Cloud-based people management solutions in health – a review

12 Dec, 2022

This blog is based on a presentation given at the 2022 HiNZ Digital Health Week Conference in Rotorua. 

Within the Health industry in New Zealand, the past few years have seen an exponential increase in cloud-based products and software use. The shift was initially driven by a government that recognised the benefits but was taken up rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We at AMS know that to migrate business operations into the cloud successfully, the decision makers and the end user require a mindset of willingness to embrace cloud solutions and thinking. We brought a couple of examples of our health district clients moving to the cloud for their workforce and people management solutions to the conference. They show how the health sector landscape is changing in New Zealand to embrace the opportunities that the cloud offers. 

What possibilities are offered by operating within the cloud? 

Cloud-based software simplifies the technology environment, and the complex IT landscape is removed for the user.  Cloud enterprise software also removes the IT resource delays frequently found in the on-premise health world, and the managed upgrades provide faster realisation of benefits. 

Digital services can be extended to include process automation, leave requests and roster-to-pay to reduce administration time for the workforce and, over time, deliver more complex processes like position creation, people changes and onboarding.

With robust cloud-based systems, you are assured that your data is secure, with zero trust and multi-factor authentication, and you get regular, trustworthy penetration and disaster recovery testing. And, of course, customers can access the system from anywhere, at any time, on any device. This, partnered with solid business continuity, is vital in the health sector in a civil defence emergency to ensure continuity of care for all patients regardless of the crisis. 

Health districts that we have transitioned to the cloud-based platform.

Over the past 14 months, we have transitioned three Te Whatu Ora health districts onto our cloud-based payroll platform AMS Pulse. All three were clients who had identified the need for a more equitable, accessible and adaptable system. These clients include South CanterburyNelson Marlborough Health, and Hawkes Bay.  Nelson Marlborough Health and Hawkes Bay leverage our full, roster-to-pay offering, an end-to-end integrated solution that supports compliance, manages multiple contract types, and automatically calculates award pay, allowances, leave, deductions and much more.  

Our approach was based on co-design principles in all three cases. This approach allows our customers to ensure they get value from our products and delivery that fits their requirements. Implementing our cloud-based software results in transformational changes for the whole workforce; here are some of the changes we have seen:


Successful delivery of a potentially high-risk project

AMS does not just implement Cloud-based software. In fact, one of the most challenging and high-risk projects we have delivered was the initial implementation of the Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora (Health NZ and Maori Health Authority) payroll. 

At the beginning of March 2022, we were asked to participate in the payroll system development for Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora.  They selected us as we were the incumbent provider with a long track record of successful performance, and their payroll team already knew and understood the system.  

This project was potentially a high-risk and challenging project. There was a significant element of confidentiality around the client; we did not know the entity’s name, who would be part of it, where the employees would come from or even how many employees there would be. An implementation like this would, on average, take six to nine months, and we were to deliver the project in four, with the organisation going live on the 1st of July 2022. 

A few early wins substantially reduced the risk profile and enabled the project to succeed. 

Firstly, the Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora payroll team are a well-established and well-led group with a deep understanding of AMS technology. These operators are the payroll team for what was Auckland District Health Board which has been an AMS client for over 20 years. These operators know the product and are well equipped to manage the heavy lifting within the implementation process despite their already heavy workloads. 

The second was the healthAlliance NZ team, the shared service IT department for the Auckland Health region, including Waitematā and Counties Manukau Health. healthAlliance was mandated to make the Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora payroll implementation their first priority. This clarity in priorities, combined with the compelling event of the establishment of Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora, focussed all stakeholder groups' efforts.

These factors meant that AMS were able to do our part in a multi-stakeholder team to implement a complete new payroll for Te Whatu Ora in a four-month timeframe.  Five months later, we are proud to report that the implementation process has been successful, with the payroll going live with no significant issues.  

By their nature, payroll projects can be fraught, but with a clear goal, a committed team and the attitude of ‘let’s get this done’, it was a win for all parties and a great example of collaborative working and how significant projects can get delivered efficiently. 

If you want to join our list of satisfied clients, please get in touch with us today to discuss which of our products can help you transform your payroll.