ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Industry insider news for New Zealand's technology resellers
Story image

Interview: CCL & Canterbury DHB build IT backbone for healthcare

By Sara Barker
Tue 10 Mar 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) leads the region’s hospitals, medical centres and healthcare providers. There’s no greater challenge to test a DHB’s resilience than a disaster. The 2011 Canterbury quakes brought that truth to light and forged a path to a better healthcare system as the region rebuilt.

CDHB and Christchurch based service provider Computer Concepts LTD (CCL) worked together to improve healthcare IT by deploying HPE’s ProLiant and 3PAR solutions and HPE Pointnext services.

They aimed to enable CDHB to move to a shared electronic health record and organise their unstructured data into useful insights – ultimately, improving patient care and healthcare efficiency.
CCL CEO Andrew Allan and Canterbury DHB/West Coast DHB chief digital officer Stella Ward talk about how they built a stronger IT system as a result of improving healthcare for everyone in the region.

Casting your minds back to the 2011 earthquakes, what IT systems did you have in place, and what was missing? 

Stella Ward: We had nothing like our current range of systems, next-to-no integration and most of our servers were in one physical location. Our principle patient information system was available only in DHB hospitals, and we had three different patient administration systems that didn’t talk to one another.

We had plans to create a shared electronic information system that would allow access to key information from points across the health system, but it wasn’t a top priority. Then the earthquakes hit. With patient records unavailable there was no clearer demonstration of why we needed a system that would be available wherever it was needed, no matter what.

The HealthOne concept was born just a few weeks after the first earthquake and by August 2012 the first data was being contributed by general practices. It is used across five DHBs and there are more than 200,000 user views by more than 25,000 clinicians.

What prompted CDHB to select CCL as a service provider? 

Stella Ward: CCL has a reputation for delivering innovative solutions in an efficient and timely manner. CCL also meets our business needs (including procurement compliance) and is able to provide a range of services from specialised data migrations through to advanced virtual desktops and data recovery. 

The team are highly skilled, flexible, knowledgeable and extremely effective at helping us transform how we work, and empowering our team to deliver results on an ongoing basis. They have ensured we are leveraging the technology provided by HPE PointNext.

How did you approach the deployment of HPE’s services and technologies for CDHB?

Andrew Allan:  First and foremost, it was paramount to ensure the CDHB could offer uninterrupted health services to the residents of Canterbury. All change comes with risk – working closely with the CDHB and HPE, we identified, mitigated and managed these early in the program. 

Secondly, rather than just a straightforward “lift and shift” mentality, we wanted to focus on a “move & improve” engagement.  This is a future-focused transformation, designed to improve the CDHB’s ability to continuously deliver health services to the region.

Stella Ward: We had two goals: Informed and data-driven decision-making. Support for operational management decision-making is provided by the web-based tool ‘Seeing Our System’. It includes near-real-time visualisations of what is happening in our hospitals together with ad-hoc analysis, advanced analytics and regular reports/extracts for operational, governance and management purposes. 

The other goal was for a more secure, accessible and stable health system applications through hybrid cloud. CDHB is embarking on a cloud transformation programme to better take advantage of emerging technologies to drive innovation and deliver greater value. 

As host for a number of regional critical clinical applications CDHB turned to HPE Pointnext Services for hybrid cloud strategy expertise to help it achieve these business outcomes. interRAI, an application used to assess an older person’s care needs has been migrated and is now operating successfully as a cloud-based application. 

During the mosque crisis in 2019, how did the system assist medical responders and patients?

Stella Ward: During the initial response, systems that provided critically important data were instrumental in enabling us to provide the right care quickly. The South Island Patient Information Care System, Health Connect South and scOPe (which allows the optimal use of surgical time and people resources) all came into play within minutes of the first patients arriving at the hospital. 

As more and more patients were discharged large numbers of those injured required ongoing care in the community and through primary care - all facilitated by integrated systems available to general practice, pharmacy, community nursing, physiotherapy, community mental health and other supports.

I understand the deployment has been internationally recognised as one of the highest performing health systems in the world by the UK’s King’s Fund. What are you particularly proud of?

Stella Ward: The report tells the story of our journey towards Canterbury’s goal of providing integrated care for all – with technology and smart patient information systems as key enablers. 

