Located in the East Gippsland town of Bairnsdale, Macleod Street Medical Centre has been providing service to patients since 1968. The practice has 13 doctors and five nurses and offers a broad range of general practice services.
During the past few years, Macleod Street Medical Centre had become increasingly reliant on its IT infrastructure. A central server and networked workstations provided service for medical and service staff and underpinned everything from patient bookings and records to billing and administration. In late 2019, the practice management team realised the time had come for a wholesale review and upgrade of the infrastructure.
An eight-year-old server was running a version of Microsoft Windows that was no longer supported, which was preventing the practice from upgrading core applications. There was also no redundancy in place which created a significant risk of data loss.
The practice was also dealing with an aging PABX phone system. A lack of features meant there was no way to manage incoming calls in an effective way which put pressure on staff and increased frustration levels for patients trying to book appointments.
The medical practice had been working with technology partner Viatek for more than 10 years and so turned to the company for assistance with the refresh. Viatek undertook a complete review of the infrastructure and took time to understand what the practice needed to service its ongoing growth.
Following the review, the first step was to replace the core server with a new HPE ProLiant Stack running Windows Server 2016. Staff workstations were also replaced with HP ProDesk Mini desktops.
Work on the refresh was completed within two months with no significant disruption to daily activity.
With the new infrastructure fully operational, practice staff quickly noticed some significant benefits. Performance of workstations was significantly improved which aided productivity and workflows. The new LAN meant even large files could be sourced and opened quickly as required.
The server has also been linked to a cloud-based platform to provide secure offsite backup capabilities. This means that, if there is a disruption in the practice, backups can be quickly restored and normal activity continue.
The upgrade has also allowed the practice to migrate to a new Pracsoft management platform. This streamlines all facets of the operation and ensures the business can run as efficiently as possible. The practice also now has a direct link to Medicare which allows rebates to be paid immediately following a consultation.
Tracey says the new cloud-based phone system has also had a significant and positive impact on operations. “Incoming calls are now answered automatically and placed in a queue,” she says. “This makes for a much more professional experience for patients and less stress for staff.”
Tracey says the ongoing relationship with Viatek will ensure the practice remains up-to-date when it comes to technology in the years ahead.