Australian hospital puts compliance online

When Stuart McFarlane considered the problem of getting more than a 1,000 health-care staff to comply with and understand some 900 policies, he knew the existing manual system would no longer cut it.

IT manager at Northeast Health Wangaratta (NHW), a hospital providing medical services for around 90,000 people in 28 towns in rural Victoria, McFarlane selected a Web-based management application to handle the task.

"The old system was completely manual [and] while we had the mechanisms for developing policy, we simply couldn't make sure they were being read let alone understood," McFarlane said.

He said the company needed a system to route specific policies to departments, ensure they were read and understood and allow staff to leave feedback.

We needed to push specific policies to 1,053 users, ensure they were being read and understood and provide a mechanism to get feedback, he said.

Several vendors were approached, but McFarlane said most packages were excessive and 'bigger than Ben Hur.'