequate information security measures are in place, additional interim information security measures will be put in place for paper records until electronic medical records are deployed across Queensland Health”.
Secondly, it stipulated that “better governance of local ICT investment is required and Information Division will take a lead in gaining visibility of all ICT investments and working with districts and divisions to implement adequate local governance processes”.
And thirdly it explained that “disaster recovery and business continuity planning for ICT needs to be improved and work is under way to ensure requirements are met”.
Director-General Reid acknowledged in the report that it had been a “difficult year for some” but that “the commitment, dedication and professionalism of Queensland Health staff across the state has enabled us to continue to provide the best health care possible for all Queenslanders”.