Leeds-based Medisoft is the UK’s leading supplier of electronic record systems for ophthalmology, providing clinicians with extensive patient information instantaneously.
MLL Telecom was chosen by Medisoft as the new provider to oversee the transfer of communications between the two office sites, and the migration from N3 to HSCN.
Leeds-based Medisoft is the UK’s leading supplier of electronic record systems for ophthalmology, providing clinicians with extensive patient information instantaneously. In a typical year, Medisoft records over 600,000 individual procedures and automatically generates over 1,000,000 letters to patients and referring physicians. Medisoft’s UK helpdesk answers 99% of calls within five rings, with the majority of enquiries being resolved on the first call. Maintaining excellent customer support is a top priority for the company.
Medisoft’s vision is to transform the practice of ophthalmology by means of advanced technology. Medisoft’s award-winning electronic medical record (EMR) system supports every aspect of ophthalmic assessment and treatment. Continuous development over two decades has made Medisoft one of the world’s leading EMRs.
Medisoft’s customer base comprises of over 5,000 healthcare professionals across 150 hospitals, and its EMR system has been endorsed by NHS Trusts & Boards, independent sector treatment centres and a host of private hospitals around the world. Medisoft also advises ophthalmology departments worldwide on delivering process and efficiency improvements through paperless working and shared care.
In early 2018, Medisoft was informed that its existing office at the Leeds Innovation Centre was to be repurposed and all tenants were given notice. Medisoft were therefore required to relocate around 50 members of staff to new premises within the space of a few months. This immediately generated concerns about the reliability of communication lines during the impending move.
As a busy EMR system provider, providing reliable connectivity is an integral part of the service Medisoft provides to its customers. The physical transition of communication lines therefore presented a major challenge. The office move also coincided with the upgrading of Medisoft’s technology hardware, as well as Medisoft’s migration from the now-defunct N3 network, onto the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) ahead of the government’s 2020 deadline. The HSCN migration was intended to solve the restricted bandwidth access available on N3 and allow the easier and faster sharing of information across and between NHS sites.
To complicate matters further, Medisoft had just a single bank holiday weekend to complete the move and ensure that all work was completed by the Tuesday after the Bank Holiday Monday. To assuage fears of disruption, Medisoft made the decision to bring in a new technology provider in a bid to make the transition as seamless as possible. The successful technology provider would oversee the technical aspects of the office move, as well as the migration to HSCN and the upgrading of Medisoft’s telephony.
Medisoft wanted a swift and seamless transfer of communications from one office site to another over a single Bank Holiday weekend. Medisoft shortlisted a handful of suppliers, looking for a combination of technical solutions provided, the value for money represented, and the competence portrayed when speaking to the people involved.
MLL Telecom was chosen by Medisoft as the new provider to oversee the transfer of communications between the two office sites, and the migration from N3 to HSCN. MLL Telecom was appointed based on its understanding of project requirements, and its ability to deliver the required solution, as well as its competence in dealing with unpredictable technical issues.
With the move planned for August 2018, MLL Telecom began planning work in April 2018 to minimise disruption during the physical move, such as building the telephone platform and installing and testing network equipment prior to the office move.
MLL Telecom drew on its expertise and experience to ensure the transition was as seamless as possible. A dedicated project manager was assigned to Medisoft, to ensure that regular contact was made between Medisoft and MLL Telecom. The project manager oversaw the technical architects in the network design, confirming they had figured out what was needed from the network and then lining up the various vendors needed to install the physical communication lines.
MLL Telecom took a considered approach to make certain the project delivered:
- MLL Telecom and Medisoft worked together to ensure new communication lines and hardware were installed prior to the physical move. Medisoft completed a telephone renumbering exercise as part of the move, meaning new phone numbers and extensions were provided at the new building. To ensure a seamless change, Medisoft and MLL Telecom visited the new site in advance of the site move to physically plug phones into desks, trial group inbound calls and test the new system. Ensuring the hardware was successfully installed, checked and running at least one week prior to the move reduced the likelihood of disruption on delivery day.
- To ensure the smooth migration to HSCN, MLL Telecom migrated Medisoft onto HSCN on a server outside the main rack on the Friday evening on the eve of the Bank Holiday weekend. This allowed the MLL Telecom team to test the connection prior to starting the physical move of furniture and equipment. As a result, Medisoft was able to establish connectivity to one of its customers within an hour of turning power on in the new office.
The migration has allowed Medisoft to benefit from enhanced connectivity; with Medisoft now receiving internet speeds three times faster following the migration. Thanks to this higher bandwidth, Medisoft can upload software upgrades significantly more quickly. Medisoft also now benefits from the HSCN Peering Exchange, which allows communication between several NHS sites at any one time.
- The performance of Medisoft’s phone lines, with regards to both hardware and connectivity, forms a key part of Medisoft’s efficiency and productivity. MLL Telecom worked with Medisoft to find the right connectivity and hardware solution to maximise telephony performance. Once the new building was connected successfully, employees were fielding calls as normal on Tuesday morning. The phone system is now owned and run by Medisoft, with support from MLL Telecom, instead of being controlled by an external company or landlord. This provides Medisoft with greater autonomy to make better use of call data to improve customer engagement.
Paul Burrows, Head of Technical Operations at Medisoft, said: “Working with MLL Telecom was a cooperative experience, and the team’s knowledge ensured the transition went as smoothly as possible. So smoothly in fact, customers were not affected at all, and colleagues were working productively from the moment they found their new desk. MLL Telecom was also great in helping us understand what the best solution was for us, and where we could seek add-ons with our various suppliers. Overall project management was of high quality, and the flexibility in configuring solutions went well. Quite simply, everything they said would work, did.”