Key resultsClinic to Cloud has allowed Yarra Oncology to:
- Increase its doctor head-count without having to increase the support staff footprint
- Move from an expensive server-based system to a far more cost-efficient cloud-based clinical and practice management solution
- Guarantee patient privacy and data security without maintenance-heavy updates of a server-based platform
Yarra Oncology delivers a full suite of patient-centric oncology services. The practice creates a framework that champions the patient as the owner of their health and supports them via a network of healthcare experts along with robust communication - supported by the Clinic to Cloud health software.
Nicole Cooper, Operations Manager at Yarra Oncology, was diagnosed with inoperable stage four cancer in 2017.
At the time of her diagnosis, Nicole, a management consultant, was enjoying a break from the workforce with her eight month old baby boy. Her terminal diagnosis saw Nicole seek a second opinion, and introduced her to a group of cancer specialists who approached patient care differently.
One member of Nicole’s surgical team used Clinic to Cloud to communicate with his patients, which Nicole says made a significant difference in the experience of her care and treatment.
“I was empowered to know and understand my treatment from the earliest weeks. This made a difference to my understanding of my disease, my engagement with my team and my commitment to my own health outcomes,” Nicole recalls.
When Nicole’s treatment response allowed her to re-enter the workforce, she recognised there was an opportunity to help medical practices offer more patient-centred care and actively involve patients in their own care via more effective communication.
“My introduction to Clinic to Cloud was as a patient, via a surgeon who is a believer that patients occupy the space at the centre of their healthcare. He granted me access to such a valuable information source in the Patient Portal - I could see my entire treatment journey. It just closed the loop for me,” Nicole says.
Nicole set up her own health management consulting business, Convalis, and started working with Yarra Oncology nearly 18 months ago.
The clinic had a number of doctors and administrators who found their practice management system to be cumbersome, clunky and expensive – still, none of them were particularly invested in moving to a more modern system.
“The founder of Yarra Oncology had also already sunk significant money into a server-based practice management software, and was a little reluctant to move away from it,” she explains.
Nicole says she advocated for moving to a cloud-based software system and demonstrated just how much money it was costing the practice to keep its server up and maintain the unneeded complexity, as well as guarantee patient privacy on this type of legacy system.
“When I got to the stage of working with Yarra Oncology, the first thing I said to the founder and doctor was: We need to move to a cloud-based practice management system, and the software needs to be Clinic to Cloud,” she says.
“We wanted our patients to feel empowered and our doctors to be enabled. Doctors need information at their fingertips all the time - this is the only way they can deliver bespoke care when making critical decisions. Patient privacy and mobile access were also important factors”.
Nicole says as more patients demand to be a part of the treatment process, Clinic to Cloud really delivers on the need for patient-centred care with its Patient Portal and its improved workflows for doctors and support staff.
In order to clarify and help doctors understand how to switch seamlessly from server to cloud, Nicole designed a staged process where the doctors who liked working on paper could still do so - the documents would simply be scanned into Clinic to Cloud.
However, she says once they started using the Doctor App on their phones and realised just how easy it was to access results and patient details from anywhere, they quickly became converts.
“It's been a year now with Clinic to Cloud and it’s made a monstrous difference to the practice. You just can't compare where we were then and where we are now, even in the space of a year,” she says.
Now, the doctors at Yarra Oncology are very comfortable with Clinic to Cloud and enjoying its benefits to their workflows and time management, regularly finding new ways of using and improving the system.
“Like a lot of doctors, they are highly tech-savvy in other areas of their lives, but because medicine has been practiced the same way for a long time, they just hadn’t changed,” Nicole explains.
“However, they really have transitioned quite quickly. For me, as a change manager, I was also thinking about our administrative staff: they need comfort in a new system as quickly as possible to ensure clinic continuity.
“We found the support and the onboarding was great, as well as the extent to which the Clinic to Cloud team were prepared to engage in how we personalised the product to make it fit our scenarios.”
Yarra Oncology have recently rounded out their practice with new services, and by using Clinic to Cloud have been able to onboard a new physician seamlessly, without needing to increase the amount of support staff.
“We brought on an exercise physiologist this year to broaden the care model we could deliver for our patients in-house. Through Clinic to Cloud, we can manage and streamline movement of the patient through one centralised scheduler that just wouldn't have been possible before.
“The way the doctors are able to find information during a consult, to use that digital clinical file to review a patient's history as they consult is invaluable, as they’re treating very complex cancers."
"Being able to just pull up everything on the spot, or when a patient asks a question, look at those results from two years ago, or correlate blood results with a scan report, for example, is fantastic. The fact that you can do that just changes the dynamic way doctors can work, and it's hugely empowering for everyone,” Nicole says.
The system also significantly assisted Yarra Oncology with its COVID-19 response and management.
“For specialists in particular who move around all the time across multiple sites, just having the digital patient file in their hands all the time is so invaluable. Clinic to Cloud also enabled us to tackle the very complex operating environment created by COVID-19 very effectively, and I shudder to think how we would have coped without it,” she adds.
Within the space of a year, Nicole is excited to reveal the practice has now transformed into a fully digital, mobile, just about paperless office.
“There's just no way our practice could function so seamlessly and on this scale without the Clinic to Cloud app. Clinic to Cloud is now a core component of our strategy and I am excited to see where the practice will go next!”