When headspace opened its Chatswood centre in 2013, it turned to ASI Solutions to provide the IT and communications backbone required to transform it from a greenfield site into a one-stop shop for young people within six months. ASI implemented a comprehensive technology solution that has given headspace a consistent and reliable communications infrastructure to support the important work it does, meet strict regulations and future proof the centre.
“Not only do we have to adhere to strict regulations, our services are required by youth with major issues, which means our communications systems, website and access to reliable technology are vital. ASI Solutions delivered a comprehensive quote and outlined service level agreement commitments, which made it easy for us to finalise our decision to go with them. We are confident we are delivering with the support of a solid IT infrastructure.”
Penny Mills, Practice Manager, headspace Chatswood.
With mental health being one of the major health issue facing young Australians, developing services that are responsive and able to offer early treatment is essential. As Australia’s national youth mental health foundation, headspace is tackling the issues that stand in the way of young people’s access to accessible and appropriate health services through more than 60 centres throughout Australia.
When headspace launched the Chatswood centre in June 2013, it turned to ASI Solutions (ASI) to provide a consistent and reliable communications infrastructure to support the important work it does and transform the centre from a greenfield site into a one-stop shop for young people.
From greenfield to operational in less than six months
Since the foundation opened the doors to its Chatswood centre, it has helped hundreds of young people in Sydney’s northern suburbs, offering free mental health services, general medical support, drug and alcohol counselling and recovery support, as well as vocational assistance.
headspace Chatswood needed to move from one staff member working in a satellite office to a full-fledged operational facility with an online presence, built from scratch in less than six months. A youth advisory group was set up to assess and contribute to the facility, from the colours on the walls through to the wording of its confidentiality agreement.
headspace Chatswood required systems, tools and processes that would provide a consistent and reliable communications infrastructure and to help it comply with strict Department of Health regulations on IT infrastructure, funding assessment and system requirements. headspace Chatswood turned to ASI Solutions (ASI) as its partner to meet all of its technology needs.
In addition, headspace Chatswood decided to implement “Profile” Practice Management Software from Intrahealth for appointments, billing and case notes, as well as data survey software from MDS, which is utilised by all headspace facilities nationwide. MDS allows practitioners to log in pre and post consultation to monitor a client’s presentation in real-time.
“Not only do we have to adhere to strict regulations, our services are required by youth with major issues, which means our communications systems, website and access to reliable technology are vital,” said Penny Mills, practice manager for headspace Chatswood.
“We required extensive support, and looked to find an external partner for implementation and ongoing support. ASI Solutions came recommended and were a known quantity, having a highly successful track record in working with NSW Health. It delivered a comprehensive quote and outlined service level agreement commitments, which made it easy to finalise our decision to go with it.”
Implementing a technology platform for the future
From the beginning, ASI quickly realised that headspace Chatswood needed advice, as well as a complete, integrated technology solution. ASI worked with the foundation to assess prospective internet, telephony and data plans, without locking it down to specific providers. It was also determined that headspace needed to segregate the wireless network and securely provision iPads for staff and client use.
In response, ASI Solutions recommended and implemented a complete package from servers and desktops, security and storage, wireless and switching through to devices and handsets.
“ASI showed they had gone the extra step of listening to what we really wanted and – more than that – understanding what we really needed,” said Ms Mills. “ASI designed a solution that ticked all the requirements and suggested things, rather than just submitting a list of a bunch of products and figures. It provided a roadmap and talked about support and service level agreements right from day dot.”
As a longstanding partner, ASI turned to Lenovo for reliable, durable desktops and monitors that can handle a high level of use. As the oldest Brocade reseller in Australia, it turned to Brocade for high performance, cost-effective and scalable switching. The phone system is the latest offering from ShoreTel, fully VoIP and is extendable to include multiple sites.
In addition, a wireless network enabled by a Brocade Dual Radio 802.11ABGN Wireless Access Point, was installed exclusively to allow clients and practitioners to use iPads to connect to MDS to complete surveys and access data. The wireless network is separate to the private network, secured by a Watchguard XTM33 firewall appliance.
“headspace’s National Office tracks the data collected by MDS, and we are measured against this data,” said Ms Mills. “It is extremely important, not only because it is one of the elements considered in funding decisions, but also because real-time access to the data collected is very useful to our practitioners in providing consistent and continued care to our clients. We love that we can provide our Young People with iPads to complete these surveys, as it’s a device they’re used to and one they like using.”
ASI also offered a managed services option to allow headspace to carry out its primary business without having to worry about the IT network, which the service provider will constantly monitor the health of the network.
“ASI went totally out of scope and did it willingly,” commented Ms Mills. The team was there all the time, rang to check in on things and went well above what they promised. We were so pleased ASI was on our team. Of course we wanted to go with the managed services option, so they can continue to be our technology support!”
Delivering on the dream
As headspace’s technology supplier – one it describes as a true partner – ASI not only offered a comprehensive IT solution, but it went above and beyond to ensure that the Chatswood centre could open on time, with the phone system, internet connection, website up and other systems all operational before launch time.
According to Ms Mills, ASI was instrumental in overcoming any hurdles at the last minute to ensure that the centre opened on time, and constantly provided recommendations and solutions beyond its own package.
“We want to run as one centre, with consistent access to the same schedules and client records, and to realise the cost savings involved with extending our current software agreements with licenses rather than starting from scratch,” added Ms Mills. “We are confident we are delivering with the support of a solid IT infrastructure.”
Ms Mills also commented, “We invited our youth advisory group to come and see the finished product, and they told us it was exactly how they imagined it would be. Everyone who comes here says that it has a beautiful, warm feel and that they feel safe here. It is the best result we could have hoped for.”
Supporting future growth and direction
Moving forward, headspace Chatswood not only has the confidence that its current technology and communications needs are covered as a result of this greenfield project, but it now has the scalability it needs to service its growing clientele and open additional centres in the future.
First on the agenda is a plan to open a second facility in Brookvale in NSW, which is currently underway. headspace Chatswood is also talking to ASI about a future cloud strategy, building on its current system.