Over 93% of measures delivered under second Action Plan for Jobs Progress Report - Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister Bruton
19th July 2012
72 out of 77 measures scheduled in the Action Plan for Jobs to be delivered in the second quarter of 2012 have been implemented, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation announced today [Thursday].
Today’s announcement took place at Arran Healthcare, an innovative Irish start-up healthcare company based in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, and one of six companies selected to take part in the demonstrator project of the Healthcare Innovation Hub (HIH) aimed at encouraging collaboration between companies and the health sector. The delivery of the HIH and the establishment of a demonstrator project are key measures delivered in Q2 under the Action Plan for Jobs.
The measures delivered include:
- Establishment of a demonstrator project for a new Healthcare innovation Hub to drive collaboration between the health sector and industry, and the selection of six companies to participate and be fast-tracked through the system for trialling and testing with a view to accelerating commercial outcomes
- Passing the Credit Guarantee Bill, as part of the measures necessary to deliver the ¤450million credit guarantee scheme
- Passing the Microenterprise Loan Fund Bill as part of measures necessary to deliver the ¤90million microenterprise loan fund
- Two visa programmes are operational for entrepreneurs from outside the EU – Immigrant Investor Programme, Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme
- Announcement of new structures and rules to make it easier for businesses to commercialise ideas emerging from State-funded research, including the establishment of a “one-stop-shop” technology transfer office
- Publication of survey on demand for credit from SMEs
- Establishment of an IDA/EI senior management team and roll-out of joint initiatives in attracting inward entrepreneurs and maximising procurement opportunities for Irish business with multinationals.
- Management development programme for SMEs
- A series of measures to improve opportunities for Irish businesses from government procurement, including a Procurement Innovation initiative and measures to make it easier for SMEs to engage in the procurement process
The Taoiseach said:
“The Action Plan for Jobs is central to our efforts in tackling unemployment, and I promised to ensure that Government would work hard to deliver on its ambition. The Q1 commitments are 100% complete and are yielding results. The Q2 commitments are over 93% complete and I expect they will be fully delivered in the coming weeks. We welcome the progress made but refuse to get complacent, as job creation remains at the top of our agenda”.
The Tánaiste said:
“I have always made it clear that job creation is the first priority of the Government. This Progress Report again shows a high level of implementation of the measures contained in the Action Plan for Jobs. Together with strategies such as the stimulus plan that we launched this week, the Government is determined to drive ahead with its job creation agenda”.
Minister Bruton said:
“When we as a Government launched the Action Plan for Jobs earlier this year, we stated very clearly that there was no ‘big bang’ solution to the jobs crisis, and that what was needed was determined, step-by-step implementation of our plan to rebuild the economy and create jobs. Today’s announcement shows that implementation remains strong. We are making solid progress and have already put in a number of measures which will make a practical difference in making it easier for businesses to grow and create jobs.
“For example, we are here today with Arran Healthcare, an innovative Irish start-up which will benefit in a real way from the Healthcare Innovation Hub which we have established, and the hope is that this will make it easier for the company to develop and take on staff. However we have a long way to go and the challenge now is to ensure that we continue the determined process of rebuilding the economy so that we can achieve the levels of jobs and growth we so badly need”.
The complete Progress Report can be found at the following link: http://www.djei.ie/publications/2012APJ_Second_Progress_Report.pdf
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Action Plan for Jobs 2012 Q2
The Action Plan for Jobs contains over 270 actions, broken down into over 600 discrete measures to be delivered in 2012. Of these, 77 were scheduled for delivery in Q2 2012, of which 72 have been delivered. These include:
In a project driven by DJEI and DOHC, six companies have been selected to take part in a demonstrator project for a Healthcare Innovation Hub, which is tasked with driving collaboration between the health system and commercial enterprises leading to the development and commercialisation of new healthcare technologies, products, services and start-ups emerging from within the health system and/or firms. Further information on the six companies is included below.
- Passed the Credit Guarantee Bill. The Scheme is expected to be up and running in Q3.
- With regard to the new Procuring Innovation Initiative, built a critical mass of Departments/Agencies willing to participate, announced details, identified with Departments/Agencies practical projects where the approach can be applied, and assisted them in preparing tendering documentation that encourages more innovative solutions.
- Other measures delivered in Quarter 2 on procurement include: training for procurement officers to ensure that they are clear on the need for a proportionate approach in implementing procurement guidelines in relation to SME participation; examination of international models to allow SMEs to engage with contracting authorities on issues of concern in tender documentation; progress on identifying key projects across Government that will provide sub-contracting and supply chain opportunities for SMEs through pre-qualification panels.
- Establishment of an IDA/EI senior management team and roll-out of pilot initiatives in attracting inward entrepreneurs and maximising procurement opportunities for Irish business with multinationals.
