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Healthcare Special VAR Report Flexible

deployment model

IT Reseller spoke with Simon Strickland, product manager at Allocate Software, about the companyʼs systems development regime and how this is helping customers within the healthcare sector to provide an enhanced level of care for their patients.

Simon Strickland: Bank of experience. A

llocate Software is a workforce optimisation software provider for global organisations with large, multi-skilled workforces.

Extending its presence across the healthcare sector, Allocate recently welcomed Zircadian to the group, enabling the company to supply a fully integrated workforce management platform across all staffing groups.

Within the healthcare sector, Allocate Software provides solutions that help track what is known as Community Equipment. “This mainly refers to equipment that is supplied to patients to provide them with a better quality of life in their own home,” explained Allocate Software’s Simon Strickland. “This could be something simple that has been issued by Social Services, such as a commode or shoe horn, or it could be something more sophisticated, such as a hoist used to help patients with more severe disabilities to get in and out of bed. Community Equipment could even refer to hospital beds that are supplied to terminally ill patients for use in their own homes.”

New development

One of Allocate Software’s flagship applications is its MESaLS product. Since its inception in 1994 as a bespoke


development, the MESaLS (Managing Equipment Stores and Loans System) application software has proved popular within the Community Equipment Services’ (CES) marketplace. Building on this success, and in line with the requirements of the company’s expanding user group of CES services, Allocate Software has recently introduced a software re-design known as MESaLS 4. This entirely web- based development of the application refocuses the historically administrative nature of a menu-based system into a more flexible system that can be configured to match a particular site’s own method of deploying its CES services.

“Everyone who needs information about the CES service, or who has a role within it can be set up as an individual login account,” explained Strickland. “Each login can be configured in terms of functionality and data ownership so that when they access the software, their requirements and actions are streamlined into a single screen from which they will be able to do anything associated with their role, but only against the data that they should have access to.

Allocate Software has also redesigned its handheld application for use with the core application – Pocket MESaLS. Pocket MESaLS is a module for the MESaLS 4 application, which is software designed to run on any Windows CE or Windows Mobile-based hardware. “This could be a PDA, tablet PC, our recommended Psion Workabout Pro Series handheld units or M3 Sky units,” said Strickland. Both models benefit from a number of cutting-edge

features, including:

• Full-colour 320*240 pixel full VGA screen.

• Full alphanumeric keypad. • Touchscreen technology with electronic signature capture.

• High memory capacity for transaction validation.

• Wireless data transmission options including WiFi and GPRS.

• Optional barcode scanner and 1 mega pixel imager.

• USB ver 2.0 connectivity. • Robust unit capable of being dropped from 1.8m to concrete.

• IP65 Rating.

Strickland explained that the Pocket MESaLS application covers any element of remote working that may be required from a handheld unit; including download of scheduled activity, community-based activity update, stores-based stock update, community-based catalogue browsing and requisitioning. Depending on the service deployment, Pocket MESaLS can be used to streamline the way remote workers interact with the MESaLS 4 application, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the CES Service. The company has already implemented the MESaLS software system in over 40 sites across the UK (and recently the company’s first outside the UK in Australia), ranging over Health, Social Services and Joint Stores and including some large organisations both centrally located and dispersed geographically. In terms of hardware, this is all sourced from Blackroc.

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