Tasmania's North-West Support Services

Tasmania's North-West Support Services Modernizes the National Disability Insurance Agency
with MySQL HeatWave

"The switch from spreadsheets to MySQL HeatWave rid us of phenomenal amounts of paperwork and gave us a cloud system that provides everybody with secure access and full transparency on the support we provide to disabled people."

Nick Higgins
IT Manager
North-West Support Services Inc.

National Disability Insurance Agency service provider builds modern cloud application for real-time roster management and reporting through MySQL HeatWave.

Introduction & Background

North-West Support Services (NWSS) is an Australian not-for-profit organization that provides disability support in the North-West Region of Tasmania. With funding from National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) participants. The organization’s 250 support staff provide 24/7 support services to people living with disabilities.

Business Challenges & Goals

The NWSS system of allocating staff to shifts and billing to Australia’s National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) was dependent on Excel spreadsheets. This caused multiple problems including the inability to make real-time roster changes and prevented accuracy in billing and correlation with payroll.

With no head office and management team members and support staff all working from home bases, allocating staff to clients was based on fortnightly rosters distributed by email that were worthless if a care worker went sick or could not fulfill a shift for personal reasons. Frequently, gaps could not be filled because roster coordinators did not know who was where and when.

To fix the above problems, NWSS decided to build a modern cloud-based solution to suit their rostering requirements.

Business Results & Metrics

Building on MySQL HeatWave gave NWSS real-time operational visibility that translated into greatly improved matching of staff to clients, accuracy, and always ensuring the availability of staff to clients.

The crucial roster system assigning workers to specific shifts is now clockwork smooth, as mobile connections to the database allow for real-time interactions and instant re-shuffling of resources in case of an accident, family bereavement, or other factors.

The Oracle Cloud allows NWSS to create and populate data fields on demand according to changing roster requirements, adding shifts and staff in a way that all home-based workers can instantly see and work around.

The new system build on MySQL HeatWave has eliminated manual processes, replacing the outdated fortnightly roster spreadsheets. Assignments are updated daily, with real-time visibility and accessible through each worker’s mobile device.

In addition, MySQL reporting helped the organization unburden itself of hundreds of large, manual reports detailing shifts, clients, incidents, and many other elements associated with providing support.

NWSS roster coordinators furnish graphical real-time representations of roster activity fundamental to disability support efficiency, as well as for the control of billing and payroll, and just as importantly, Support Staff welfare.

Moving to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) enabled the support provider to simplify and secure its operations by running MySQL HeatWave, sharing test and development enhancements across the team before going live in the production environment.

The boost in accuracy and real-time communication resulting from the Oracle Cloud platform has allowed staff to be more productive.

Cost management has also improved substantially since billable hours stored in MySQL HeatWave can be accurately billed to the NDIA with a full cost breakdown and is additionally correlated to payroll.

Importantly, with the maximum availability and reliability of OCI, NWSS has had no downtime in its critical healthcare service that depends on a system running at all times.

Why MySQL?

When the NWSS development team decided to end the Excel era, they looked for a modern Cloud platform. After careful evaluation, the organization decided on Oracle Cloud and MySQL HeatWave to build the new solution.