- Published a draft strategy for consultation to promote employment, and support local enterprise by Local Government, to include measures in the area of business charges, local enterprise and business support arrangements, procurement support, local development and community based initiatives, the Green Economy and Local Government participation in employment support schemes.
- Set new targets for industry participation and take‐up of publicly‐funded research across all enterprise‐relevant research programmes so that the enterprise relevance will play a greater part in research activity.
- Articulated a clear commitment to manufacturing in Ireland, elaborated on the range of initiatives and supports that will be put in place to demonstrate this commitment, and established a Manufacturing Development Forum to assist the Government in identifying the needs of manufacturing enterprises and to progress a transformation agenda in this area.
- Developed a Cloud Computing Procurement Standard with industry experts.
- Agreed the terms of reference with stakeholders for a National Strategy for the Construction Sector to 2015 outlining the opportunities, challenges and actions needed to realise the potential of the sector.
- Two visa programmes are operational for entrepreneurs from outside the EU – Immigrant Investor Programme, Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme
- Announcement of new structures and rules to make it easier for businesses to commercialise ideas emerging from State-funded research, including the establishment of a “one-stop-shop” technology transfer office.
Five measures outlined in the Plan for completion in Q2 have not been delivered on schedule. These are:
- Accelerate the programme of revaluation of commercial premises, which will provide a basis for an adjustment in the burden of commercial rates. (Action 1.17). A central element of this is the introduction of amending legislation to the Valuation Act 2001 which governs the valuation process. The amending legislation has been drafted and will be submitted to Government for approval shortly.
- Submit proposals for Government decision on a new national waste policy. The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government will submit the new policy for approval by Government later in July.
- Building on the work of the Next Generation Broadband Taskforce, agree advanced broadband targets and milestones for Ireland, identify the infrastructure deficits nationally and then develop and implement a plan to achieve these targets. (Action 1.45). A National Broadband Plan is now being submitted for Government consideration. The plan, when published, will set targets for advanced broadband deployment and the measures that will be pursued to achieve these targets.
- Following establishment of the Microfinance Fund facility (i) apply to European Investment Fund (EIF) for a guarantee facility and (ii) complete a due diligence process with the EIF. (Action 2.3). The Action Plan for Jobs envisages that lending from the Microfinance Fund will commence in Quarter 3 2012 and this is on target for delivery. However due to the need – unanticipated when the APJ targets were drawn up – to enact legislation it was not possible to meet these two technical commitments during Q2. The legislation was passed this week so the EIF process can now commence; the scheme is expected to commence lending in Q3.
The 93% completion rate in Q2 follows on the implementation of actions in Q1 where 96% of relevant measures were delivered on time and in full. All three outstanding measures from the first quarter have now been fully implemented:
- a ¤250,000 promotional drive for women in business.
- a ¤2 million pilot programme to encourage groups of businesses to collaborate, improve competitive advantage, create mutual financial gain and support job creation.
- development of a Cloud Computing Strategy for the Public Sector.
Other measures of note include:
- delivery of businessregulation.ie , a new website aimed at reducing the burden of red tape on business by bringing together in one place clear information on regulations imposed by over 30 Government bodies and how to comply with them. The site had 8,700 page views during the first week of operation, and over 16,500 up to the 11th of July (less than one month after launch). This is a Q3 measure delivered early.
- following on from a Q1 action, Business Development Managers are to be appointed to 37 Community Enterprise Centres across the country as part of a ¤2million programme aimed at protecting and growing businesses in the community.
Healthcare Innovation Hub: companies selected for demonstrator project:
1. Arran Healthcare
“Evaluation of an innovative, safe and effective way to decontaminate healthcare equipment”
The goal of this project is to demonstrate cost savings and the reduction in patient-infection rates associated with the introduction of a new disinfection system to the healthcare market developed by Arann Healthcare called RADICA.
Healthcare-Associated Infections (HCAIs) are those infections that are acquired when in contact with the healthcare sector. Between 5 and 10% of all patients who pass through the healthcare system will contract a HCAI, resulting in more serious illness (in some cases death), prolonged hospital stay, reduced bed capacity and higher patient treatment costs. Two common HCAIs are the hospital “Superbugs” MRSA and E-coli.
The recognised role of the patient environment (and the mattress) in the spread of infection is growing given that bacteria can survive or persist on surfaces for months, thereby acting as a continuous source of re-transmission Hospital.
Arann Healthcare’s RADICA system has been specially designed to disinfect a wide range of objects found in the patient bay with primary focus on hospital mattresses. It uses plasma-gas discharge technology to generate a disinfectant gas from normal room air without the need for added gases, chemicals or water. RADICA is an efficient, consistent and safe disinfection method for disinfecting objects and allows healthcare facilities to better utilise their limited resources, significantly reduce HCAI treatment costs, and increase bed capacity.
