Health and safety simplified: Safe365 provides a 360-degree view of performance

 |   Microsoft New Zealand News Centre

New Zealand’s largest privately owned primary healthcare group, Tāmaki Health, is responsible for the health and safety of thousands of New Zealanders, and more than 1,200 staff. When its non-clinical health and safety reporting tools weren’t up to task, it sought help from Microsoft SaaS partner, Safe365. One intuitive, intelligent app later and Tāmaki Health commenced rolling out the Safe365 solution across its clinical network nationally to gain full visibility of its workplace safety issues and risks while proactively managing and dealing with them quickly and effectively. 

For a healthcare organisation like Tāmaki Health, Health and Safety is literally in its name. As you’d expect of a network of nearly 50 general practice and urgent care clinics, stretching the length and breadth of New Zealand, patient and employee health, safety, and wellbeing is paramount. Health and safety risks and complaints must all be identified and logged as soon as they arise and dealt with.

“The old system provided me with no visibility of what was happening at the clinic level with regard to workplace health & safety – clinical safety was sorted, but not our workplace health & safety,” says Pamela Mitchell, Audit, Assurance, Risk and Health and Safety Manager at Tāmaki Health.

“People might record something, but unless they flagged it to me in an email, I wouldn’t have awareness of it. It meant I had no oversight of the potential risks to the organisation, or any detail about them – only numbers of incidents were recorded, which wasn’t enough to ensure we were meeting our health and safety obligations.”

This was compounded by the difficulty of recording incidents in the previous system, which created a culture of non-reporting. The upshot was a lot of problems remaining unseen and unresolved. As Pamela says: “If you feel you’re simply reporting something into a void, it creates apathy. Whereas the better information we have, the more able we are to understand our risks at the business level and deal with them proactively.”

“We looked to find a technology solution that would encourage and enable better reporting and provide us with a much better view of what was happening across the organisation at both an operational and organisational level. After looking at all of the options, from a fully bespoke system to off-the-shelf software, there was one which stood out, and that was Safe365,” she adds.

A health and safety consultant in the cloud

Nathan Hight, co-founder of digital Health and Safety platform Safe365, explains: “Safe365 is a genuine SaaS product. We wanted to put a health and safety consultant in the cloud to enable businesses to better understand their health and safety capability and culture and then take them on a journey to improve their safety culture over time.”

Safe365 is aimed at giving organisations a helicopter view of their health and safety maturity and areas for improvement, along with tools and templates to make those improvements happen.

Nathan was inspired to start the company after a long trans-Tasman career in surf lifesaving focused on saving lives.

“The harsh reality is that New Zealand has one of the poorest records in the OECD when it comes to harm in the workplace,” he says.

Together with business partner, Mark Kidd, he wanted to do something about this.

“When the new Health and Safety at Work Act came in, everyone really wanted to know ‘What does good health and safety look like?” So, we designed a prototype from my garage in Papamoa and since 2016 we have grown to have nearly 8,000 customers on our platform in New Zealand, and more in Australia and the UK, including some iconic businesses like Heathrow Airport, Amazon, TripAdvisor and others.”

As a board member of the Health and Safety Association New Zealand (HASANZ), Pamela was already familiar with what Safe365 could do and saw it as an ideal fit for transforming Tāmaki Health’s workplace health & safety culture.

Tamaki Health’s existing system was not tailored to non-clinical complaints, so property maintenance issues, for example, did not fit any dropdown option. Records were also tied to patients, and the most common selection by those reporting was “Other”, which was of no value. This made visibility of patterns and trends impossible and the data next to meaningless.

“A lot of solutions are more targeted at the manager rather than the worker, creating reports without being user-friendly or engaging. Safe365 is about putting the individual at the core and because it is built on Microsoft Azure, it makes engagement and reporting easy,” says Nathan.

To tailor Tāmaki Health’s software for its specific needs, the six most common complaints from the World Health Organisation’s list of non-clinical issues were mapped across to the Safe365 platform. These were things like waiting times, invoicing issues, or customer service.

QR codes were created for each of these so workers could simply scan the appropriate code for any complaint on their phone, then populate the details from their phone or desktop with uploaded evidence of the complaint.  Now each record is tied to the clinic rather than individual patients.

“Because Safe365 is on Azure, the rollout is a lot faster and more cost-effective than more bespoke solutions, while providing top security, which provides the ultimate assurance to customers. The whole process, from design to implementation, happened extremely quickly,” says Nathan.

The first of Tāmaki Health’s five regions went live in October 2022. All are now on the platform.

Empowering people to do their jobs

“It’s amazing. I can look in the performance portal anytime and see what has been reported. I can also see immediately when issues have not been resolved and escalate them,” Pamela says.

Pamela can now identify very quickly through the portal when clinics are not reporting issues, with the ability to compare metrics across the business. She can also drill down into incidents, from reading individual incident forms to spotting patterns by incident type, region, or clinic, to see where trends are occurring that require a new strategy.

Even better, Pamela can assign a task to people in each clinic with a due date. Not only is it really clear who is responsible for addressing issues, she can see how long incidents are taking to resolve.

“And the people using it love it because it is so easy to use. It is super-fast. You just get an invitation to use the app, and you’re on. And it forces people not just to flag issues, but to think about what they are going to do next, because they can see where the responsibility sits. It’s certainly created an appetite for change. All the regional managers are excited and want to be a part of it,” she says.

Keeping the world safe

Pamela is now leveraging the platform’s Power BI reporting capabilities to provide the Board and Management teams with insights from across the regions.

“Safe365 is a powerful business tool, aggregating data and providing insights on the health and safety culture and performance of the business in real time, allowing executives to make decisions on where to invest their time, money, and energy on the right safety interventions for continuous improvement in safety performance. It really turns safety into a business discipline and puts it in a language that people understand, so we have the ability to measure improvement and ROI.”

She is also excited by the new Contractor Connect module, enabling contractors to log into the system and provide relevant health and safety documentation. In future, she would love to see Safe365 used for clinical reporting as well.

Meanwhile, Safe365 continues to evolve, adding new modules, features (and customers) at pace. With a sizeable local customer base already, Safe365 is now able to provide health and safety benchmarking for organisations across the globe, showing how customers are performing against others in their industry through their Health and Safety maturity assessment, the Safe365 “Safety Index”. But it doesn’t stop there.

The Safe365 business continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. Safe365 has listed on Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace, looking to grow its customers to 100,000 in short order as a co-sell partner with access to Microsoft’s global networks. The company has also partnered with New Zealand company, Govn365, which has designed its own licensed product using the Safe365 platform to help organisations learn about their governance maturity.

“Until scalable cloud solutions like Microsoft 365 (and Safe365) came along, digital health and safety products simply were not easily accessible to businesses. Our single biggest focus is to combine Microsoft’s market power with our knowledge to keep people around the world safe,” Nathan says.

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