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Healthcare administrator becomes accidental IT hero

Whakatane health care administrator Amanda Cooper was named 2019’s accidental IT hero award at the NZ Charities Tech Awards on August 15, 2019.

Amanda, who works for the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand, has played a pivotal role in the organisation’s move  to a digital cloud-based way of working over the past 18 months. This has involved undertaking user acceptability testing of Dynamics CRM during the development phase, providing quality assurance and audit on the system, contributing to improving processes and capturing data intelligence and developing training packages and system dashboards for the Hepatitis Foundation’s community nurses and administration staff. 

“Amanda has also developed high-quality searches to identify where patients could fall through gaps, which has helped us find patients lost by mainstream healthcare such as specialist services and general practices,” chief executive Susan Hay says. 

The accidental IT hero award pays tribute to people who have excelled in this field despite it not being part of their everyday work. The win recognises Amanda’s ability to meet challenges and adapt to a changing work environment. She  started with the Hepatitis Foundation 25 years ago as a data entry person and has since held various positions with the organisation; none of them have involved IT. 

“I’m pleased with the win, particularly as it highlights the Hepatitis Foundation’s commitment to improving its systems to better serve its patients,” Amanda says. “I’m proud to play a part in positively impacting people’s lives. There’s nowhere else I'd rather work.” 

As part of the Hepatitis Foundation’s restructure of its core operational processes and supporting technology, all our work has been moved to Microsoft Azure, including Office 365 and Dynamics CRM, a new patient management system. As a health provider, the Ministry of Health requires us to perform regular audits on our current client records. From a health statistics point of view, accuracy of data is paramount.  

“By moving to electronic records we have become more efficient, holding real-time data that we can share with our staff, board and funding partners, as well as other health providers or researchers,” Susan says. 

As a result of these changes, Amanda has inadvertently become our Dynamics CRM ‘super-user’. She does all this because she cares about people living with viral hepatitis is highly regarded by all Hepatitis Foundation staff and external healthcare stakeholders. We’re very proud to have her as part of our staff.” 

The Hepatitis Foundation of NZ is a charitable organisation funded by the Ministry of Health to provide a community-based hepatitis B monitoring programme. Currently the programme provides follow-up for over 30,000 people; to date it has screened more than 120,000 community members. 


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