IRT Group's executive general manager of infrastructure and technology John Vohradsky has won national recongition for the way his team have residents stay in touch with loved ones and doctors during COVID-19 lockdowns
Mr Vohradsky has been ranked among the top 10 chief information officers in Australia.
For the last six years CIO Australia has compiled a list of the top 50 performers (CIO50) across all companies and industries in the nation and this year Mr Vohradsky was ranked at number 7.
He said it was largely recognition of the way his team had innovated and adapted to help IRT residents stay connected during the global coronavirus pandemic.
"The CIO50 has become the pinnacle for IT executives," he said.
"To get into the top 50 is a pretty good thing. And to get into the top 10 is amazing.
"It is pretty good that a not-for-profit aged care organisation that operates out of Wollongong has achieved this."
Mr Vohradsky said the recognition came at a time of considerable innovation for the senior living provider and a huge take-up of new technology by residents.
"IRT is very active in changing its business model and adapting for the future," he said.
"In the submission we talked about the big projects we have done.
"And one of the big ones was we launched this app called IRT Connect. It is an all-in-one self service platform which allows our residents to communicate.
"During lockdown when we had to shut down our facilities for long periods it helped residents talk to loved ones and share photos and videos. It was really helpful when they and their children or grandchildren had birthdays.
"It also allowed us to bring telehealth in. Being able to speak to a doctor is a big thing. We didn't know how using a computer to do that would go but the new app turned out to be really good."
Mr Vohradsky said during lockdown residents weren't able to leave their facility and no one was able to visit them. So IRT Connect turned out to be the next best thing.
"We found doctors were able to actually spend more time with the residents than they would normally. There was a huge take-up," he said.
"It shows if you give people technology that is simple to use and gives them something they need it will be successful. With IRT Connect residents were able to see things like a grandchild's birthday party and stay in touch with their doctor."
Mr Vohradsky has been with IRT for six years and was quick to acknowledge everyone involved in IRT's information technology innovations.
"I know this is CIO award but this has been achieved by the IRT team. And we use a lot of Wollongong based IT companies," he said.