The proposal is broken down into 3 parts.
Part 1 will collect clinical data to identify and quantify pathogens that are most commonly found on objects in the patient bay (including mattresses). Part 2 will carry out a cost analysis of current decontamination techniques under a number of different headings will provide a benchmark for comparing current methodologies against those associated with RADICA. And finally, Part 3 will trial RADICA on a number of hospital wards. Patient infection rates will be monitored over an extended period to time between wards using current cleaning practices and those wards using RADICA to determine the reduction in infection levels obtained.
The use of plasma technology for decontamination is a natural progression that is in line with the government’s focus on the promotion of greener, cleaner technologies. Taking part in the HIH will enable Arann Healthcare to further validate and evaluate RADICA in a real working hospital environment, and represents a key element in our route-to-market strategy. This study provides a conduit to determine the ancillary cost benefits of using the system in addition to the expected decrease in the infection level of patients, thereby providing a showcase for our system to a wider market.
About Arann Healthcare:
Arann Healthcare is an Irish firm with extensive knowledge and experience in plasma gas discharge technology. We have used this expertise to develop systems for disinfecting hard-to-clean objects, aiding the prevention and control of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) such as MRSA, VRE and E-coli.
Incorporated following the successful sale of a previous venture to a leading US firm, Arann Healthcare has used its core competency of plasma gas discharge to produce the RADICA system, a breakthrough in infection control with applications across a range of healthcare environments.
Arann Healthcare is supported by AIB Seed Capital Fund, Enterprise Ireland and private investors.
Abtran is the leading Irish Business Process and Managed Services provider offering centralised service solutions across the public and private sectors. The company has a research driven and commercially orientated approach to the delivery of consumer services.
Abtran has developed an innovative service solution which standardises and centralises the co-ordination of outpatient referrals in the healthcare system. The benefits include an overall better and safer service for patients, a real and positive impact on waiting lists, exponentially reduced costs and the delivery of more for less within the healthcare system, with a relatively short payback period.
The Healthcare Innovation Hub will enable Abtran to further develop its services to the healthcare sector both nationally and internationally.
“We focus on delivering better service for our clients’ customers, for less. We have identified the healthcare sector as a key market where we can leverage our service expertise for patients. We see the opportunity to provide a more customer focused service to patients in the same way we do for our clients across the public and private sectors. We have an unrivalled track record in delivering innovative solutions and we believe we can continue to transfer this expertise into the healthcare sector.” Michael Fitzgerald, CEO Abtran.
Abtran employs over 1,000 people in Ireland.
Based in the Rubicon Centre, Cork, Radisens Diagnostics is breaking new ground in the decentralisation of routine blood testing from central reference laboratories into GP surgeries, outpatient clinics, hospital bedsides and other point-of-care settings. With a finger-prick of blood, this diagnostic device returns laboratory-grade results within minutes during a patients GP visit. Radisens’ applications concentrate on chronic disease management – the monitoring of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney and thyroid function, cell counting, amongst others; all with a single portable analyser. With instant readout, this patent pending technology will remove the many anxious days or even weeks of waiting for routine blood test results, thus providing better patient care, significantly reducing healthcare costs and introducing much needed efficiencies into healthcare systems worldwide.
As part of the Healthcare Innovation Hub, Radisens is planning a clinical reference testing site in partnership with the HSE and local hospitals. This will be of huge benefit to the company, testing and validating the point-of-care technology in a controlled and regulated environment ahead of commercial launch. Studies show that instant blood test results of chronic conditions, with GP consultation, can improve patient compliance with their medication and better manage such conditions. With Ireland spending up to ¤1.45 billion annually on managing chronic diabetes alone, this clinical reference site is crucial in designing the efficient integration of this disruptive technology, which promises huge savings for chronic disease management.
4. Rigney Dolphin
Post Discharge Call Programs
With the rising cost of healthcare and the advent of chronic conditions health systems and healthcare providers are under severe pressure throughout the world to look at innovative but cost effective ways to improve patient care.
Post Discharge Call Programs are standardized patient calling programs aimed at increasing the continuity of care and preventing avoidable readmissions after patients leave the hospital setting. Programs can be aimed at generic patient populations or targeted to specific diagnoses. Rigney Dolphin has been providing a post discharge follow up program on behalf of the Cleveland Clinic since February 2011. Areas included in this program include:
- Heart & Vascular
- General Surgery
- Colorectal Surgery
- Otolaryngology & Communicative Disorders
- Plastic Surgery
- Nephrology and Hypertension
- Endocrine Surgery,
- Obstetrics & Gynaecology
- Breast Centre
- Orthopaedic Surgery
Registered nurses or Discharge Advocates call the patients within a 48 hour window post discharge to discuss the patient’s progress and recovery. Patient concerns can be proactively addressed on the call. Scripted calling allows for data collection and analysis for population health management.
