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Seven more DHBs to migrate to National Technology Solution and Oracle platform

Seven more DHBs to migrate to National Technology Solution and Oracle platform

Troubled National Oracle Solution and infrastructure projects are finally bearing fruit

Steve Fisher (NZ Health Partnerships)

Steve Fisher (NZ Health Partnerships)

Credit: Supplied

District health boards servicing 80 per cent of New Zealanders will shift to new core technology platforms in the current financial year, NZ Health Partnerships says.

The DHB-owned organisation's statement of performance expectations for the year to the end of June 2021 said new IT infrastructure called the National Technology Solution will be completed with four "wave one" DHBs migrated across.

"An upcoming milestone for the FPIM Programme is the migration to EXA hardware for Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Canterbury and West Coast DHBs scheduled for Labour Day weekend at the end of October,"' a sector update said.

"EXA" appears to refer to Oracle's Exadata hardware platform.

"The migration will reduce current platform risks, as well as provide enhanced security," the update continued.

The Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Waikato and West Coast DHBs will then be joined by another seven on the Oracle-based finance, procurement and information management programme (FPIM) application.

All but one will be established on the new infrastructure by the end of the financial year, NZ Health Partnerships chair Terry McLaughlin and CEO Steve Fisher said in their foreword to the document.

The work ultimately mitigates significant IT risk facing the 11 district health boards.

"Additionally, the build of a Health System Catalogue will be substantially progressed, reporting on compliance to data standards and other analytics will be underway, and the FPIM operational service team will have significantly increased its customer base," the foreword said.

In June, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, the Oracle E-Business suite system was successfully upgraded

Last August, a  business case for the FPIM programme was endorsed by all 20 DHBs and approved by Cabinet.

Under the plan, the new-look, scaled back National Oracle Solution to replace core enterprise software in the public health sector, could have serviced as few as ten of NZ's 20 DHBs.

The FPIM replaced the $87.9 million National Oracle Solution, which since its inception in 2012 had been implemented in just four of its targeted 20 DHBs at a cost said to be over $100 million.

It was supposed to be rolled out to all 20 DHBs in 2014.

In 2015 the programme was reset and the scope reduced to a common system for finance, procurement and less extensive supply chain functions, with benefits reduced accordingly.

The programme was reset again in mid-2017 as costs increased significantly, timelines were delayed, scope reduced and the delivery approach changed, according to a Deloitte review.

DHBs shared millions of dollars in impairments on that investment even before they saw any benefits.

The FPIM Oracle programme had two primary objectives: firstly, to address risks from end-of-life systems in at least 10 DHBs and, second; to realise the procurement benefits of Pharmac-negotiated national contracts for medical devices, as well as savings through other national procurement initiatives. 

It would also provide data to support DHBs to realise further procurement benefits outside of nationally negotiated contracts. 

These two enablers are forecast to deliver potential savings of $37 million a year in the initial phase of the programme with potential for greater savings over time.

The programme also plans to develop and implement a health system catalogue for all 20 DHBs. It includes a single national procurement catalogue, national data standards, a central and enhanced data repository of actual spend and a framework for procurement compliance.

"We expect that this year the minister of health, David Clark, and minister of finance Grant Robertson will jointly be asked to approve the FPIM health system catalogue business case," the statement of performance expectations said.

The October update says this has now been formally approved and NZ Health Partnerships can proceed with implementation

"This means we will be mobilising the programme immediately including going to market for 30 to 40 new roles," the update said.

The October sector update reported the FPIM programme had remained on time, on scope and on cost throughout the year.


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Tags OraclehealthhospitalsNew Zealand Health partnershipsNational Oracle SolutionDHBs district health boards

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