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IT helps build community health


At a time when most IT professionals retreated to isolated workplaces, local experts Smikteck found a unique way to assist others during COVID-19.

The Cardiff business hit the road to support Aboriginal health care provider Awabakal at vaccination clinics in regional areas.

Now, 12 months on, they are ready to share their lessons learnt with other medical services.

Smikteck director Michael Stafford admitted the pandemic changed the way health care was provided and IT was fundamental to that adjustment.

“Lots of industries had to pivot how they provided their services,” he said.

“Medical and health services were no exception.

“We had only been working with Awabakal Ltd for a short amount of time when we got the call to help them.

“It’s one thing to pack up your supplies and set them up again in another building.

“It is quite another to have the same access to all of your patient records on the road.”

Instead of trying to troubleshoot issues from a help desk, the Smikteck team joined forces with the

health professionals and became an integral part of the clinic set up and service delivery.

“Awabakal Ltd came to us with a challenge,” Mr Stafford said.

“They provide medical services to an Aboriginal community of more than 8,000 patients.

“So, the solution was to provide pop-up vaccination clinics in local communities throughout the Hunter.

“But, to do this, they needed to have the same, secure technology available as a normal medical clinic – and system downtime needed to be minimal.”

Awabakal Ltd chief operations officer Scott Adams said ensuring the pop-up clinics ran smoothly was critical.

“We had an urgent need to take our services to our community,” he explained.

“The set-up of the infrastructure had to be seamless and reduce the boundaries to getting people through the clinic as smoothly as possible.

“This absolutely relied on secure technology.

“Prior to working with Michael and his team, we had experienced a lot of IT downtime, which meant some of our medical clinics had to close with no notice and dozens of appointments had to be rescheduled.

“We couldn’t afford for this to happen with the pop-up clinics.

“So, when the IT team agreed to come on the road, we were confident of a successful outcome.

“Fast forward almost 12 months and we have a model that we can roll out at any time to meet the needs of the Hunter’s Aboriginal community.”

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