Wednesday, 06 November 2019 13:43

DDCAL boosts productivity with IT systems move to Acurus

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DDCAL boosts productivity with IT systems move to Acurus Image stuart miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Victorian health organisation Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-operative Limited (DDACL) has ended two years of progressively worsening problems with its IT infrastructure by migrating its technology systems to Melbourne-based technology company Acurus IT.

According to Acurus, the move by DDCAL has seen its productivity surge, patient care improve and staff morale increase.

Established in 1975, Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-operative Ltd (DDACL) is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) that services the Aboriginal community in the south-east suburbs of Melbourne, a population of around 7000 potential clients.

In 2016, however, DDACL began to experience business interruptions as its externally hosted technology systems became increasingly unreliable during 2017 and progressively worse into 2018 and 2019.

And according to Acqurus, despite promises and attempts to fix the unreliability from its then IT service provider, DACL incurred network and Internet access outages, which prevented staff from performing their daily duties and, importantly, those of its GPs.

DDACL CEO Andrew Gardiner said the unreliable technology systems were damaging the orgnisation’s ability to service its community and meet its revenue goals.

“We had constant dropouts and really slow Internet speeds,” he said.

“Usually around two o'clock in the afternoon, you'd be typing something or on your email and the whole screen would go black. Then somebody would ring and say, ‘the system's down, and the GPs can’t get on to the system’. Then you'd go down to the Health Service and there would be a number of staff sitting there, steam coming out of their ears, saying ‘how come we have to wait like this?’

“The real difficulty was that GPs could not access patient records, so they’d have to pack up and go home or go to another clinic because they couldn’t see patients without knowing their history, prescriptions, pathology reports, etc., which also meant they could not bulk-bill their services to Medicare. This whole saga really impacted our revenue stream.

“To tell you the truth, it also impinged on our capacity to apply for programs through sensitive government websites. You could write an application, turn your head and then it’s all blacked out and when it came back on, you'd lost all the work that you did. I don't know how many negative attitudes that caused across the organisation.

“This significantly affected staff morale. A lot of staff would come to work optimistic, cautiously hopeful that the system wouldn't go down. But over time, outages start to erode that confidence and our people would feel downhearted about their ability to do their jobs.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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