At the heart of many health systems is the Patient Administration System (PAS) – a system designed to capture all the non-clinical information about a patient and the activity they have across a multitude of care settings. 

The PAS was initially developed to deal with the increasingly weighty paperwork associated with a patients’ visit to Hospital and to capture and use data in a more structured way. The automation of key processes allowed users to enter information in a single system and then view that information across many departments.  

The PAS has now become the fundamental system for the day-to-day management and administration of a hospital. It performs a number of essential functions for an organisation; appointment booking, waitlist management, patient admission, discharge and transfers. But the real game changers of the PAS come from the ability to report and schedule resources across the organisation.  

Before modern day PAS systems were in place, reporting, such as bed return and inpatient throughput, was completed on paper forms. With the introduction of the PAS, data could be entered into a single system and reporting completed at a click of a button. This has benefits both for organisational efficiencies and for essential reporting back to funding bodies.  

The second standout of the PAS is the scheduling function. The ability to schedule resources across the organisation; from appointments through to equipment and resources hugely improves the efficiency of an organisation and can lead to significant cost savings. Not to mention the improvement of the patients’ journey throughout the health system, and making key data, such as event history, immediately available and accessible.  

In order for this to happen, clinical and administrative information must flow in a meaningful way. Whilst integration between the various systems is important to avoid even the basic re-keying of data, true interoperability – where data is transparently moved between systems and instantly available – will bring the most value to a healthcare organisation and start to add real value in terms of resource optimisation and support provision of care. 

A good example of a health system gaining real benefit from their PAS is the South Island Alliance of District Health Boards (DHBs) in New Zealand. This alliance recently identified the need for a region-wide patient information system that would streamline the patient journey through the health system and make tasks easier for staff, enabling more efficient and connected healthcare. From here the South Island Patient Information Care System (SI PICS) was developed, New Zealand’s first patient administration system to be shared across more than one DHB.  

SI PICS was custom-built to meet the needs of New Zealand’s health system. Replacing eight ageing and unconnected administration systems with one single system for the whole South Island, SI PICS consolidates information across hospitals, communities and beyond, coordinating care across providers in the South Island and ultimately resulting in a more seamless patient experience. 

This ability to capture and use information across the multitude of care settings in the South Island will help to reduce waste in the system and allow organisations in the region to tighten up the use of resources.  

Through the efficient management of inpatient data, appointment bookings, resource management and reporting, this single system facilitates greater integration of clinical and administrative functions. More efficient workflows make work simpler for staff, and ultimately,  provide patients with a better healthcare experience.  

To read more on SI PICS, read the case study below.