WA Health commits AU$8.5m for new HR system

The development of a new HR system is a key recommendation from last year's Sustainable Health Review.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Perth City

Image: Asha Barbaschow/ZDNet

The government of Western Australia has committed AU$8.5 million to create a new integrated human resources, payroll, and rostering platform for the state's health system.

"A modern and contemporary HR system will enable better workforce planning in response to the changing health needs of the WA community," WA Health Minister Roger Cook said.
"This process will enable us to identify a prospective solution that will help inform our ability to deliver the best healthcare services, at the right time, by the right people."

The initiative will see its current "ageing" HR system be replaced. 

With phase one of the initiative already underway, the WA government said it has issued a tender request to identify a shortlist of vendors that can deliver the single system.

The tender request's requirements are that the shortlisted vendors must be capable of integrating information including payroll, HR, learning management, and rostering. The vendor also must have the ability to provide health service providers with access to system-wide data to improve reporting, governance, and planning capability; as well as be able to create a system that allows WA health system employees to conveniently access information about shifts, leave, and pay, securely on their own devices.

After the shortlist is compiled, which is expected to be done before year-end, the shortlisted vendors will then be invited to take part in proof-of-concept testing to determine if their proposed products and services meet the WA health system's requirements, the government said.

In addition to replacing the current system, the allocated funds will also be used to prepare for the migration of WA health data to the proposed new system.

The replacement HR system, much like the state's new electronic medical record system that was announced last month, is a key recommendation of the Sustainable Health Review [PDF] that was delivered in April 2019.

Initially launched in June 2017, the review panel was tasked with delivering "a patient first, innovative, and sustainable health system" for Western Australians. 

In the review, the panel said a new HR system was required to help build capability in workforce planning and formally partner with education institutions to develop the health and social care workforce.

Other ongoing projects within WA's health system include PathWest's Laboratory Information System, which the state's Auditor General Caroline Spencer found was expected to be completed two years late and would cost AU$23.7 million more than its originally approved project budget.

Meanwhile, WA Health is in the process of transitioning its 500 sites to Microsoft Office 365 as part of its state-wide hybrid cloud shift. It is also upgrading its IT systems and building a platform that will provide connectivity to over 500 WA Health sites in regional areas, which are both expected to be complete by late 2020.

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