by Jennifer O'Brien

WA Health ramps up digital journey to improve healthcare services

Mar 13, 2019
Business ContinuityCloud ComputingCollaboration Software

The Western Australian Department of Health (WA Health) has inked a $123 million deal with Atos in a bid to transition and digitise its ICT systems with a mix of cloud services and platforms that it said will improve the provision of healthcare services.

It’s a bold move that Holger Kaufmann, Health Support Services CIO, said represents an opportunity to improve the way WA Health utilises and delivers ICT services to support the provision of healthcare to the WA community.

“A modern and contemporary cloud-based ICT system will enable us to respond better to innovation that will help improve patient care and reduce unnecessary duplication,” Kaufmann said in a statement.

Under the five-year plan, Atos will work with the WA health system’s ICT service provider, Health Support Services (HSS), to transition the current legacy infrastructure from the incumbent provider to Atos Cloud platforms. The new plan replaces WA Health’s centralised computing contract with Fujitsu from 2010 that reportedly reached a whopping $175 million because of poor governance.

Atos is a global provider of digital transformation with approximately 120,000 employees in 73 countries.

According to the department, the digital project will use GovNext-ICT services to provide a hybrid cloud and a recurrent consumption model which scales and shrinks as required, providing WA Health with new agility that will enhance operational processes and reduce costs while improving the patient experience in the public health system.

Specifically, the department said the scope of services is to provide private cloud, managed public cloud, hybrid cloud orchestration, co-location and managed services for 2,000 servers, over 1,000 applications, and a fully managed Oracle Cloud platform.

The department said the transition is expected to deliver several benefits including: the ability to scale on-demand operational costs based on changing demand in WA Health Infrastructure needs; and the ability to provide services with a minimum amount of process overhead regarding both time and cost.

It’s also expected to provide the department with a ‘pay-as-you-go’ framework; the freedom to leverage new technology and innovation; and the ability to transform WA Health applications to modern architectural frameworks that will support greater levels of availability, capacity, performance and scalability.

Meanwhile, WA Health replaced its ailing patient administration system (PAS) several years ago. Prior to implementation, the WA Auditor-General stated in his report that decade-long efforts to fix the system had been hampered by allocated funds not being spent.

PAS is an electronic health record system which stores personal information about patients of public health facilities and helps manage care from admission to discard.