The expertise of Epworth HealthCare has been called upon many times during this pandemic to help the wider community. Some staff have volunteered to be contact tracers at DHHS, our nurses and allied health professionals have helped with outbreaks in residential aged care facilities, and now another secondment from Epworth will help guide the government in the coordinated statewide response to COVID-19.

Steven McConchie, Group Manager, Clinical Outcomes and Analytics, has been asked lead the set-up of a dedicated COVID-19 Information and Analytics unit for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The six-month secondment will see Steven use data to give essential insights into the emergence and spread of and advise on the response to COVID-19, as part of the government’s public health response.

“The aim is to have a permanent unit giving a coordinated, centralised view of COVID-19 intelligence,” Steven explained.

“Together with a team, I’ll be bringing together many and varied data sources. There is a lot of great data in lots of places – including data from ambulance, hospitals, contact tracing, screenings, aged care and housing. All of this sits in its own discrete work areas. My job is to give a consolidated view, rather than having it sector-focused, then we can glean statewide insights.

“We can use data to tell a story and make sense of it all. It’s a really important contribution for Epworth to be making.”

Steven’s mix of clinical background and health systems knowledge makes him perfect to drive this project.  He will be leading the development of a centralised dashboard, with useful metrics and charts. The information will be delivered to Ministers, department Secretaries and operational managers.

Epworth’s data analytics team regularly does this kind of important work, though on a smaller scale.

“My team can’t do anything about reducing the number of falls in hospitals, for example, but we can do an analysis which might show falls occur most often in 63-year-old females on a Tuesday – from that information the clinical teams can put improvement strategies in place.

“It’s our job to look at the data, find a unique identifier and link it together to tell a story,” Steven said.

“It’s an exciting opportunity and building a permanent data unit is something really positive for the state.”


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