Built around the Zebra Technologies RW 420 mobile printer, the system incorporates a PDA and the "PMS@yourside" website, built on an Oracle database. The website is used for job management and activity planning. It is used by both the PMS technicians and the clients at the hospital and is updated in real-time.
The "PMS@yourside" website ensures that requests are received and processed in a third of the time they used to be. Information about any damage, the exact specification of the machine and details of its location within the hospital are emailed to the PMS customer care team who forward it to the first available technician direct to the PDA over the GPRS network. The system makes it easier to trace the allocation and progress of individual jobs and to record details as they happen. These details are then made available to the clinical engineering team at the hospital through the client section of the site.
Once the technician has assessed the situation and, where possible, carried out any necessary repairs, a complete record of the incident is recorded digitally on the PDA. Both the Philips technician and the client sign the document on the PDA, the receipt is then double printed using the Zebra RW 420 series printer.
The report for the job is also made immediately available on the website and archived at the end of each day. The hospital keeps a complete printed record as well as having online access to the information in different formats. In addition, the double format documentation removes the need to scan the printed copy. This alone saves PMS approximately 800 hours of work each year. It is therefore able to deal with more jobs and save money.
The project started in January 2007, in response to the hospital's need for a clearer audit trail that would meet internal requirements. Armed with clear guidelines from the hospital, PMS started selecting devices and rolling-out the "PMS@yourside" website. The Zebra RW 420 series mobile printer was chosen for its portability, ruggedness, ease of use, print speed, and battery life.
At this stage Zebra's business partner were able to demonstrate that the chosen hardware fully met PMS's expectations.
The "PMS@yourside" website itself includes a number of different sections: "My machines" where individual machine's technical details are available; "Open calls", which presents information about the date the call has been opened, the date of the technician's visit and the option to add reminders; "Scheduled visits" detailing all the planned repair and maintenance visits; "Machines diary" providing a record of all the visits that have occurred for an individual machine.
The new system has been introduced gradually. A selection of key users was prioritised to ensure the level of service on key diagnostic machinery was improved first. As the project rolled out to these early adopters, they were constantly updated with the latest improvements.