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PAH nurse leads ED to efficiency

29 November 2023

With over 50 years’ experience in health, PA Hospital Business Practice Improvement Officer (BPIO) and CNC Dale Mason has successfully implemented a project that has improved technical efficiency at a number of Emergency Departments (EDs) across Queensland.

It was in early 2016 that Dale identified an opportunity to advance data quality for research, clinical analytics, ABF allocation and technical efficiency using diagnosis codes. 

Wasting no time, Dale set to work liaising with the Health Funding and Analysis (HFA) team and the ED Senior Management team to explore the feasibility of implementing an Activity-Based Funding (ABF) Optimisation Project that would positively influence data quality and integrity, research, and funding.

Through perseverance, Dale and the HFA team’s vision to improve PAH’s ED data quality had come to fruition, demonstrating substantial improvements in technical efficiency and a revenue boost for the ED amounting to over $4 million last financial year.

Before long, the success of the trial had ignited a ripple effect among the other Metro South Health ED BPIOs and Data Managers, who liaised with Dale to develop their own ABF Optimisation teams and processes. In her role as the Queensland Emergency Department Strategic Advisory Panel (QEDSAP) BPIO State Chair, Dale took the project one step further, going on to assist the WMH and GCUH in rolling out similar initiatives at their own EDs.

Today, Dale continues to lend her expertise to supporting additional EDs across the state with data quality and management processes, by establishing a monthly committee meeting with high engagement across the state.

Dale says the project’s remarkable success would not have been possible without the dedicated team of specialists who work tirelessly behind the scenes to deliver it.

“It’s a team. Everyone from the data specialists to the Health Funding Analysis team has a great work ethic. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are,” she said. 

Reflecting on fifty years in health, Dale says her greatest sense of career satisfaction comes from simply doing what she loves every day.

“I don’t think there is one particular highlight for me. The whole journey through nursing and what nursing can give you, and how you can develop yourself, and how your leaders can support and advise you, that’s what makes nursing a great career.” 

Having launched her nursing career at the tender age of fifteen in Hokitika New Zealand, Dale says she always knew her career would be in health, and reflects proudly on the resulting and extraordinary half-century of clinical practice, mentoring and educating.

“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse from day dot. In New Zealand, the courses that we did at school directed you to what level of career pathway you could do, so I started as an Enrolled Nurse and moved up from there. I just knew there was more to explore,” she said. 

Recognised for her tireless efforts and exemplary leadership in implementing the project, Dale has been shortlisted for the 2023 Metro South Health Ambitious Innovation Award. 

Last updated 29 November 2023
Last reviewed 29 November 2023

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