Augmented Consulting Solutions Pty Ltd

PHN Data Insights Challenge

On 1st July 2015, the Australian government established 31 new Primary Health Networks (PHN), of the 61 Medicare Locals that were created under the previous Labor administration.  These PHN’s around the country are a vital part of our healthcare infrastructure. Devised as a system to support medical services for thousands of patients – particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes.  The PHNs are responsible for commissioning services in communities, in areas of:

  • mental health;
  • alcohol and other drugs;
  • supporting general practitioners;
  • primary care.


The PHN services a vast area of the state, improving outcomes across three unique regions.  The need for clear data across those areas – informing reporting and program performance management – makes an intuitive and efficient analytics solution essential, and when the time came to make improvements the PHN used our skills and experience. 

The PHN Quality Assurance Officer for one of the 31 PHN’s spoke to us about their organisation needs and the experience using our skill set and knowledge.

Connectivity problems with disparate sources

While the PHN had several data sources; from Google Analytics, a client information management (CIM) system and contract management system; the lack of connectivity between these disparate sources was causing problems.

“It was really difficult to contextualise overall program performance, both to manage performance from a service delivery point of view but also with our reporting back to the Department of Health,” said the Quality Assurance Officer. “We wanted a single source of truth.”

That’s not to say the existing systems weren’t useful, he stressed the CIM solution is critical for the running of the organisation’s various programs. For detailed reporting, however, a more robust business intelligence (BI) system was necessary.

“The CIM system is used by a number of host agencies. It provides a selection of pre-prepared reports but they didn’t meet our complete needs, particularly with respect to visualisation of data. It was cumbersome to undertake regular data reviews with respect to quality and trend analysis,”

“We also had three separate instances of a CIM system, and we couldn’t compare across our three regions with ease.”

Searching for an improved solution

Once the need for a more sophisticated BI solution was identified, we knew we needed a provider that had experience within the PHN environment and the programs they managed.

“We were wanting someone experienced in total BI solutions – analysis, design, implementation and ongoing support. It was important to identify a provider that took the time to truly partner with us to enable the implementation of a best practice, effective solution,” he says.

In our research for a solution partner to assist us, we found that the team within the Augmented-CS examined the needs of the PHN and delivered a solution that streamlined the analysis and reporting process.

In being asked how its improved, the response was; “We’re now able to undertake self-service analysis with ease. Data elements that were previously difficult to compare are now connected much more simply, and we now have a single source of truth to support program oversight and management,”.

As a data and outcome-focused organisation, it is critical for the PHN to have the right information in the right place when they need to access it. The solution that has been provided is now assisting the organisation to effectively meet that goal.

Why this Partnership

There’s little argument that leveraging analytics technology is immensely valuable in all industries nowadays, and our advice for any organisation investigating their own solution is to not hold back.

“We recommend that people be committed to embracing analytic solutions and all that that entails. Don’t overcomplicate the process but identify champions from executive to officer level and deliver iteratively,” he says, adding that it’s important to seek out the right strategic partners.

“It’s one thing to identify a provider, but it’s another to have a provider that wants to truly understand your needs, and really work to identify what it is you’re trying to achieve.”

For us, that partnership was with the Augmented-CS team.

“They genuinely sought to partner with us to achieve our needs. Their consultants were responsive, innovative and sought to implement best practice, the entire way through the process.”

Regardless of your own industry, Augmented-CS can deliver effective solutions based on your requirements.  If you would like to discuss further, please reach us via our Contact Us page.