Waitemata Health uses Net to speed tasks

Auckland's Waitemata Health is taking advantage of Internet technology to speed up, and give staff more control of, tasks such as ordering and accessing financial information.

Auckland’s Waitemata Health is taking advantage of Internet technology to speed up, and give staff more control of, tasks such as ordering and accessing financial information.

Waitemata Health finance and business services general manager Robin Skeggs says the organisation will utilise the Internet through its new Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in three ways: enabling employees to requisition items remotely; letting managers access financial information; and enabling staff to access and update their personal HR information.

Individual cost centres (such as different wards and community-based units) will be able to order agreed products from preferred suppliers directly, using the Internet. Ordering will take place from an online catalogue using an Oracle standard order template, and will be sent electronically to the supplier. Any necessary authorisation will take place online and goods are sent directly to the person who placed the order. Individuals can also track orders and query delivery. Skeggs says the end result will be better prices from the bulk purchase of goods and improved service from and relationships with suppliers, as well as a lower number of preferred suppliers. He says it will also simplify and speed up purchasing and give employees more control over spending.

Skeggs says that both the Web and the financial applications system will offer significant benefits to remote users who spend little time in a central office location. They will spend less time carrying out administration tasks and more time in the community.

Web Employees, a Web-based employee resource, will provide a personnel resource database, online details for all employees regarding accrued leave and, in the future, automated time-sheet submission and online pay-slip enquiry with the ability to print on demand.

Skeggs says the Oracle system complements the existing patient management system and is year 2000-compliant, unlike Waitemata Health’s current legacy system and some of the many dispersed systems to be replaced. Skegg says using Internet technology is a low-cost solution.

Oracle New Zealand health industry manager Richard Vernon says the Waite-mata site demonstrates the benefits of Web-based processes for a large organisation spread over a wide geographical area. Oracle says the sale is the most comprehensive Internet-based solution deployed by the vendor in Australasia.

“It also supports our belief that the Internet will play an increasingly important role in the future deployment of applications …”

Finance and materials management systems will go live in April 1999, followed by the human resource system in September 1999 and the payroll system in March 2000.

Waitemata Health looked at a range of ERP package and short-listed three vendors. Skeggs declined to name the unsuccessful vendors.

Oracle is handling the implementation together with a project team from Waite-mata Health.

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