2020 in Review

Well better late than never!

This year has been a strange year with a lot more time spent in the office, little or no travel and the opportunity to highlight the benefits of using remote systems such as MS Teams. Our clients – who we have always been in awe of but even more so this year – have been stretched beyond belief but in some way we hope that we have been able to support them through our software (and, also, chocolate).

The use of remote tools has benefitted us. For a while we have wanted to adapt how we work – this year has allowed it. We have proved to ourselves and to those we work with that we can install our software as well - if not better - remotely. It has also meant that we have worked with Redcentric more to setup servers that sit within the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN).

Less meetings meant we have been able to concentrate on version 3 of our Microbiological Reporting System (MRS). We had hoped to launch it at our MRS National User Group in Manchester in May, but for obvious reasons this was cancelled. We used the time to improve the system further and we rescheduled the meeting for September and ran it remotely. Customer feedback of the changes and adaptions to MRS 3 were positive highlighting our close working with our clients and being able to implement suggestions to improve the system.

Along side this a full Validation Document was written by Stephen Bishop who joined us as a casual member of staff. Using his expertise and that of our customer base made sure the document was fit for purpose and appropriate. The system is now in Beta Testing at Quality Control North West and Stockton Quality Control Laboratories. With the intention to go live in the first quarter of 2021, along with some new customers joining us too.

As always we have continued supporting and developing MRS 2.5. Last year we talked about NHS Wales buying into MRS. This has gone well and Swansea Bay University Hospital Board, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, The Temporary Medicines Unit and Public Health Wales have gone live. There are a few more University Health Boards that are currently undergoing validation and should be using the system soon. We have worked closely with NHS Wales to decide on the implementation order and so that they can share best practice in implementing across the county.

As the Environmental and Water Testing Lab part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals has developed so has the software we created for them. They are now using it in their Decontamination Hubs which allows them to understand the system a bit more and its capabilities. So far, the impact seems to be that they are saving a lot of time from both an Estates and Pathology side. It also means that there is a lot less paper flying, which we all know is a trait of the NHS, but using this system has stopped this.

We also continued development of our Web Communication System and had a number of Parish and Town Councils join us to use the system to improve their web presence and document storage. The development was topped off with a Remote User Group where we invited users of the system, to show them new features we had been working on, such as our GDPR compliant News Email Feature and Profiles tool. We also spoke to users to get new ideas for the system and have a couple of these currently in development, as always improving the system for users.

It is not just the software which has been developing and changing but our team. Steven and Jo have continued to improve their knowledge of systems and processes with Steven leading most of the development on MRS 3 allowing him the flex his development skills. Brandon left us in April to concentrate on Web Development working for a Design Agency and Alex went back to study in his final year at Northumbria Uni - we wish both the best. In November, we were joined by Tobias. His role is to head up the support role with in the company. He has already developed some great work on document systems and improved our usage of the helpdesk. This has included some helpful videos.

So although it has been an odd year the business has continued to develop and hopefully serve the amazing work our clients do. Next year will see further implementation of MRS 3 and some exciting plans for the Environmental and Water Testing software and – hopefully – we will see many of our clients face to face soon!

Stay safe!



Published: 01/01/2021 Published by: James Proctor

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