Artistic Background

NYC Health Care Provider Uses Audit System to Cure Overworked IT Department

Health Plus PHSP Health Plus PHSP
Nelson Portillo, Operations Manager for Information Technology Services


Health Plus PSHSP is one of the fastest growing managed care organizations in New York City. Established in 1984 by Lutheran Medical Center (LMC) to provide coordinated quality healthcare and improve access to care for a diverse and growing number of uninsured New Yorkers in Southwest Brooklyn, Health Plus now serves the five boroughs of New York and Nassau County and covers more than 315,000 New Yorkers.

The Challenge

Nelson Portillo, Operations Manager for Information Technology Services at Health Plus, leads a team of four operations specialists. In 2007, Nelson realized the manual, repetitive processes his team was performing on a regular basis to serve the information technology needs of Health Plus employees was creating a workload that was getting unmanageable. Wanting his department to be more efficient, he decided to look for an automation solution to automate all of the tasks his team performed. Nelson was looking for a solution that would allow his team to create, manage, and schedule tasks to automatically execute FTP and file management processes.

The Solution

A co-worker of Nelson’s who used AutoMate at another organization recommended it to him. As a result of a joint consultation with the AutoMate team and a business partner, Insight, Nelson discovered that AutoMate had the functionality to automate his desired processes. Nelson also considered traditional job scheduling tools, but AutoMate was instead chosen due to ease-of-use and the robust functionality of the product. Nelson initially purchased AutoMate for two servers and was so impressed with the functionality that in October 2011 he took advantage of AutoMate’s automation audit services to discover how he could better utilize the functionality in the product. While on site, AutoMate’s lead engineer recommended creating additional automated tasks to further reduce Nelson’s team’s workload as they were manually executing different daily, weekly, and monthly processes that utilize more than 160 batches and more than 80 SQL jobs. If these additional processes were automated, Nelson decided he would need to upgrade to AutoMate BPA Server due to its ability to centrally manage tasks for multi-machine automation. In December 2012, Nelson worked with Insight and the AutoMate team to purchase an upgrade from AutoMate to AutoMate BPA Server to expand automation from two servers to five.

The Benefits

Having multiple staff members creating automated processes in AutoMate, Nelson found the centralized management of tasks that BPA Server offers allowed his team to re-use tasks and collaborate on tasks and workflows. Additionally, being able to create workflows allowed his team to visually string tasks together as one workflow, as opposed to his team having to manage multiple standalone tasks in AutoMate. As a result of implementing AutoMate and subsequently the BPA Server, Nelson’s team saves 15 hours a week which allows them to focus on more strategic activities. The ITS operations team finds the product easy to use and is looking forward to an upcoming training to learn even more about the product. Amid other responsibilities, Nelson was able to single handedly create and execute all of the automated tasks in under two weeks.

The ITS team is constantly learning about the capabilities of the BPA Server and is always on the lookout for more manual, repetitive processes to automate. When asked about his experience working with AutoMate, Nelson said it has been a very pleasant experience. “From the sales team to the technical team to the Users Forum, I always get an immediate response to my requests. It is so nice not to have to type the same email every day, not to mention all the other monotonous processes we had to perform.”