NPS MedicineWise is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides practical tools such as medicines lists, evidence-based information, and professional educational activities, with the aim to improve the way health technologies, medicines and medical tests are prescribed and used.

With MedicineInsight, NPS aims to assemble a repository of primary care data to assist general practices with understanding their clinical activity; how conditions are diagnosed, how they are treated – and importantly how they can be improved. MedicineInsight has around 500 participating primary care (GP) practices across Australia, with over 2000 GPs, representing more than 2 million patients.

The challenge

NPS aims to quadruple its primary care data set from its current 500 practice provider base to more than 2,000 over the next two years, and to partner with new data consumers such as the Australian Primary Health Networks . There also is a strong demand to achieve a deeper level of insight using the already available data and to expose new subject areas.

The solution

To support this level of ambitious growth and a new strategic data integration platform was required that would allow NPS to manage complex data sets, transparently implement data cleansing and data interpretation rules, and to comprehensively expose data quality issues.

NPS initiated an initiative to completely replace its existing data platform. To support its objectives and a Scrum project delivery approach with 2-week sprints, a decision was made to use Data Vault as its modelling approach. Automatic generation of the (ETL) data processing layer using the Acceler8 development framework further improved the speed of delivery, allowing NPS’s limited team of development resources to instead focus on the implementation of complex transformation, interpretation and quality cleansing rules.

Within the larger NPS data warehouse team, A8 consultants have been supporting the organisation with the development of a strong internal delivery team providing technical leadership over the implementation team, and with advice on Data Vault design best practices.

The data warehouse developed for NPS is transformative for the organisation, exposing data faster, cleaner, and more transparently. It is a not just a technical exercise with a technical outcome, but a process with clear benefits not just to NPS itself but (potentially) to health care in Australia.

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