Southern Alliance

Southern Alliance

2007 ranking: 54

Senior IS executive: Grant Taylor, regional chief information officer Reports to: Chief executive

Size of IS shop: 44

PCs: 1554

Mobile PCs: 200

Terminals: 228

Hand-held devices: 95

Total screens: 2077

Industry: Health and community services

PC environment: Windows 2000, XP; HP; IBM

Server environment: AIX; Linux; Tru64 Unix; Windows 2000, 2003;

Digital Alpha; Dell; IBM xSeries/pSeries

DBMS: Oracle, SQL

Address: 201 Great King Street, Dunedin


Key IS projects this year: Patient administration system; integrated

PACS; business intelligence

IT IS PART of the virtual entity “The Southern Alliance” and under

the Southern Alliance the back office functions of IT, finance, HR and

planning and funding are now restructured and functioning as shared

services for both Otago and Southland DHBs.

The key objective for IT under the Southern Alliance is to implement a

shared services model going forward, as well as meet national and local

health objectives of the ministry and both Southland and Otago DHBs.

Regional CIO Grant Taylor says both DHBs are progressing signifi -

cant organisational goals including the promotion of healthy lifestyles,

managing chronic diseases and improving the effectiveness and

efficiency of health services across the Otago and Southland regions.

Challenges to these goals include establishing a common culture

across both organisations, achieving staff buy-in for a shared services

strategy and aligning IT with business objectives.

Initiatives such as highly available core systems and strategies to

remove risk are high on the agenda.

IT projects planned for this year include a shared PAS (Patient

Administration System), shared HRIS and integrated PACS as well as

leading the country’s E-Prescribing initiatives.

Taylor says the Southern Alliance will also be investing in a new data centre

and implementing a virtualisation strategy to allow a reduction in management overhead,

as well as ongoing operational savings on infrastructure. Creating a

single desktop and common look and feel is also important going

forward, as well as reducing complexity between the two sites.

Taylor says duplication of effort will be reduced and standards introduced for

new functions and ultimately better performance.

Apart from HR/payroll, which is outsourced to Datacom, all other IT

functions are conducted in-house.

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