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e-switch cuts data workload

A computer software program produced by WA-based Working Systems for the hospital industry is now saving a WA government department up to two months a year in manipulation of reports.

In terms of manpower it is half a man-year saved says spokesperson for the company Peter Hilgendorf.

The program, e-switch, was initially produced for a South Australian hospital to enable it to transfer patients’ data to the Government Health Commission and separately to an insurance company.

Working Systems has spent the past 22 months refining it for the commercial world and officially launched it this week.

They claim it will allow companies to transfer data from computer to computer irrespective of the operating system because it transforms one data format to another.

The program is already being used by the WA Ministry of Culture and Arts to produce six-monthly reports that used to take three weeks. They now take two hours.

And a fortnightly super fund report that used to take 30-40 hours is now also done in less than two hours.

Working Systems’ Peter Hilgendorf says the program was originally developed two years ago for an Adelaide hospital that wanted patient information transferred automatically to other interested parties.

“When the patient was discharged from the hospital they wanted to automatically alert the person’s medical insurance company, and the Government Health Insurance Office,” said Mr Hilgendorf.

“But the hospital’s computer system used CSV files while the insurance company used NCG and the Government Insurance Comm-ission used UN/EDIFACT.

“We developed a program for them that lifted the data and switched it into a format that could be accepted by the other two organisations.

“It allows interconnectivity without changing one’s operating system.

“It was so successful we decided to look into commercial applic-ations for the program. We spent the last 22 months developing it.

“Our first client for it was the WA Ministry for Culture and the Arts.

“They needed something that would reduce the hours and weeks that were lost in producing regular reports.

“The program e-switch has done that brilliantly saving the equiv-alent of a half an employee for a whole year.”

The new program was officially launched this week and is a standards-based data conversion and messaging system which allows exchanging and manip-ulation of information between internal and external business systems.

It will convert data from formats such as XML, HL7, PDF, CSV, UN/EDIFACT, NCG and HTML to enable the data to be transferred.

Working Systems CEO Mr John Wreford said: “E-switch is an easy-to-use piece of middleware technology that supports a near universal range of international and proprietary messaging and transaction formats for people in manufacturing, financial, medical and scheduling industries.”

He said the e-switch technology could be bought outright or users could opt to host the application via Working Systems’ main server.

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