POLAR Walrus - for quick patient insights

Walrus is a flexible point of care tool developed by Outcome Health to support clinicians and practice staff to pull up insights of patients quickly with prompt notifications sitting on top of clinical software. It is a tool which can provide guidance to a GP/ nurse/ receptionist to ensure patient records and PIP QI data are always up-to-date.

Clinician benefits

  • Walrus can provide clinician prompts to specific items such as missing data, clinical prompts, risk scores or MBS items
  • Support systematic approach for health promotion and preventative care 
  • Colour-coded urgency notifications support clinicians identifying risk factors, allowing early intervention 
  • Improve patient quality of care by keeping patient’s clinical data up to date
  • Assist clinicians to easily identify patient’s MBS eligibility according to practice billing history and increase practice revenue
  • The tool is able to be repositioned freely but consistently on top of the clinical software during a consultation

Walrus can be minimised to the desktop notification bar if you do not want to see it on the screen.

Practice staff benefits

  • Improve workflow efficiency
  • Increase productivity by filling in missing non-clinical patient information
  • Customise group button which suits staff position or role with hide/unhide function
  • It does not slow down the clinical system as it communicates with the POLAR extraction tool instead of the clinical database 

Patient benefits

  • Avoid delays in intervention with up-to-date clinical data
  • Improve health outcomes

How Walrus works

Once Walrus is logged in and a patient file is opened in the clinical software, the Walrus interface will appear with the patient’s basic information and notification groups underneath. It will only pick up the active window information, hence, if a user has multiple patient files open, Walrus will only show the patient information which is currently in the active window.
It consists of seven groups with coloured tags on the top left-hand corner and colour codes to the items within each group. Each colour represents a different level of urgency:

  • Green: appear against the group with no data missing or not relevant
  • Yellow: data missing - low urgency
  • Orange: data missing - medium urgency
  • Red: data missing - high urgency  

Users can choose groups that apply to their role by clicking “+” on the right-hand side. 

Screen capture showing how to choose groups by selecting from a list

Simply clicking on each group button will bring up a page of information or missing data above the Walrus interface. By clicking “Open”, it will take you to the page in the clinical software where you can fill in the missing data. Once missing data is filled, coloured notification will be updated/disappear in 24 hours. 

screen capture showing groups with missing data does not feature an 'open' link

Installing Walrus

With Walrus rollouts to all practices, you can easily install the tool by following the below steps:

  1. Download the Walrus tool installer from the front page of POLAR, or via this installation link
    screen capture showing where to find the Walrus install link on POLAR
  2. Click the INSTALL button to download the setup file
  3. Run the installer application, setup.exe  
  4. Click the INSTALL button 
    Polar Explorer Install window for Walrus
  5. When Walrus starts, you will be asked to enter your POLAR username and password 
    Walrus login screen


Tips for setting up your Walrus

  • Before starting to use the tool, it is important to go to the settings wheel and tick the checkboxes ‘Remember Login’ and ‘Start with Windows’ to have this tool automatically opened whenever the user accesses the clinical software tool
  • Selecting “Screen Triggering” is recommended as it enables the user to enter missing data more efficiently by opening the relevant screen of the clinical software
    Walrus setting screen - tick 'screen triggering'
  • Walrus tool is required to be installed in each workstation, and it is recommended each user to have their own login account for the tool

Support and resources

Walrus User Guide  [PDF | 7 pages | 682kb]


Walrus Installation, configuration and usage walkthrough


Walrus webinar: August 2021


Walrus Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Walrus?

Walrus is a point of care tool designed for GPs and other general practice staff. It prompts you about missing data, clinical/screening prompts, risk scores, PIP-QI or MBS items for the patients on-screen.

Q: Do I need to install Walrus on each workstation?

Yes, installation on each workstation is required.

Q: Can Walrus be installed in a terminal server environment?

No. Walrus uses Microsoft ClickOnce installer technology to perform the installation, which is not officially supported inside a Windows terminal server environment.

Q: How do I register a Walrus login account?

Walrus login is the same as your POLAR login details. If you do not have a POLAR account, please contact your practice’s POLAR admin account holder (usually practice manager or principal) or your Practice Support Officer/Health Systems Improvement Officer for assistance.

Q: Which clinical software is compatible with Walrus?

Walrus is currently compatible with Medical Director and Best Practice.

Q: How often does the data update in Walrus?

The Walrus data is reloaded on a 24-hour cycle. Changes to the patient record may not affect the Walrus notifications until this reload has occurred.

Q: What is the colour scheme from Walrus?

Walrus consists of 7 groups with coloured tags in the top left-hand corner. There are also colour codes for the items within each group and each colour represents a different level of urgency:

  • Green: appears against the group with no data missing or not relevant
  • Yellow: data missing - low urgency
  • Orange: data missing - medium urgency
  • Red: data missing - high urgency
For more details of each coloured tag, please refer to the below table: 
Yellow (low urgency) Orange (medium urgency) Red (high urgency)
Hospitalisation risk: Low Flu vaccination required Hospitalisation risk: High
CVD risk: Low CVD risk components required Hospitalisation risk: Urgent
APRI risk: little to no indication of cirrhosis (<0.5) Cervical screening test required APRI risk: Strong indicator of cirrhosis (>1.5)
Gender Systolic blood pressure required CVD risk: at risk
Next of kin BMI recording required CVD risk: High
Postcode APRI Risk: moderate indicator of cirrhosis (>=0.5 & <=1.5) Last HbA1c above RACGP recommended range 3/12 test
Social history Smoking status COVID vaccine status: unvaccianted
Suburb HbA1c test required Allergy
Indigenous status Audit C required Allergy reaction
Date of birth COVID vaccine status: partially vaccinated  
Emergency contact COVID vaccine status: fully vaccinated, booster due  
Family history Blood pressure recording required  
Possible eligible for new GPMP Lipid test required  
Possible eligible for new TCA HbA1c test is due for diabetes monitoring care  
Care plan review CVD risk medium  
Eligible for Indigenous Health Assessment Hospitalisation risk: medium  
75+ Health Assessment    
45–49-year-old Health Assessment    
Waist circumference recording required    
COVID vaccine status: fully vaccinated, booster not due    


Visit the POLAR resources page

Contact your SWSPHN Practice Support Officer or Health System Improvement Officer for support.