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SAS custom develops track and traceability solutions for Health Edge

Founded in 1996, Health Edge specialises in the provision of tracking, traceability and quality audit trail systems to the health sector, designed to meet the current MHRA, HTM, EU, International and Glennie guidelines on the reprocessing of medical devices. Health Edge systems are used extensively by the health sector throughout the UK.

 

SAS works with Health Edge to develop a growing suite of applications and audit trail software solutions for medical device decontamination. The suite of solutions can be used by NHS and healthcare staff with limited IT knowledge – benefits include ease of use and an intuitive GUI. With unique item codes, time and date stamped to ensure traceability of items, all solutions in the Health Edge suite of products are designed and developed in accordance with the appropriate ISO 9001 processes.

 

By making the application available from ‘the cloud' it has opened up other innovative solutions for disaster recovery, loan set provision and GS1 data pool access. Other technical innovations include those in the area of ‘machine to machine’ or M2M integration. Hospitals can now gain additional efficiencies and reduce manual errors thanks to the development of an interface between the Health Edge Endoscopy application (HESA) and the washer/disinfectors and drying cabinets from market leader, Wassenburg. Hospital staff can scan endoscopes into a washer disinfector machine, which automatically registers the action with the tracking software.

 

At the end of the process, when staff members open the lid on a successful processing cycle, the software is updated with all the relevant information without operator intervention. As SAS and Health Edge roll out solutions to more and more hospitals around the UK, each roll out brings more requests for changes and new features; all handled by the team at SAS.

 

SAS also provides second line support to the Health Edge helpdesk team, so whenever a problem of a technical nature occurs, SAS is automatically notified and able to engage with customers directly, if required. This highlights another area where the SAS/Health Edge partnership goes beyond conventional supplier relationship. Health Edge and SAS agreed that in order to offer the best support experience to customers, each should mutually benefit when new customers sign up for support. Through this shared revenue approach, SAS is appropriately recognised when new customers are added, thereby incentivising the team to keep customers happy and SAS benefits from support contracts.

 

All support customers receive free upgrades to the latest versions of the software upon release, so the need to support multiple live versions of the software is minimised and customers get to use new features as they are released, without additional cost. ‘In summary, Health Edge has placed their absolute trust in SAS as a development partner and as a result, Health Edge retains its status as market leader in their sector. Competitors’ customers are flocking to the new Health Edge products because they offer the best features, with innovative, cutting edge technology and customer service that is envied by competitors in the industry.

 

SAS has proved that it not only offers the development expertise required to bring Health Edge’s products to market but that it positively contributes to the end product in ways that Health Edge could never have predicted’, reports Chris Owen-Smith, CEO of the Managed Applications and Infrastructure divisions for SAS. ‘We have a proven track record in partnering with customers to bring their products to market.

The Health Edge partnership is a perfect example of how we are able to help customers understand the art of the possible and then apply it in practical ways. There is increasing pressure in the public sector to move to a cloud based delivery model and Health Edge is now the only software vendor in the tracking and tracing market with a cloud based solution. We have a shared interest in making sure our customers are fanatically supported, because at the end of the day this software is critically important to the running of the decontamination and patient association infrastructure of the country. That responsibility is something we never forget as we roll out new releases but it is also something we are extremely proud of. Health Edge’s success is our success and together we have grown our revenues and opportunities well beyond what we would have achieved separately’, adds Owen-Smith. Toni Hoare, MD of Health Edge said, ‘I first met Chris Owen-Smith of Triggersoft in April 2011, when we jointly embarked on a special project to develop a state of the art tracking, traceability and quality audit trail systems to be used throughout the healthcare sector.

Health Edge has an excellent working relationship with all the management and development team at Triggersoft, since acquired by SAS. Health Edge has always been impressed by the high level of technical expertise demonstrated by the project management and development team’. Hoare also highlights the excellent quality of overall work delivered by the team at SAS, in terms of task management, documentation delivery, product delivery, development in line with standards, guidelines and regulatory requirements, response times, clarity of communication (both written and verbal), speed of understanding and listening to Health Edge’s views with regard to the developmental roadmap.

In addition, Hoare reports that SAS has a good understanding and appreciation of the different personalities and recognition of the expertise at Health Edge. ‘I feel it is appropriate to mention that Triggeroft, now SAS, was initially recommended to me by a personal friend. With their industry knowledge in software development and healthcare, their appropriate advice and guidance around best practice, the strength and depth of the team involved, their patience, concentration and focus when working under pressure, I would have no reservations about recommending them to anybody in need of software development services’.

Originally, health sector traceability systems were manual or paper-based but in order to meet compliance needs and guidelines, SAS works with Health Edge to continually develop an innovative suite of healthcare applications. Health Edge required more than just a development company to write their applications for them; whilst they needed applications written, they really required a development partnership that could bring fresh new ideas, technological advances and true commitment. SAS consistently adds value to the Health Edge core products through innovation; a good example being the technical platform choice for the new HESSDA application, the mainstay of the Health Edge product line. SAS developed a ‘cloud ready’ application from day one; with deployment options available to customers now that include public and private cloud, whereas previously the software could only be deployed in a hospital’s on site server room.

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