Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Upskilling medical engineers in software development
MTP had been using an in-house developed Clipper based Asset Management system which did exactly what they wanted it to do; it had been fine-tuned over 25 years by MTP’s own biomedical engineers.
However, over time, the volume of data and also the number of customers were growing and the system came to its limits; MTP could not interact with customers as only MTP staff could access the system. While customer inquiries had been dealt with by phone, email or fax, the time was right for a change. The goal was to give customers access to the system as well.
The challenge was to not lose any functionality they had, leveraging the deep understanding of the application gained over 25 years of developing the system by themselves.
MTP looked at packaged software solutions and solutions implemented by other hospitals, but they were either too huge with options MTP did not need or too limited and unable to provide the required precise functionality.
Instead of outsourcing the coding, MTP sought to up-skill their engineers to have full control over their system and to be able to manipulate it for future challenges.
MTP’s engineers have taken their skills learnt during university and with the assistance from Lateral-gained skills in software development, adapted it into their new system.
Lateral provided a four day training course introducing LANSA. The MTP engineers soon designed a solution and attended a few more days of training, before working on the system by themselves.
We provided assistance when needed and also supported them together with their IT department when it came to setting up the servers.
After the training, MTP’s engineers were empowered to develop eMED, a tailor made system that manages the maintenance and quality assurance for over AU$80 million of medical equipment and radiation physics activities.
eMED is accessible to customers who are now far better informed. Orders are remotely recorded and the workflow is automated. MTP have been able to streamline the process from start to finish and record all the steps as requests go through. Test forms and work instructions enable MTP to keep their records paperless and produce reports only when required. Furthermore, dashboard facilities graphically analyse historical information going back over 25 years.
The clear benefit for MTP having up-skilled their Bio-medical Engineers is that if they find some potential to improve their system, they can do it straight away without having to wait and budget for the services of a third party.
As a result, eMED has continuously evolved and has been implemented by similar organisations within the WA Health Service such as BME Biomedical Engineering.
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