BOSSnet Alerts at Ballarat Health Services

Business Challenge 

Ballarat Health Services (BHS) had various methods of recording alerts and clinical alerts were managed across several systems. Some were recorded in the Patient Administration System (PAS), some were recorded within various medical record forms in addition to a paper alert form, and then scanned into BOSSnet. As a result, there wasn’t a single source of truth for alerts in the hospital. This provided significant risk as there wasn’t a central repository for all alerts that could be accessed by staff to truly know if the patient had any alerts. There were multiple points for finding patient alerts, but no real consistency in who entered alerts, where they recorded them, and which system (or paper) they were recorded in.


To mitigate the risk of alerts being captured in disparate systems, Ballarat Health Services were very keen to have a single source of truth for all their alerts. After evaluating the options, it was agreed that implementing BOSSnet Alerts was the ideal solution to ensuring a comprehensive, easily accessible source of clinical alerts information whilst enabling a single source of truth.
BOSSnet Alerts is a purpose-built web-based application, designed to be used as a central repository for all clinically relevant and patient specific alerts. Alerts can be entered directly into the system OR using ‘Document Initiated Alerts’ ensures greater visibility of important legal orders such as advance care plans. Additionally, alerts can also be shared via outbound HL7 messages.
Not only were BHS implementing BOSSnet Alerts, development of a strong governance structure was vital to their successful implementation. This allowed BHS to develop robust governance, internal processes and policies to support the structure.

An Alerts Project Manager was appointed to liaise with Core Medical Solutions, to coordinate the implementation and to liaise with all key stakeholders. An Alerts Steering Committee was convened to assist with the identification of alert types, how they wanted alerts to behave, and what should be recorded as an alert. The Steering Committee worked through the types of alerts required, and agreed on who in the hospital should have the authority to add and revoke alerts.


As a long standing BOSSnet client, the added benefits of implementing BOSSnet Alerts was the full integration with BOSSnet and through HL7 messaging, alerts were also visible in other BHS systems such as the Patient Administration System. This is particularly useful for reporting as well, especially for theatre staff who use custom reports out of PAS, allowing visibility of alerts data within the reports. Having multiple points for entering Alerts was a clinical risk which has now been minimized.

BHS have also found the document initiated alerts to particularly be of great benefit. Especially for the Advanced Care Plan Directives as they are obliged to capture this information for reporting purposes. The timely availability of these documents also reduces the moral distress often caused to clinical staff and family when they are not sure who they should be speaking to, and also what the patients/families wishes are.

"The ability to incorporate document initiated alerts, particularly for legal orders such as advanced care plans and mental health orders was a great advantage and benefit of BOSSnet Alerts"

Kate Nolan
Director of Information Management
Ballarat Health Services