GenesisCare ready to scale with a workforce of IT 'change champions'

The cancer and cardiovascular treatment provider took the road less travelled and involved the entire organisation in the implementation of a new IT system to ensure it was something that would benefit its staff, and ultimately its patients.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor on

As organisations embark on their digital transformation journey, many realise that in order to successfully replace legacy systems and procedures, the executive team needs to work with its staff to undertake a cultural transformation to ensure the new technologies have a positive impact on the company and its customers.

In order to get the most out of its digital journey, Australian healthcare provider GenesisCare assembled a team of "change champions" -- comprising doctors, radiation therapists, echo cardiologists, and support staff -- from around the country and heavily involved the human resources team as it undertook a project to reshape its HR system.

Twelve years ago, a conglomerate comprising a group of cardiologists in Queensland decided to improve the quality of and access to treatment for patients and communities in need. They set up a single clinic in Brisbane, and since then, GenesisCare has expanded to a workforce of 2,000 employees across 150 locations in Australia, the UK, and Spain.

GenesisCare provides specialist care to patients with cancer and cardiovascular disease, administering around 350,000 treatments each year.

According to the organisation, it is Australia's largest private provider of both of cancer and cardiac services, and is also the largest provider of cancer services in the UK and Spain.

With the organisation expanding in such a short amount of time, its backend IT systems fell behind. One thing the organisation needed to do was bring its HR system into the 21st century.

"For the HR system to work well for users, we really needed to be involved as subject matter experts to understand what our teams would be looking to get out of that system," said Jennifer Warr, group manager of human resources at GenesisCare, noting it was about ensuring the organisation didn't just implement an IT solution for IT's sake.

Speaking with ZDNet, Warr explained that as a disrupter itself, her organisation has always had a willingness to invest in technology. So implementing a technology solution was something GenesisCare jumped into head-first.

After embarking on a request-for-proposal process, and assessing all of the vendors in the market, GenesisCare sent out a survey to the business to determine what people's needs were from the system. Following that, the organisation rallied a selection panel that involved people from all over the business to choose the final product.

GenesisCare and its team of change champions chose a Human Capital Management solution from software vendor Workday.

"The business had been really crying out for this and really crying out for automation," Warr said.

"A lot of our patient-facing staff and centre-leaders spend a lot of time manually doing rosters, timesheets, and leave in Excel and that takes so much time that they could be spending with patients and making the patient experience better and investigating new treatment modalities, so there was a really big need for this system."

Essentially, the solution from Workday provides GenesisCare with visibility on what types of employees are working where, enabling Warr and her teams to undertake workforce planning and simple staff on-boarding. Of key importance given it is a global company, Warr said it also helps her teams look at trends in the workforce to plan for scalability.

"We know we're continuing to expand into regions in need so people data is really key to that and having a system of record for people data is really critical," she said. "So it was one of the foundational systems that we needed to prepare us to scale our services to help us meet the access gaps for patients in other countries."

GenesisCare implemented the solution in phases, with the first involving the 1,500 people-strong Australian operation. The company is now looking to go live with Workday in the UK in the second half of this year, followed by Spain.

"One of our key values is innovation, and our catchcry is innovating healthcare and transforming lives, so technology is a key enabler for us across all of that," Warr added. "It helps us track clinical patient outcomes, monitor patient satisfaction, and helps us develop cutting-edge new treatment modalities."

Although only a month in with the new HR solution, Warr said it has had a positive impact on not only the speed staff can complete tasks, but also the time they can spend on patients.

One such example is active directory account integration, which has now been automated out of Workday.

"Auditing active directory accounts is something that used to take us up to a couple of weeks and now we're able to be run in a 30 minute report out of Workday," Warr explained. "So we've saved a lot of time and a lot of efficiency for us in terms of getting new people on board."

Workday system is the first in a few series of transformations GenesisCare is looking into, with Warr saying that rostering is something she is eagerly eyeing off.

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