Key lines of questioning include; understanding and adhering to discharge instructions, follow-up appointment setting, medication adherence or problems, new or worsening symptoms since discharge and key readmission indicators for their condition. Re-education on clinical and non-clinical elements of recovery is a major part of the program.
Measurements and results from health device such as blood pressure cuffs can also be tracked with problems mitigated and their use advocated through communication.
Protocols are put in place for escalations and clinical escalation can include escalation to primary and secondary care teams.
Results of published successful programs in the US from the Healthway’s Center for Research (2011) and the Beryl Institute (2011) include 23% reduction in readmissions and a 12% increase in patient satisfaction.
Since commencement of the Cleveland Clinic program, Rigney Dolphin has also helped Cleveland Clinic achieve higher HCAHP (Patient Satisfaction linked to penalties) scores across the board and is positively helping all areas tackle readmission rates and enhance patient outcomes. In total in 2012 over 50,000 US based discharged patients will be contacted by Rigney Dolphin’s healthcare team through the program.
Rigney Dolphin sees the Healthcare Innovation Hub as an ideal opportunity to introduce similar programs in Ireland with decreased avoidable readmissions, reduced lengths of hospital stay, improved patient outcomes and high patient satisfaction key indicators of success.
5. Slainte Healthcare
Sláinte Healthcare is a rapidly expanding provider of technology and services to the acute healthcare sector. ‘Sláinte’ – pronounced ‘Slawn-tcha’ – is the Irish language (Gaelic) word for ‘Good Health’.
Privately owned and part funded by the Enterprise Ireland, Sláinte was founded by CEO, Andrew Murphy, in 2006 and is now one of the fastest growing, profitable, healthcare technology companies in the UK and Ireland. Employing over 70 staff, the company has on average doubled in size annually since foundation. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and with a presence in UK, Middle East, Australia and Asia, Sláinte enables hospitals to maximize clinical and operational performance through the use of the technology platforms.
Vitro: Intelligent Paper on Glass
Vitro enables clients to rapidly move to a paperless environment without the change management issues or operational risk involved in the deployment of traditional EPR solutions. IT has also been applied to automating the revenue cycle for hospitals with spectacular results.
Our “paper on glass” approach is built to mould itself to each hospital’s unique clinical and operational characteristics. We then enable the benefit of accessing internationally leading best-practice action sets and decision support data. Our clients, as a result, typically benefit from:
- Rapid deployment and adoption by stakeholders within the hospital;
- Minimal training or operational disturbance during rollout;
- Rapid elimination of administrative costs;
- Rapid identification of opportunities for improvement in clinical and operational processes;
- Ability to leverage all existing systems within the hospital into the Vitro framework; and
- Enable a platform for continuous improvement on an iterative basis with staff buy-in.
Claimsure® is a web-based, robust and proven Revenue Management Solution which enables the electronic processing of Private Health Insurance claims. Claimsure® electronically manages all aspects of a hospital’s claim from patient admission to discharge, including e-submissions to participating health insurance providers. It replaces the existing paper processing of insurance claims and integrates with the Hospital’s admissions, clinical, and patient administration system. This minimises the cost and time involved in collating, validating, submitting and reconciling health insurance claims.
Billsure enables automated invoice generation for hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers. Billsure manages the entire billing process, changing a paper-based process to a traceable electronic process. Billsure also fully integrates with Sláinte Healthcare’s Claimsure application, automatically associating any invoice for insurers to the relevant electronic claim.
Sláinte Healthcare’s integration expertise stems from the fact that all our products are predicated on seamless integration to disparate internal hospital systems. As a result, we have developed tremendous expertise in healthcare systems integration addressing a wide range of issues.
6. Helix Health
Helix Health is a leading provider of innovative healthcare software and IT solutions. With over 25 years’ experience in designing healthcare software systems, the organisation’s range of cutting-edge technology helps more than 11,000 healthcare professionals across Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Middle East deliver efficient, safe and cost-effective patient services.
Helix Health’s unique position across the Irish healthcare sector allows the company to work towards its vision to create Ireland’s very first fully joined-up healthcare system by electronically connecting healthcare providers through the deployment of the Irish Electronic Prescription Service (IEPS).
The Irish Electronic Prescription Service will allow a patient’s prescription to be sent electronically from their GP to a pharmacy. Once fully operational, a patient may nominate a preferred pharmacy to which their prescriptions can be sent automatically.
The ultimate aim of the IEPS is to enhance the patient’s journey through the primary healthcare system by changing from the paper-based prescription system to an electronic one which is more efficient and consistently accurate.
Last modified: 19/07/2012