ISS Mediclean: DORIS Solution

The Dynamic Operating Radio Interface System (DORIS) incorporates the Concept™ Help Desk functionality, and now allows clinical and non clinical staff at five of the NHS hospitals supported by ISS Mediclean in the UK to request a diverse range of services.

These requests are processed by Concept™ and despatched to the specified handsets of ISS Mediclean service staff via the Resound Flashpointer radio system. Once the task is completed, the member of staff sends a confirmation message back to the Concept™ Help Desk, completing the circle without a single voice call having to be made.

ISS Mediclean was formed in 1984 to meet the UK government's call for market testing within the National Health Service. Such has been the company's success since then that it is now one of the leading hospital support suppliers in the UK with more than 300 NHS units taking their services.

ISS Mediclean is part of the giant ISS Group that employs over 470,000 staff worldwide.  Within the UK, ISS Mediclean has a staff of 13,500 who provide the NHS with services including catering, cleaning, housekeeping, portering, security, car parking and estates management amongst others.

Challenge
"We provide service staff to some of the largest hospitals across the UK," says John Silverwood, Head of Logistics, ISS Mediclean.  "That means that efficient communications between staff on the ground is paramount to our ability to deliver the high service quality levels that our customers demand."

John explains: "Requests to the help desk in a hospital vary a great deal. It could be that a patient needs to be taken from a ward to the x-ray department, a blood sample to the lab, a gas cylinder is running low and needs replacing, etc.  But in each case, the request needs to be logged and then executed efficiently using the staff resources that are available."

Once a call is logged as a request, Concept™ sends a message to the handheld unit. The handheld unit then issues an audible bleep to alert the member of staff.  Through Flashpointer, Concept™ is able to keep track of all requests and their status, thus helping to run a smooth service operation.

Two-way radio is the obvious choice for staff communication across large sites because it is immediate and the voice quality is controllable.  More importantly, unlike mobile phones, radio systems can be configured to work reliably in crisis situations, as they are immune from the voice traffic of members of the public.

"For many situations a simple two-way radio system would be ideal," continues John. "But in a hospital environment we need to be sensitive to patient and medical staff needs. So having the constant background chatter from 'open' staff radios is not ideal.  We needed a configuration that allows contact directly between individuals on a one-to-one basis."

In addition to removing the background chatter, ISS Mediclean wanted to be able to integrate computer systems to the radio network so that they could 'talk' with staff via text messaging as well as voice.

"The need to carry both voice and data across the radio network led us to decide that MPT1327 trunking technology was the answer," adds John. "But we still had the problem of setting up a reliable way to interface our computer software into the radio network".

Solution
The company looked at the radio equipment market to find a suitable way of integrating the computer and radio systems and settled on using Resound's Flashpointer system.

"We discovered that Resound had just what we needed in Flashpointer," says John. "It was an easily configurable system that would allow us to connect to a number of different computer systems without needing to 'reinvent the wheel' for each project."

"Of course, we needed to have a reliable trunked radio system implemented and supported at each customer site as well," he says.

"We were so impressed with the way that Resound understood the sensitivities of the healthcare environment that they were the natural choice for radio system supplier as well."

Resound has now worked with ISS Mediclean at four major hospitals in London and one in the Midlands.  In combination these systems cover more than 250 handsets. Looking ahead, John expects the Concept™-based system to be rolled out across many more sites, as DORIS is implemented to rationalize service delivery in these complex environments.

"We've found that working with Resound and FSI has been very fruitful," concludes John.  "They are very responsive to our differing needs for each project and always bring a strong professionalism to every customer engagement.  We are planning to implement the DORIS system at many more healthcare sites in the future and Resound – and FSI - will be an integral part of our team at each one."

About Resound Limited
Resound has been supplying intelligent radio systems for business, professional and emergency users since 1991.  In that time the company has built up a customer list numbering more than 1000, many of whom are household names in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors.

Keys to success have been adherence to strict quality policies (including ISO 9001 accreditation) and a pragmatic flexibility when designing and integrating solutions.  This in turn has led to the building of long-term customer relationships that have spanned different generations of radio technology.

The company offers a full range of radio communications products and services, including lease hire options for reducing financial impact.  A particular strength is the ability to integrate radio systems with Building Management Systems, alarms, telephone and computer networks, to deliver robust solutions that are tailored to each customer's specific needs.