Melbourne, 18 April, 2023 – It’s been a series of firsts for Australia’s Monash Health Victorian Heart Hospital (VHH). Not only is it the first dedicated cardiac hospital in Australia, but it’s also the first hospital in the country to operate without pagers for all of its staff. The recently opened, state-of-the-art institution has decided against utilising pagers, instead adopting a more efficient and secure approach to clinical communication in the form of Baret – a secure, role-based messaging app. Launched by FiveP, the app has been specifically designed to improve communication efficiency for frontline healthcare workers, and leverages Microsoft Teams as the underlying technology.

Associate Professor Michael Franco, Chief Medical Information Officer and Program Director of EMR & Informatics at Monash Health, said it was the unique advantages of role-based messaging that led to its implementation at the VHH. “The capability of Baret to route messages directly to a role will reduce the time it takes for clinicians to find the and send messages to the right person.” “It will also dramatically improve the efficiency of sharing of clinical communications within and between clinicians and reduce the risk of information being lost. All of this means that our frontline workers can spend more time on direct patient care.”

Ease of use was also a key consideration for Monash Health, according to A/Prof Franco. “The last thing you want to do is go to your frontline staff and introduce another tool to use. I have had staff frequently talk to me about their desire to simplify and consolidate communication methods. So having something that built into systems and tools that they already use, like Microsoft Teams, made a lot of sense.”

A/Prof Franco said that Baret and Microsoft Teams are now being used by staff at the VHH as well as more broadly across Monash Health’s other five major hospitals. “Staff at the VHH don’t have pagers. We want staff at our other locations to use Baret to connect in with staff at the VHH and to use Baret as the clinical communication app within the VHH itself.”

When asked about the implementation, A/Prof Franco states they’re getting very positive feedback and seeing some real traction. “It’s been well received because it not only addresses key communication and cybersecurity risk areas, but it’s something doctors have asked for. It gives them the right tools for the job. “We’re starting to get volume on Baret. We’re talking about 3,000 employees on this system and around 23,000 roles clocked on to shifts so far, and we will expand our footprint across the rest of Monash Health in the coming months. It’ll be exciting to liberate doctors and other clinicians of their traditional pagers.”

Baret was initially deployed at Monash Health across their five hospitals in August last year. Jane Prowse, Chief Technology Officer at FiveP Australia, said that Monash Health capitalised on its knowledge from the initial deployment to launch the VHH. “Monash Health drew on the experience gained from using Baret at their other campuses to inform their greenfield deployment, incorporating best practice clinical communication from the outset for the new hospital.”

One key objective of the initial Baret deployment was to reduce the volume of internal switchboard calls. Dr Anna Ingram, Medical Informatics Registrar at Monash Health, said that the organisation’s switchboard manager had been very supportive of the Baret deployment. “It helps them to decrease their volume of calls longer term. With fewer internal calls, switchboard staff have got more time to answer calls from family members and patients, which is so important to enhancing patient experience.”

In terms of the next steps for Monash Health, A/Prof Franco said that clinical communications and Baret are taking centre-stage at the organisation in addition to other changes being made for the VHH. “One of the things we’re thinking about at the moment is consolidating communication policies. The status quo isn’t fit for purpose now that we operate in a modern working environment.”

Ultimately, by embracing the future of clinical communications, Monash Health and the VHH are one step closer to achieving their vision of being a leading heart centre not only for Victoria and Australia but for the entire Asia-Pacific region. Dr Simon Kos, Chief Medical Officer of Microsoft Australia New Zealand, emphasised the importance of prioritising clinical communication and collaboration innovation in healthcare today. “Unless clinical communication and collaboration technology is a focus for healthcare organisations, clinicians will find a way. Often, that means using consumer-grade applications. By using secure enterprise-based solutions, such as Baret and Teams, all health team members are included in the conversation. It’s auditable and secure while empowering clinicians with the right tools to deliver care effectively.”

About Baret
Baret is a secure, targeted role-based messaging solution for Microsoft Teams, launched by FiveP in October 2021. It enables structured communications and assurance of critical information handover across clinical and frontline workers in hospitals and care settings, leveraging the best-in-class security of Microsoft 365.

About FiveP
Founded in 2013, FiveP is one of Australia’s leading providers of digital products and services to organisations seeking to transform their ways of working with the Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 platforms. Our mission is to help organisations discover new paths to success by providing technology solutions that unlock their potential.

For further information, please contact Matt Krosch – [email protected]