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The goal is to have a sustainable operating model - a sustainable culture where if people feel valued, they see the value of promoting good customer service. It is very hard to drive delivery excellence without these.
“To me as a CEO and having a CTO background, and having technology as a key enabler to enable the business outcome, people have to be at the centre of what you do,” says Ward.
“If you haven’t had the culture to be able to support that, it is certainly going to be very difficult to have a customer-centric culture.”
Thus, he says, one of his big priorities is around culture.
“The goal is to have a sustainable operating model - a sustainable culture where if people feel valued, they see the value of promoting good customer service.
“It is very hard to drive delivery excellence without these,” he says.
When Ward joined healthAlliance late last year, he got three priorities approved by the Board - culture, delivery excellence and transformation.
“It was about making sure we are transforming ourselves into a professional services delivery company, which has our people, customers and stakeholders at the centre of what we do,” he explains.
He cites the organisation’s progress on the first goal. The results of the most recent staff engagement survey revealed a 5 per cent increase on the staff engagement metrics, he states.
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As CEO he is cognisant that the priorities of the board, among the three above strategic priorities, are around joining up the Northern Region and information and data. Cybersecurity is also a major priority.
“The interesting thing is as you become more customer facing and move more and more to online services, the dynamics become quite interesting,” he observes, “because you want people to access information freely, but you also have to ensure data and information remains safe and secure.
“From a pure technology perspective, key priorities for the CEO is about innovating to make a difference via disruptive technology, the shift to cloud services and drive down the cost of delivering and supporting systems and services.
“Where I see cloud as a priority, is for the commoditisation of ICT,” he explains. “You can redirect your thinking into business services and focus your energies towards your customers and use disruptive technologies to make advancements.”
As the largest shared services organisation in New Zealand, Ward is aware other organisations are looking at what healthAlliance is doing.
“We have the largest economy of scale,” he says. As such, he is working with the Government CIO and the Ministry of Health to ensure Govenrment outcomes are at the forefront of what we do. “Those relationships are extremely important,” he says.
Information and data are also among the key discussions he will have with the DHBs.
“We have to make sure we have got a good strategy on our data, making sure we then translate that to a cohesive plan. We will need to look at the strategic components of the data and digitising them.
“Mobile is a very big agenda topic for us around how we digitise applications,” he says.
The aim is to make it easy for clinicians on the job, but also enable people to access their information in a safe and secure way.
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