Designing IT Solutions in Alignment to Health Professionals’ Needs and their Practice [Interview][Transcript]


Guest: Christina Harbridge
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Christina Harbridge is the Business Manager and Partner of Olliehan IT. She believes every Patient deserves absolute privacy and un-compromised healthcare, while every Practitioner should feel empowered to focus on providing the best possible patient healthcare without the distraction and frustration of technical, security and privacy issues. Christina has 20 years of experience delivering Software and IT implementation management for Healthcare organisations across Australia. She holds numerous qualifications, including a Diploma of Computing with Monash University, Certificate IV in Software Development and certifications in ITIL service management and Prince2.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we welcome Christina Harbridge of Olliehan IT – a support service company that assists in filling the gap and make a difference to small and medium sized businesses that need a quality, trustworthy IT systems. With this belief as her guide, Christina focuses on implementing a strategic alignment of the business needs with the IT Systems. Coupling this with a strong governance plan to oversee the management, security, support and ongoing education of the systems and users. They provide IT support, products and consulting services specialising in Business Computer Systems for Medical and Professional service practices.


Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today is Christina Harbridge. Now Christina is the general manager of Olliehan IT, a Brisbane based firm. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Christina.

Christina Harbridge: Thank you Wayne.

W: So Christina, Olliehan IT gives me the hint that it’s IT but it doesn’t tell me a whole lot else about your firm. Give me an idea of what it is that you do.

C: Well Wayne, we like to think that we specialize in information protection for healthcare professionals. So this means we specialize in any IT system as well as the security, privacy and integrity of their sensitive information.

W: Okay. And what’s your geographical footprint Christina? Is it only a Brisbane based firm or do you have a wider footprint?

C: No, we actually look after all of Queensland and we do Victoria as well. We haven’t branched out yet to the other states at the moment.

W: Okay. So you’re able to offer services in Victoria and Queensland?

C: That’s right.

W: Now Christina, give me some sense of what it is that you do that makes you different to anyone else in this field.

C: Well I suppose we look after healthcare professionals specifically so we look after the GPs, specialists, allied health as well and dental so we do have a quite large dental base. We are different because we look at the fact that a GP is a little bit more, oh sorry, I should say a medical professionals…

W: uh huh.

C: A little bit more complex in their IT requirements than some of the other organizations and the specialty is around making sure that their data is protected, as much as they’ve got IT, everybody has IT. But the importance of protecting their information, that’s patient’s information is really, really essential. There’s other things we are very well aware of the privacy impacts and the RACGP accreditation requirement. And at the moment, this cybercrime that’s actually targeting the health field for health identified information is really quite significant – it’s so prevalent now. Even now, we had a couple of clients that weren’t medical but they had some … somewhere a few days ago and it just grounds their business to a holt and cost them a fortune to rectify it as well. But in particular for medical, something like that can cause a breach of patient’s privacy which can be up to $1.5 million fine for an organization so it is really large impact on them. And the other part – oh sorry – the other thing that they need to consider as well is identified health information is worth 50 times more on the black market than a credit card number. So the reason we are a little bit different is because we understand that and we target that particular service for those practices, as well as their IT.

W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m in conversation with Christina Harbridge from Olliehan IT and we’ve just been talking about the risks that falls on medical records on the black market. And yes I agree with you Christina, we have done stories previously about the fact that medical records are more valued on the black market that credit card details so there is certainly an issue there for the medical profession at large to deal with.

C: It’s quite frightening actually. The other things that they can get access to so quickly so we do really are focused on that area but it’s not just about the IT security … It’s also about the people that are working in there, they are risking themselves so we don’t just do IT, we do the consulting around, training those users on using safe practices within there and also about the privacy of the patients that are physically within the practice as well.

W: Now Christina ,about 95% of our audience are clinicians of one kind or another. What is the take away message for them today? What would you like them to know as a result of having had this chat?

C: Yeah, I think the biggest thing for me is they face three real big problems and that is they’re really frustrated with their IT system and then not working how they should be. And they really feel kind of overwhelmed with everything that’s out there in the market for their electronic health record requirements now in Australia. And there’s just so many things they need to be aware of and they don’t have the time and they don’t want to spend ridiculous amounts of money on their IT systems and their security and making sure everything is safe. So those three things are really pivotal and I suppose if you get a really good IT provider that looks at that as holistic approach to their practice, they can really have this strong fundamental system that’s not just about the IT. It’s about their business systems and it focuses on their efficiency and their team functionality and the governance of their IT as well. So it’s looking at the overall strategic picture of what their IT is doing not just you know, “We’ve got a couple of computer here and we need to make sure it’s secure.” We’re looking at the long term goals and pictures for their practice and I suppose within that, we look at the four things and we’re all talking about the governance, the IT equipment, making sure it’s a really good quality and they’ve got good warranties on them and you’ve got a really good firewall, you’ve got some good security tools in place. And then obviously, we want to look at your asset protection so when I talk about asset protection I’m meaning backups and disaster recovery – maintaining those. And lastly the most importing thing, I think that every practice should be aware of is educating their users so anybody who comes into that or have access to the system so they need to be educated on what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, the best way to do things. So that’s probably the four key things that I would like to have someone take away from I suppose this interview today.

W: Now Christina, in every industry there are misconceptions. What’s the biggest misconception amongst your customers and clients that drives you nuts and keeps you awake at night?

C: There are, actually I have two.

W: Yes.

C: Sorry. The first one is that security breach will never happen to me. I have this regularly, you might be you know a three-doctor practice and which is small for that to happen, I suppose the great example of that is that there was that breach it might have been five years ago down on the Gold Coast of a GP practice.

W: Yes.

C: They’re not that big and they lost all of their patient information. I actually have a friend who is a patient of that practice, so they lost everything. So that has put their patients all at risk, it’s put them at risk, it’s quite dramatic. So it doesn’t matter how big you are, you’re at risk. And the other one is that the IT requirements in a practice, I suppose a lot of practices that I know really think of it as an expense, it’s a pain, it’s just this annoying thing that they have to have. But really, what I would like people to start thinking about is it’s actually a tool for their business. If they don’t have that IT and it’s not working efficiently, then that tool then becomes an expense but if you focus on that being a tool and making sure it’s running really well and doing everything it needs to do, then it’s something that’s gonna benefit the business.

W: Christina let’s hope today we can dispel some of those misconceptions amongst our audience. If you’ve just joined us, then you’ve just missed me chatting with Christina Harbridge of Olliehan IT – a Brisbane based firm that works predominantly in Queensland and Victoria in Australia. But the good news is, I have a transcript. It’s on our website at There’s also a SoundCloud archive and you can find this interview on YouTube as well. Christina thank you for joining us today, I do appreciate your time.

C: Great. Thank you very much Wayne.

W: This is Wayne Bucklar for Health Professional Radio.

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