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.
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.”