Self-sufficient team develop a business critical solution using SORCE
To deliver an intranet that would replace 40 disparate systems and existing sites throughout the trust and create a new central location where policies could be stored and news could be shared. Looking to achieve a ‘one organisation’ environment via a joint Communications and IT led project.
The Exchange started life in 2006 as a simple communications based intranet. It has since grown into a vast, complex, business critical solution that meets the needs of many varied requirements. The Exchange team are completely self-sufficient and have developed all of their own applications.
The Risk Register was one of the first applications to be developed. The register provides a reporting mechanism for WLMHT personnel to identify and manage all types of strategic and operational risk. This application calculates risk ratings based upon a score for impact and likelihood. It displays their priority level by traffic light symbols. Specific registers are assigned to relevant directorates for risk ownership and management. This application replaced a manual paper based process. The results are outstanding; the trust now has a real time, dynamic and reportable tool which is most importantly accurate and up to date.
The Incident Reporting application was the next solution to a manual, labour intensive process. What was a complex four part form is now a streamlined online application which enables all incidents to be recorded with workflow built in for reporting, escalation and resolution. This results in more accurate and timely information for management review and action planning to bring about service improvement. The application links directly to Thames Valley Police and the Metropolitan Police Service. Recurrent annual savings include thousands of pounds in direct printing costs and administrative staffing costs.
Budget Management is also managed within The Exchange. Financial reporting has been transformed from a manual process into an online application giving real time access to the latest financial information. Managers can interrogate down to details of individual transactions, in addition a customised reports facility which supports improved decision making saves many days’ worth of administration work per month.
The payroll department at WLMHT is outsourced. The HR application which has been developed in SORCE’s Engage intranet software on The Exchange provides an external link to the agency and manages all aspects of payroll. Managers also have access to an attendance reporting facility that incorporates automated Bradford scoring for analysis of absence patterns. Since the development of the HR application, absence levels have improved through out the trust.
Scorecards are high priority within the NHS, e.g. training compliance scorecards which show red, amber, green status of mandatory training completion. The training application gives management teams throughout the trust clear visibility of staff training and ensures that the highest levels of training compliance are met at all times. Results are used to demonstrate training compliance to the Care Quality Commission. Time consuming reports that were previously run once a month are now so quick and easy the team are able to run them daily at the touch of a button.
The Exchange has helped to manage major redevelopment projects at both St Bernard’s and Broadmoor Hospital. The site is used to share information to the whole project team, including external contractors and suppliers. The redevelopment will deliver not only state of the art facilities but also centres for new, recovery focused, clinical models of care.
There are many other great tools and applications developed using Engage within The Exchange, it would be impossible to mention all of them. Below are a few of our favourites…
Reporting and survey tool
A tool has been developed to replace a well know survey tool which has the ability to bypass questions, select multiple choice etc. This reporting and survey tool allows staff to build reports based upon their results and has proved to be a great success.
Action Zone is a new tool which enables staff to plan and subsequently allocate items of work to others. Managers have an overall view of the plan and analyse reports. Action Zone follows through the whole of The Exchange and is used in many areas including within the Incident Reporting application. It is a tool which has grown organically and become an integral part of The Exchange.
“The Exchange has really supported our trust in gaining the highest mandatory compliance that we have ever had. We are currently at 90% compliance and we would not be there without The Exchange and the tools that we now have for staff and managers to be able to monitor their own training”
– Ali Webster, Head of Learning and Development
IT Forms is another application which has grown in use and visibility. It is a tool which manages changes to passwords, amendments to access rights, the ordering of IT equipment and even includes a management approval process and budget sign off.
Bright Ideas is a fantastic application which has been developed to get staff involved in thinking of new and innovative ways to help reduce spending costs within the trust. Staff can go online to log all of their ideas which are then reviewed by the strategy team. Reviews & responses are sent back and great ideas are taken on board. This popular area of the site has generated cost saving ideas in a number of areas from printers, mobile phone bills to energy performance.
Engage Event Manager
The Engage Event Manager application manages all the meeting room bookings within the learning and development centre.
Safety Alerts is an important application which uses a central alerting system similar to a recall notice on medical supplies.
Occupational health application
The Occupational health application is available for all staff so that they can refer themselves or others for counselling sessions.
Social media on The Exchange is an area within the trust which gaining momentum. Every month a blog from the Chief Executive is written and comments are encouraged. There are even broadcasts from board meetings available online. A photo wall on the home page is extremely popular as is the ability to comment on news stories.
The Exchange started life as a simple communications based intranet; it has evolved into a powerful, dynamic and complex site. It is a business critical solution that is embedded into the work process at West London Mental Health Trust and is integral to the effective running of the trust.
All new requirements at the trust are fed through The Exchange team who are completely self-sufficient and develop all their own applications. They are highly technical, flexible, innovative & creative. They will always look to develop on The Exchange before looking to the market for new systems saving the huge expense of purchasing additional software products.
“A small team that adds maximum impact to our trust”
– Ali Webster, Head of Learning and Development
The Exchange was voted Overall Winner for the best use of the software at a user conference hosted by SORCE Ltd, the software supplier, beating national and international intranet teams.
“The Exchange is the glue that holds everything together”
– Trevor Nelms, Director of Information & Technology
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