Clinic finds The Missing Link

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This article appeared in the 15th October, 2007 issue of CRN magazine.

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Clinic finds The Missing Link
JUST BECAUSE A BUSINESS operates with a smaller workforce, it does not diminish the importance of the product or services provided. Very few companies laminate this point quite as well as the Sydney Breast Clinic. Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer among Australian women, with one in eight being diagnosed with breast cancer before they are 85.

Mindful of the magnitude of the Clinic’s work and the importance of IT in the role of the modern SMB, ensuring the Clinic has the appropriate IT infrastructure in place is vital.

Sydney Breast Clinic has been working with Sydney-based reseller The Missing Link for several years. Through the reseller’s flagship offering, SmartSERVICES, The Missing Link provides full IT support to the Clinic. This includes extended business hours phone support, onsite engineer support, monthly maintenance visits, router and backup monitoring. Also included in SmartSERVICES is access to project managers, product procurement and hardware specialists in all major brands as well as all Telstra products.

“Sydney Breast Clinic came on board with us as a client three years ago,” said Alex Gambotto, managing director of The Missing Link. “They were looking for IT support, including a managed service as well as onsite support for issues that cannot be resolved on the phone.”

When the Clinic looked to implement an Integrated Patient Information and Digital Imaging System (IPIDIS), it again looked to The Missing Link.

The Clinic has thousands of files and years of accumulated documentation and images and recognised an updated patient and image management system was an essential step to moving forward.

The ‘Sydney Breast Clinic 2007 and Beyond’ program is a strategic initiative within the Clinic. The aim is to take the Sydney Breast Clinic from its current systems to a new and improved clinical and business environment supported by a new computer solution in order to enhance patient care and service performance, increase the research capacity, increase efficiency and reduce patient treatment times. In an environment dealing with cancer detection, the process had to be as efficient as possible.

Daniel Vachon, account manager at The Missing Link, said, “Sydney Breast Clinic has been around for quite some time and have quite a lot of data on paper and needed to streamline and improve their overall customer management process.

“They have a room full of records, but they won’t be archiving a lot of the data, just the last year,” said Vachon.

David Riches, the director of the IPIDIS project at Sydney Breast Clinic, said, “The Missing Link is our service provider for first level support as we have no IT personnel at all.

“We know the basics, but if anything goes wrong then we call The Missing Link.”

Riches said when the Clinic looked to digitise its image capturing, the only way it was willing to do it was through The Missing Link, as the Clinic’s staff know and trust the firm.

“They have been very good with our relationship and Dan [Vachon] who is a senior member of their team has been put on our account full-time.

“We have gone from having one server and six computers to having 11 servers and 25 workstations,” said Riches.

He added, “We are now saving all the digital images and The Missing Link is the provider for all the first level support for that too.”

Riches said the Clinic gets a better image digitally from the implementation, so they can identify problems from a cancer point with more accuracy.

“We will also be able to put more people through the process without increasing the staff. The productivity gains are enormous,” he said.

“We do not just do the breast screen, we also do the diagnosis and that makes us unique. We can now produce the results within a day, where other clinics might take two weeks.

“We will be able to move more patients through and they will get their results quicker. This is a quantum leap for us and our aim is to be the premium breast clinic in Sydney and beyond.”

Riches also stressed the “human touch”, which The Missing Link provides with their onsite engineers always willing to help.

The Sydney Breast Clinic deal aside, the SMB market represents an integral part of The Missing Link’s business.

“95 percent of our business is SMB, which we class as anything up to 500 seats,” Gambotto said. “If you provide care to SMBs they will stay with you. I believe there is longevity in dealing with SMBs. You can be successful in the SMB space if you’re good at what you do. Value is the vital point.”

This implementation highlights a number of valuable points for SMB business. It demonstrates the importance of the work of SMBs, their reliance on IT, and the opportunity to gain reoccurring revenue streams from this vital market.

The Sydney Breast Clinic
Sydney Breast Clinic first opened its doors in 1978 and in the early days it was just two technicians, one office staffer, a roster of surgeons and radiologists all struggling to keep up with dozens of patients every day using techniques of the time.
The Clinic claims to be the first to add ultrasound to clinical examination and mammography in the diagnosis of breast disease; and also claims to have later demonstrated fine needle aspiration biopsy under ultrasound control at an international conference.

Today the Clinic has over 30 breast surgeons, radiologists and breast physicians working in conjunction with over 30 imaging and administration staff, to support thousands of women deal with health issues in a sensitive, comforting and positive environment.
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