I am proudest of one of the other key factors in our ongoing success story, which is the development of critical, collaborative relationships across the health sector.  The trust we have nurtured and built with our health system partners is the foundation for all things integrated.

Without it, you can develop smart systems, but people won’t use them – a joined-up approach to health means people need to trust that you will do the right thing (and nothing else) with that most precious of information, their personal health data. Those relationships need to be in place and only then can technology live up to its full potential.

Andrew Allan: I am most proud of how well the teams across our three organisations have come together. Our different approaches, perspectives and experiences had the potential to add complexity. In fact, we combined really well and our collective insights and experience delivered a great outcome for the CDHB and the people of Canterbury

Taking a broader view of how technology can assist the healthcare industry, what are some of the key lessons you have uncovered from your experience?

Andrew Allan: The key lesson for me has been that once again the technology decisions and direction are relatively straight forward. The real trick is in ensuring the people, the leadership and the wider organisation, are on board and understand what we’re looking to achieve from the onset. The role of clear and powerful communication throughout the program is essential to successful user adoption and engagement.

Stella Ward:  Health is, and always will be about people. And in that respect, it isn’t so much about what technology can do for health specifically, it’s about what it can do for any people-centred organisation.

Take for example how we have used technology in delivering “Our People Strategy”. CDHB utilises the Service Now platform, which is a great example of how technology-enabled strategic human resource practices can create a stimulating and supportive environment for employees, and contribute positively to work culture and performance.

Strategic outputs that use this platform include:

  • The introduction of Orderly Mobile – accessed by orderlies on-the-go via a smartphone, which delegated ¼ million tasks in its first year
  • A new outpatient scheduling system that manages and processes 500,000 appointments a year
  • Max., an online self-service HR portal which has resolved hundreds of thousands of requests or enquiries in its first two years
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Stella Ward: I am privileged to be part of a team that is committed to our long-standing vision of an integrated health system, with the patient always at the centre. That vision is now firmly embedded in our culture of clinically-led technology and innovation. 

Knowing that what you do matters to real people, and the fact that technology plays a hugely important role in enabling us to deliver the highest possible standards of care is a huge motivator for me. I am proud of what we are achieving as a health system and for our people, and prouder still to be part of the team that uses technology so effectively to innovate and make things better.

