WFD1402:           Intelligent Service Delivery through a Web Based Environmental Health Knowledge System

Speakers:            Robert Halford, CEHP, MSc; Sean La Fontaine


How can funding cuts improve environmental health service delivery?  Through innovations like the online Regulatory Information and Management System (RIAMS) being used in the UK and Australia, which has delivered big productivity gains and improved service outcomes across international borders. This success has led to more creative approaches for delivering environmental health through public health data, using apps for channel shifting service demand, and encouraging self-service to enable providers to do more with less and enable professionals to focus on the priorities of the day. See how these approaches could work in your program.



The purpose of this session is to demonstrate how funding cuts can trigger innovation in delivering Environmental Health Services. Good solutions do travel and this session highlights how an online tool developed in the UK is now delivering benefits in Australia.

The goal is to inspire delegates to think out of the box and take a fresh look at how adversity can trigger new approaches. The session will also assist delegates understand service challenges in the UK and Australia.

The presentation is led by Robert Halford a UK Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner and co-presented by Sean LaFontaine an Australian Environmental Health Officer.

Faced by very significant funding shortages in the UK and in Australia, the search was on for innovative ways to reduce the cost of delivering Environmental Health Services without eroding the front line and service quality.

The challenge has triggered a number of online tools from the UK and Australia that enable professionals to achieve better consistency and accuracy in applying the complex array of knowledge and legal powers at their disposal.

Beginning with the simple challenge of "How can we deliver more consistent interventions?" a partnership of UK environmental health service providers created an online tool to achieve this goal - RIAMS (Regulatory Information and Management System). RIAMS enables professionals to access standardized resources which uniquely can be customized locally and mixed with local content to avoid the pitfalls of a one-size fits all solution. RIAMS also enabled professionals to share best practice and maintain their continuing professional development.

The project unlocked individuals with specialist skills from around the UK and Australia to help their colleagues who lack particular skills or experience. The project produced big productivity gains, improved service outcomes and individual's felt more confident to tackle the wide array of problems they were expected to deal with.

The success of the RIAMS project has led to an array of more creative approaches for delivering Environmental Health through public health data, using Apps for channel shifting service demand and encouraging self-service to enable service providers do more with less and enable professionals to focus on the priorities of the day.