HEALTHCARE OF NEW Zealand Holdings Limited (HHL Group) is the country’s largest provider of community-based support.
CIO Don Robertson says this year there will be an increase across IT staff numbers, projects and budgets by around 10 per cent. The 30-member ICT team works with more than 7500 staff from Auckland to Invercargill, including many rural areas.
The team’s biggest project this year is the implementation of two ERP systems – one is a replacement of a large ERP client management application including mobilising a large workforce, and the other is a new ERP implementation. These two systems will be hosted at the Revera data centres.
“We are computerising a company from scratch with 1200 staff looking after people with disabilities in 130 locations,” he says on the second project. “On top of that, we are putting a SaaS client management system that is almost like a Facebook for people we support and their families.
“We are doing a lot of things at the same time and in parallel.” With the scope and pace of work, Robertson and his team’s move into two-speed IT is necessary.
A team of developers and business people are working on two Agile projects.
“One project delivered a solution to track and enable the payment of travel time for 3,500 staff implemented within a two-month period, while the other is building a central data repository enabling data standardisation and quality improvements ready for migration to the new ERP. This will continue on to build a data warehouse for BI,” says Robertson.
“On top of all this is the integration of a new company we purchased late last year including infrastructure upgrades, migration and large applications to support.” Robertson says the team also does a lot of implementation work with application vendors. “We are more on using technology, not having to build it. We work in partnership with vendors to bring in the software they have got and to use that.”
Mobility is a key theme in their ICT roadmap. A recently implemented contract was for an organisation whose 130 new staff working nationwide with people who have behavioural needs wherever those people are.
HHL Group implemented a system where staff can essentially set up an office where their assignment takes them. The staff are equipped with a laptop, 3D hotspot and a mobile with 0800 SIP phone number which allows them to communicate data and voice.
“We set it all up in the background effectively so they can have a mobile office wherever they want. When they need to go the office, they can work in any of the hot desks.
“We did that in a very short space of time,” says Robertson. “We had put in a new document management system, we needed to keep things secure, and implemented a lot of training.”
“We have people who are very good at what they do, and we need to get them up to speed to the whole new way of working and doing things differently,” says Robertson on the importance of training for new systems.
HHL Group also handed out 25 iPads to share across staff which enables them to use apps for people needing behavioural support. A person affected by autism spectrum disorder who will have difficulty communicating with the parent or staff can use the apps to show how they feel by clicking on the smiley face or sad face. This removes the frustration in communication causing the behaviour problems, Robertson says.
HHL Group has also rolling out Skype for Business. This enables the mobile staff after face to face interviews to follow these up with Skype conversations reducing the need for further travel. The staff can also communicate amongst themselves to discuss cases. Managers are also using the system to communicate with staff across different locations.
“We are looking at how the processes work and how we can give more technology to make them more efficient and effective,” he says.