Andrew Allan: Having executive support from the get-go, is essential. This is not a technology change - it’s cultural.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Financial results
Margins & revenues up at New Zealand arm of Acer Computer
We look at the local financial statements of Taiwanese manufacturer Acer Computer Inc.
Story image
Evonik relies on Getac F110 tablet to control autonomous robot
The aim of the project is to evaluate the practicality of an automated robotic maintenance and inspection solution in the chemical industry.
Story image
Hands-on review: Phillips Hue starter kit
The set-up was one of the simplest I have ever had to do. It is also where the products shine. I was able to connect the bridge, the three lightbulbs and the strip within 10 min.
Story image
Blasé attitudes to cybersecurity by business a national risk
The largely unregulated state of cybersecurity in NZ, and consequential ambivalence of most businesses, risk hurting the country's trading prospects.
Story image
Microsoft names A/NZ Partner of the Year award winners
The awards recognise partners across the globe for their innovative use of Microsoft technologies to help customers succeed.
Story image
MYOB improves data visibility and user access with Snowflake
"Solutions such as Snowflake allow us to better understand our customers and make evidence-based decisions on what features work best for them."
Story image
Cloudian, Vertica to deliver on-premise data warehouse platform
"We’re enabling our customers to capitalise on a leading object storage platform and maximise the value of their digital assets.”
Story image
Up to $2.4 million shortfall in the collapse of IndeServe
We delve into the liquidators first report on long-standing networking service provider IndeServes collapse.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
HPE GreenLake advances hybrid cloud experience with new services
"The innovations unveiled today further build on our vision to provide the market with an unmatched platform to spur innovation and drive transformation.”
Story image
Honeywell launches new carbon energy management software for buildings
The new Carbon & Energy Management service allows building owners to track and optimise energy performance against carbon reduction goals, down to a device or asset level.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Advent One acquires Layer 8 Networks, complements hybrid cloud offering
The acquisition comes at a time of surging demand in hybrid cloud, network virtualisation and network security.
Story image
Great Resignation
New SAP study uncovers impact of 'the great resignation'
Coined in 2021, the phrase 'the great resignation' refers to millions of employees globally leaving their jobs. The phenomenon is real and impacting SMEs.
Story image
Public Cloud
Public cloud services revenues top $400 billion in 2021
"For the next several years, leading cloud providers will play a critical role in helping enterprises navigate the current storms of disruption."
Story image
New Relic
New Relic looks to observability market with new partner programme
New Relic has announced the availability of New Relic Partner Stack, an enhanced programme expanding New Relic’s commitment to partners.
Story image
Datacom announces revenue of $1.45 billion, fall in profit
Growing market pressures and border closures saw Datacom place increased focus on talent development initiatives for both existing and future employees.
Story image
HP Inc
Firmware attacks significant threat in age of hybrid work
Changing workforce dynamics are creating new challenges for IT teams around firmware security, according to new research.
Story image
ASI Solutions named finalist of Microsoft Surface Partner of the Year
"ASI Solutions has a strong Microsoft focus, building value by helping customers maximise investment in modern workplace solutions."
Story image
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Web Development
Whitecliffe fosters careers for the future of tech
Do you want a career in Information Technology, Networking, Web Development, Software Development, or are you looking to upskill?
Story image
Mergers and Acquisitions
SAS acquires Kamakura to propel risk technology innovation
Underscoring SAS growth in the domain-specific solutions space, the acquisition will enable SAS to greatly enhance the breadth of its risk solutions portfolio. 
Story image
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
How to achieve your monthly recurring revenue goals
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the ultimate goal, the most important issue on which anyone in the IT channel should focus.
Story image
Hands-on review: 16GB PNY XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz DDR4
PNY sent over its 16GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz CL16 DDR4 module kit for testing. The kit contains two 8GB dual-channel modules with RGB lighting.
Story image
Zero trust security adoption rises 27% in just two years
A survey of WAN managers has revealed that multi-factor authentication and single sign-on are the top zero trust features implemented.
Story image
SAS wins Microsoft ISV 2022 Partner of the Year award
"We formed the SAS and Microsoft strategic partnership with a shared goal of making it easier for customers to drive better decisions in the cloud."
Story image
WatchGuard Technologies
Ransomware volume doubled 2021 total by end of Q1 2022
Ransomware detections in the first quarter of this year doubled the total volume reported for 2021, according to a new report. 
Story image
Zscaler launches co-located data centres in Canberra and Auckland
The investment will offer public and private sector enterprises greater resilience in support of their zero trust cybersecurity posture.
Story image
NOWPayments launches new service to analyse cryptocurrency fees
NOWPayments has launched a new network fee optimisation solution that analyses current network fees and picks the most profitable option out of the client's payout wallets.
Story image
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Internet of Things
ManageEngine wins big in IDC MarketScape assessment
ManageEngine's Endpoint Central service has been recognised as a leader by IDC MarketScape in several categories including Internet of Things device deployments and UEM software for SMEs.
Story image
Digital innovation could shape the future of NZ - Microsoft
With cloud technologies available to more people around the world than ever before, it is not only businesses who will benefit from using them.
Story image
TO THE NEW unveils A/NZ Managed Services for Microsoft Azure
TO THE NEW has released Managed Services for Microsoft Azure to meet the growing demand in the A/NZ market and globally.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Oracle Cloud
Commvault, Oracle to deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service
"We are excited to partner with Commvault and enable our customers to restore and recover their most mission-critical cloud data."
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity named a Leader in Access Management
Ping Identity has been named a leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Access Management. 
Story image
Data crucial to capture shoppers' wallets post-COVID
First-party data strategies key to driving personalisation, customer satisfaction, and long-lasting relationships according to a new report.
Story image
Airwallex launches global payment services in New Zealand
The launch will enable businesses in New Zealand to tap into Airwallex's global payments services, offering an alternative to traditional banks.
Story image
Unknown connections: How safe is public WiFi in Aotearoa?
If it's not your own household WiFi, then who has control of your data and is your connection actually safe?
Story image
Enable launches free Wi-Fi in Christchurch city centre
Fibre broadband provider, Enable, and the Christchurch City Council have launched their new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service in the central city. 
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CyberArk
Olly Stimpson joins us today to discuss the importance of MSP programmes and how MSP partners are experiencing success with CyberArk.
Story image
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure expands distributed cloud services
“Distributed cloud is the next evolution of cloud computing, and provides customers with more flexibility and control in how they deploy cloud resources."
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.