Microsoft partner Acurus brings Aboriginal health service into Azure

Microsoft partner Acurus brings Aboriginal health service into Azure

Network outages previously cause GP surgeries to close early

Andrew Gardiner (Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-operative)

Andrew Gardiner (Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-operative)

Credit: Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-operative

Melbourne IT service provider Acurus IT has scrapped the legacy infrastructure of a local Aboriginal health service centre after two-years of significant outages.

The Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-operative previously operated an externally hosted on-premises environment that was becoming increasingly erratic.

According to the DDAC, attempts to fix the systems incurred network and internet access outages, which prevented staff from performing their daily duties and even forcing one of its medical centres to close early when GPs could not access patients’ records.

“This whole saga really impacted our revenue stream,” DDACL CEO Andrew Gardiner said. “It also impinged on our capacity to apply for programs through sensitive government websites.”

“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.”

ARN understands that until then the system had been managed by Evolve IT for the past five years.

However, in July 2019, the DDAC turned to Acurus to help it migrate its systems into a Microsoft Azure-hosted infrastructure that the provider would manage.

The one-month migration process included setting up Office 365 email and network services. The migrated systems include the Best Practice, a software patient management system, an Elmo suite of cloud HR, payroll and rostering and time and attendance solutions, plus the MYOB business management system.

Having successfully completed the migration of core DDACL systems to its Azure hosting platform, Acurus IT moved on to solve second-order problems such as replacing old routers, implementing NBN services and hardening security systems.

“We have been through the pain and now we’re getting some gain, so everyone is feeling a lot better,” Gardiner said.

“The GPs can now log into the practice management system to access patient records without concern, view pathology and blood test results and do their Medicare claims, so we have already seen a clear improvement in productivity. It's going to make a remarkable difference.”

Gardiner said he now hopes to stabilise the service’s business functions by the end of the year and completely digitise its patient records.

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