Saudi health group installs Oracle ERP

An organisation which runs four hospitals and 60 health centres in Saudi Arabia, has completed a two-year project to build an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system based on Oracle’s E-business suite.

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By  Diana Milne Published  January 8, 2006

An organisation which runs four hospitals and 60 health centres in Saudi Arabia, has completed a two-year project to build an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system based on Oracle’s E-business suite. National Guard Health Affairs (NGHA) — which provides healthcare to National Guard employees and their families as well as to Saudi nationals — has spent nearly US$2million building the system, which includes financial services, logistics, HR and Payroll modules. NGHA began work on overhauling the organisation’s IT infrastructure in 1998 after taking over control of the hospital management from the private companies that had been in charge. Executives decided to implement an automated ERP solution after realising that the NGHA was wasting valuable resources due to the lack of a system to monitor stock levels and financial transactions at the hospitals in Damman, Al Ahsa, Riyadh and Jeddah. Dr Majid Al-Tawairjri, executive director of information systems and informatics, said: “When the NGHA was formed in 1996, it realised a good financial and ERP system was needed to manage all the finances of the hospitals and clinics.” “It was particularly important to have a strong system in place for managing our warehouses where a lot of drugs and pharmaceuticals are stored,” Al-Tawairjri added. “Sometimes due to the lack of system before we used to buy some drugs that were available in excess in another city,” he noted. “Then at the end of the year we used to throw some drugs away because they had passed their expiry date. There was a lot of money wasted because of the lack of a good solution,” Al-Tawairjri claimed. Oracle E-business suite will enable NGHA to carry out inventories of its stock in just one day — a process that previously took two months — and plan budgets more accurately. “When private companies ran the hospitals they did not have good financial systems in place to report financial transactions that took place,” Al-Tawairjri said. “It’s very important for us to ensure that all transactions are recorded. So when they plan for the budget they know how much money they need for each hospital and health center,” he continued. He added that the HR system would enable the hospital to better recruit personnel and keep track of staff career paths. NGHA is the first health orga- nisation in the Middle East to implement Oracle E-Business Suite. However, Oracle believes others will follow. The company sees the healthcare industry in the Middle East as a strategically important market sector and plans to expand in this area. “The SANGHA implementation of Oracle E-Business Suite is significant because they are the first healthcare organisation in the Kingdom to implement this solution and begin realising the business benefits that it delivers,” said Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, managing director for Oracle Saudi Arabia. “Saudi Arabia continues to be a vital market for Oracle, and we see significant growth oppo- rtunities in the country’s heal- thcare industry as well as in the government sector as a whole,” he added. “I anticipate that a number of organisations will follow on from the leadership de- monstrated by SANGHA within the next year,” he continued. NGHA has also recently set up a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) created by General Electric that contains all medical images taken at the hospital. In 2004 it set up a clinical information system containing all patient medical records, which was created by Misys. The organisation now plans to integrate all the information from the ERP, PACS and the clinical information system into a data warehouse by Misys which will go live in February.

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