Is Your Data Safe?

Is Your Data Safe?

Smart Farm: What you need to know

From June to December of 2019, more than 500 data breaches were reported in Australia. This was an increase of 19% over the previous six months… Is your data safe?

Health service providers were the leading source of data breaches, accounting for 22% of all breaches. Most of these were the result of malicious or criminal attacks such as malware, phishing, brute-force attack and compromised or stolen credentials. A third of the breaches were the result of human error. Just one of those reported breaches affected 10 million or more patients.

These numbers show the widespread problem of data breaches for health care providers. For the individuals affected, having their personal information sold on the black market creates a mess than can affect them for years. For the providers, on top of having to deal with notifying the individuals affected, the potential disruption to clinical activity, and the loss of confidence in your business, you now have to reassess your entire security system.

Clearly, protecting your data is just as important as protecting your business from disasters like fire or theft.

Data in different places

For many healthcare practices, data is stored in numerous locations. The patient’s file may be in a filing cabinet, or in a computer file. If a patient uses multiple providers, they may have files spread across doctor’s offices and hospitals. Who can make sure that all of this is kept safe?

The My Health Record system endeavoured to collate a person’s health data. However, it has been breached multiple times, risking exposure of personal information. As a result, legislation was passed so that Australians can opt in or out of My Health Record at any time.

Keeping data safe seems to be an unobtainable goal. How can you be confident that you’re doing everything possible?

Smart Farm: What you need to know

What you can do to secure your data

Preventative action is necessary to combat data breaches before they happen. 

  • Assess your existing privacy policy. Make sure it meets or exceeds the required standards and is available for anyone to find.
  • Review processes around data security.
  • Educate staff on procedures and the importance of data protection. Do it regularly so the information stays at top of mind. One employee error can expose the whole system.
  • Develop a data breach management strategy so that you’re prepared to contain a breach and minimize harm. A rapid response, transparency and decisive action can go a long way to mitigating damage.
  • Investing in Cyber Security Insurance is recommended. In the event of a breach, you can call on your insurance agent to help with security investigations, damage control and mitigation.

As data leaders, we are very passionate about data security. We urge everyone to ensure appropriate cybersecurity measures are in place and that staff are educated about their role in guarding against security risks.

Capturing NDIS Data through DI

Capturing NDIS Data through DI

Smart Farm: What you need to know

The NDIS brought in many changes for community health groups to overcome, but change can only lead to innovation.

The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is causing significant and fundamental changes to the way services are provided for people with a disability. Disrupting the way things had always been done created exciting opportunities for innovation and change. Now, using technology to capture data has become a necessity and opens up a world of information – at our fingertips – to allow us to make confident, data-driven decisions.

The challenge

Prior to the NDIS, service providers operated under so-called “block funding” or grants – they knew exactly how much funding was granted to them to deliver specific services to a limited number of people over a defined period of time, and simply acquitted expenditure back to the government. Now, the NDIS empowers the individual needing assistance to make choices and control who they spend their money with. Participants may use a number of different providers or purchase various services from the same businesses. This means there are huge amounts of data to be tracked in order to manage each case and make the best decisions for clients as well as for businesses.

Using Decision Intelligence to capture data

Decision Intelligence (DI) technologies simplify the data reporting process. The tools of DI provide an end to gathering information from multiple files – all data is collated on a single screen dashboard, simplifying systems across the board. Harnessing this data efficiently allows for swift decision-making based on current real-time information, benefiting both the service provider and the individual client.

Judi Higgin is CEO of Breakthru, NDIS experienced and former Toustone employee and has seen first-hand how technology and data together can simplify processes, help predict future directions, and drive businesses forward. “Having quality information at our fingertips speeds up the decision-making process,” she says. “It gives us a deeper understanding of our customer’s requirements.”

Smart Farm: What you need to know

Embracing the future

Judi says that we are in a time of awakening as emerging technology and data changes the way we think about business. The Covid-19 crisis has shown us that we haven’t been fully using available technologies. Being separated under lockdown has forced us to use technology that has been around for years – i.e. Zoom and Skype – in ways we hadn’t previously because we hadn’t been pushed to change our ways. Now, we’ve been pushed into a new age where making full use of available technology and data will be the norm.

DI reporting empowers us to make informed decisions without wasting time gathering data. It allows us to take a look at the way we do things from a greater perspective. It opens the door to improve operations, provide a better experience for customers, and look ahead to the future with confidence.

The Top 5 reasons Business Intelligence can help NDIS and disability providers

The Top 5 reasons Business Intelligence can help NDIS and disability providers

Smart Farm: What you need to know

In practical terms, it’s a system that allows us to combine many sources of data and present that data in a visual, easy to understand way. Why would BI be useful to an NDIS provider? Here are the top 5 reasons:

1. You have a LOT of systems

Case management, rostering, financial, incident register, CRM, various online portals, and spreadsheets everywhere.

The problems with having so many systems include:

None of the systems “talk to each other” – which means staff spend hours and hours compiling reports
Data is “locked away” in systems – you can enter the data, but there’s no functionality to retrieve the information, or in the form you want
As a result, everyone relies on spreadsheets to record information. It’s impossible to maintain version control, and requires constant updating as the data changes
There is no “one source of truth” – one department reports different figures to the other department and everyone seems to be on a different page

There’s no doubt all the different systems have a benefit and role to play. There is a much better way to manage and govern the data between all the different programs and users.

That’s where business intelligence comes in. BI allows reporting across different data sets so everything is presented in the same place.

Being able to access different data sets means opening up opportunity to automate reporting and create reports that were not feasible. Because BI feeds directly from the source of the data – the information is always up to date.

2. You need information now, not in weeks or months

Having the ability to stay on top of your billing and service delivery can make a huge impact to the bottom line. If you know in advance that a clients plan is coming up to expiry and that client has been under-serviced, you can proactively work towards ensuring everyone’s needs are met within the plan constraints of time and budget.

By being proactive you can help manage and prepare for situations faced by many providers such as funding care for a client who is between plans.

3. The burden of reporting

The administrative burden for NDIS payments and billing, along with other reporting places a massive strain on staff resources. In 2018 staff should not be manually producing reports that can be generated automatically. Not only is it a poor use of resources, it increases the chances for error in reporting and analysis.

Where possible, automated reporting frees up staff to focus on tasks which add value.

With margins on NDIS prices so poor, every way your team can be more efficient goes a long way.

Smart Farm: What you need to know

4. NDIS Client management

There are so many factors that go into managing a client. Quoting, monitoring the plan expiry and value, reporting on progress and outcomes, tracking important events like incidents and ensuring customer satisfaction and service levels are met.

Often your software programs do not allow you to easily see at a glance what’s happening. Business intelligence reporting can allow you to see the high-level view and “drill through” to the details.

5. Data quality

Submitting bulk payments for processing can be very frustrating when there are errors.

Having to report across key data quality metrics allows your team to ensure that all the “gaps are filled” and all the “boxes are ticked”. Not only does this help with billing but also compliance and reporting: there is an adage – “what gets reported gets done”.


Business Intelligence isn’t another system you need to enter data into. It’s a platform that allows the information you do have to be used effectively.

In an environment where every efficiency counts, BI can go a long way to ensuring you keep your company and client journeys on track.