Senior IS executive: April Walker, general manager, information systems Reports to: Chief operating officer, insurance operations
Size of IS shop: 44
Mobile PCs: 127
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
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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