When a New Zealander loses a limb, the NZ Artificial Limb Service uses an MYOB Exo-based system implemented and supported by Enprise and its partners to build a new one.
Human bodies and health funding mechanisms are both highly complex, yet the New Zealand Artificial Limb Service has achieved a system that is held up as a model worldwide, says Manager of Finance and Administration Gaye Forster.
“International conferences provide a basis for benchmarking ourselves against our overseas peers. No one else has a system that can tracks patients and limb costing as we do. No other country can collate outcome measures with Key Performance Indicators as we do here in New Zealand,” she says.
“We provide a national service, yet we can report branch by branch. We manage the considerable patient data involved with limb construction, and tightly integrate this with job costing and our Exo financial system. The building of the limb is the ‘closing of the job’ and this generates the invoice to the relevant funder, such as Ministry of Heath or ACC. We were first to pilot working alongside Pharmac to load information directly into ACC’s creditor files for payment.”
At Exo’s front end, NZALS needed a patient information management system capable of managing all patient data. NZALS has a lifetime partnership with patients, so the data is considerable and begins from the time a patient is measured for their first prosthesis. Information includes everything from patient size, mobility and activity levels through to coordination of the measuring and building of limbs. NZALS could not find an off-the-shelf package to do the job.
“No off-the-shelf system could deal with more than one funder per patient,” says Gaye Forster.
“We deliver the service to the individual person, but in New Zealand funders are assigned to the limb: a single person could potentially have up to four funders.”
Enprise partner Very Impressive Software (VIS) wrote a bespoke application called ‘Limbs Information Management System’ that not only manages all patient information, but also helps track and manage funding. The application interfaces tightly with Exo and Job Costing, updating information such as patient numbers, costs and stock control in real time.
NZALS has taken the ‘donkey work’ out of generating patient reports by using templates that auto populate with all available data. This is a fast and accurate way of working, with prosthetists having to complete only select details. When it’s time to pay, NZALS extracts data directly from Exo into another template. ACC is a major funder, and the template can be uploaded directly into the ACC creditor system. Exo also integrates smoothly with NZALS’s off-the-shelf software applications. Payroll is on IMS, and Fixed assets are run on VI Assets, which roll over each month. Both integrate with Exo, while bank files generated inside Exo load directly into NZALS’s online banking system.
NZALS is headquartered in Wellington, with branches in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin. All payments are done from Wellington, with different levels of authorisation assigned to the regional branches.
“We have built in good accountability, with two people checking how data has been entered,” says Gaye Forster.
“We are audited annually. Our auditors like Exo because the metadata listing shows changes to the creditors file. I have used a great many different accounting programmes, and I have to say I like Exo. The flexibility of Exo to download files is excellent: with a right click you can copy and paste files directly into Microsoft Excel. In the same way, we rarely enter journals manually. We just copy and paste them; this is seriously useful because rekeying data is both time consuming and can allow errors to occur.”
NZALS reports by centre, with each of the five centres set up as individual branches. It works on Day Three reporting.
“We can produce Day One reporting, but we choose to allow ourselves an extra two days to make sure everything is as it should be,” Gaye Forster says.
“We use Clarity to write our financial reports. It’s so flexible that you would be hard-pressed to find a report that you couldn’t write. Having the data we collect on patients linked directly to job costing gives us a powerful analytical tool.” Enprise supports Exo, while Enprise partner VIS supports the bespoke Patient Management system. VIS provides remote support, and Enprise a mix of remote and onsite as needed.
“We receive fast and efficient support from both companies,” Gaye Forster says.
The NZ Artificial Limb Service showcases Enprise’s ability to integrate Exo smoothly with both bespoke and off-the-shelf software applications. The customer has integration between Exo and third party applications for banking, payroll and fixed assets, and also tight integration with a highly complex bespoke software application that manages the many steps of artificial limb building and funding. Patient data links directly to the Exo financial system.
The bespoke application for limb information management was written by Enprise partner Very Impressive Software. This demonstrates Enprise’s ability to work with carefully selected long-term partners to deliver a solution that is a perfect fit for the customer. Now that the implementation is complete, Enprise works with its partner as required to provide seamless ongoing support.
- Tight integration between Exo, bespoke and off-the-shelf applications
- Powerful analytics capability
- Sophisticated EDI
- Trouble-free annual audits
- Recognised as a model system internationally
- Fast, local support
The NZ Artificial Limb Board has leveraged Enprise’s expertise and partner network to achieve a system that is a model internationally. Tight integration between Exo, off-the-shelf software and a bespoke patient management application delivers a wide range of advantages for the customer. These include a powerful analytics capability; an Electronic Data Interface with funders and stakeholders that helps secure funding approval; automatically generated invoices; smooth sailing through annual audits; and reporting that’s so flexible the customer says ‘you would be hard pressed to find a report you couldn’t write’.
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