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Southern Cross Healthcare

Southern Cross Healthcare

2007 ranking: 86

Senior IS executive: April Walker, general manager, information systems Reports to: Chief operating officer, insurance operations

Size of IS shop: 44

PCs: 537

Mobile PCs: 127

Terminals: 835

Hand-held devices: 37

Total screens: 1536

Industry: Health and community services

PC environment: Windows XP, HP

Server environment: Sun, Windows 2003, HP

DBMS: Oracle, SQL

Address: 181 Grafton Road, Grafton, Auckland

Website: www.souterncross.co.nz

Key IS projects this year: Not disclosed.

INTELLIGENT USE OF ICT is critical to the cost effectiveness and

growth of Southern Cross’ health insurance organisation, says April

Walker, general manager information systems.

A not-for-profi t society operated for the benefit of members,

Southern Cross has around 820,000 members in an environment

where healthcare costs (and hence claims) are inevitably increasing.

The organisation currently processes more than 600,000 claims a

year, representing fi ve million treatments and including more than

128,000 surgical procedures. Standard claims are typically processed

within a week to 10 days.

In addition to supporting Southern Cross’ health insurance

operations, the Southern Cross’ IS team of 44 staff also supports

the Southern Cross Health Trust, which independently runs a national

network of private hospitals, as well as Southern Cross Travel Insurance.

Southern Cross Medical Care Society and Southern Cross

Health Trust are operated as separate businesses.

TelstraClear is part way through a three-year, multi-million dollar

contract as telecommunications supplier to Southern Cross, having

provided many of the organisation’s data services since 1998.

Since that time, fixed-line access, tolls and toll-free services have

been added and the two organisations have planned a number of

telecommunication solutions for the present and future. These

include rollout of broadband to more Southern Cross hospital sites

and implementation of VoIP technologies.

It is envisaged these and other initiatives will lead to future patient services

in hospitals such as IPTV and broadband connections in patients’ rooms.

Outsourced ICT functions include operational and infrastructure support, payroll

and host maintenance to Datacom.

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