Functional Unit Information Centre Presentation

Informatics Organisational Setup

The Information Centre functional unit (hereinafter: IC) is a unit of the Institute, responsible, pursuant to the HIIS Statute, for the provision of uninterrupted operation and development of the Institute information system. To this end, the IC builds and maintains, through its own team, the integral information system of the Institute.

The IC undertakes all the professional activities in the field of Institute informatics in a centralised way. Each regional unit runs its information centre department (ICD), whose primary responsibility is to provide assistance to the users within the regional unit and its branch offices, along with the involvement of the information specialists from most of the regional units in the common development projects. This arrangement is beneficial to the information solutions since the real needs of the information system end users are considered in the development.

Development Department

The Development Department is responsible for the development and maintenance of the business application software. For a each specific business function of the Institute, the Department has developed unified house software solutions. It has developed comprehensive solutions for the functions of keeping the compulsory health insurance registers, supervision and payment of health care services, operation of medical boards, accounting and reimbursement of compensations and travel costs to insured persons, keeping the registers of selected personal physicians, signing and monitoring of contracts with the health care service providers, administration of the health insurance card system and others. The Department provides for the routine maintenance of software according to the requirements of the business processes.

For the general business functions such as the financial and accounting function, human resource management function and similar, the Institute acquires software in the market. In these cases, the Department is the software custodian (assistance to the users, collection of the demands for amendments and their procurement from the suppliers, testing and introduction of new software versions).

The in-house development of software rests on a uniform development methodology, internal technical standards and precisely defined organisational work setup. All the solutions are developed around a unified centralised and integrated database, and are run in a modern client/server environment characterised by a graphical user interface on the client end and the implementation of all the server functions on the central computer, which also executes the user requested batch processing.

A special group within the Development Department is responsible for the development of internet and intranet solutions, which are based on the Notes / Domino software product.

A further task of the Development Department is the provision of desktop publishing services for the entire Institute. The specialist in these tools provides the services of graphical design, text layout, preparation of presentations and printed materials for the publications, releases and similar purposes.

Operations Department

The Operations Department comprises three services:
· Processing preparation and execution service
· Card operations service, and
· User assistance service

Processing preparation and execution service

In its scope, this service carries out the operational monitoring of different components of the central computer system and of the Institute network. Particular attention is devoted to the security of data collection and to the safekeeping of archive media at specially equipped locations. An important part of the service activity consists of the reception and forwarding of e-data to external partners, preparation and monitoring of data processing, launching of over-night batch jobs and preparation of operational procedures for the distribution of new software versions. The majority of activities are carried out according to instructions drawn up in advance.

Card operations service

The card operations service was established in the scope of the introduction of the health insurance card system. The primary task of the staff of this service is to provide assistance, by phone, to the insured persons in their application of the health insurance card, and to the health care service providers in their application of the health professional card. The public phone number 01 30 77 466 is available to the insured persons on all the weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The service further carries out operational procedures associated with the call-back of cards not taken over by their recipients for various reasons, as well as those captured by the self-service terminals in the process of confirmation. The returned cards are properly registered and stored. On requests submitted by the Institute registering service, the health insurance cards and health professional cards are then dispatched to the recipients. According to a specified time schedule, data for the issuing of new cards are prepared and submitted to the personalisation centre, and the data fed back from that centre are processed.

User assistance service

The team of experts in this service is responsible for the direct assistance to the Institute information system users. The team is involved in the installation of operating systems according to the specified standards, and of the appropriate application software for the user work posts. Along with the installation, the user is also trained for the operation of the work station. The service receives calls from the users in the cases of their problems operating the information system. In an event the service staff is not able to remedy the problem on their own, they engage the experts from other departments or engage the maintenance services of external partners.

Some members of this department are involved in the planning and execution of the procurement of new hardware and in the standardisation of the basic software.

Network Department

The Network Department is responsible for the Institute diversified network with 56 node sites across Slovenia. The minor sites are linked, via leased lines, to the Institute 10 regional units; these, in turn, are interlinked through the central site in Ljubljana. In addition, each of the 296 self-service terminals for the purposes of health insurance card updating is linked via a leased line to its nearest Institute unit.

The Department provides for the uninterrupted operation of the LAN and WAN - including their passive elements (copper and optical links, network sockets, panels, concentrators) and the active elements (switches, routers), to ensure that every data package reaches securely its destination. Large portion of the overall man-hours is allocated to the analysis and remedying of problems arising from the variety of equipment, and to the monitoring of operation by means of modern tools.

With the links to outside providers (Telekom, SiOL, Government Centre of Informatics) and to the communication infrastructure, we ensure uninterrupted electronic commerce with our partners via Internet, e-mail, X.400 and direct (terminal) links.

The next major field is the care for the users' work stations and for the servers. Every year, a number of public orders are carried out to acquire computer equipment. For the newly acquired computers, standard workstation and notebook setups are prepared. Standardisation, installation, optimisation and monitoring of the servers across Slovenia are also the tasks. At the present, the backbone OS/2 servers are maintained, while the upgrading of the Windows NT backbone with the Windows 2003 servers is in progress, as well as the upgrading of the NT and OS/2 workstations to the Windows XP platform.

Global, as well as local trends suggest that the everyday access from home to the e-mail, Internet and company information resources from home is a necessity also in the evening, over the weekend and during vacations as well. To this end, the key users are provided with secure dialled access from home, while from hotel or in journey, wireless links are available.

Considering the variety of software and hardware, links to the environment, and the extremely fast pace of technology changes, it is a special challenge to ensure the highest possible standards of security throughout the organisation - secure physical access to premises and computer equipment, protection against viruses entering the system via floppy discs, e-mail or direct transmission, and the protection against intrusions through the Internet. The Department is continuously involved in the verifying and ensuring appropriate level of security for all the information technology components.

System Department

The System Department is responsible for the Institute central computer. Its main tasks include:
· the installation of the operating system, ancillary subsystems and software products, configuration of the central system basic architecture;
· adaptation of the installed products to the requirements of their application;
· monitoring of the system operation, diagnostics and troubleshooting;
· ensuring the maximum availability of the overall system;
· ensuring the optimal response times by all the system and application software components, which are directly reflected in the end user's working conditions;
· ensuring the security of the central system both in terms of personal data security and prevention of unauthorised use of data and software or intrusions in the system, as well as in terms of prevention of data and software losses in the events of different faults, power black-outs or accidents (including natural disasters);
· the provisions for continuous updating and upgrading of the central system hardware and software, according to the following principles: substitution of obsolete equipment, enhancement of the existing equipment to accommodate increased volume of operations, and enhancements and amendments to the system architecture.
· the in-house development of system software to enhance or amend the standard system or application software (automation of procedures, development of supplementary functions or tools);
· the assistance to other departments in their developing of information technology solutions and their production running.

To successfully accomplish all the listed tasks, the Department staffs highly specialised and trained experts, involved in the following topical fields: basic operating systems, database server systems, communication systems to operate the links between the components within the system and in their connection with the computer network and the end users' application software.