QE Facilities is a well-established wholly owned subsidiary
company of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, based in the North of England.
The company is a separate legal body set up to provide a
range of non-clinical Estates and Facilities services.
Due to its ongoing success, QE Facilities has also
expanded into a number of exciting projects that are delivering
significant savings and efficiencies. In this very difficult economic
environment the expanding business is providing a unique alternative to
traditional full third party outsourcing.
QEF deliver a number of real and tangible financial
benefits in a way that does not disadvantage the existing Trust employees.
QEF has been established on the solid foundations of the NHS and is able
to provide a flexible, proactive range of high quality services, modelled on
the lines of a commercial organisation.
prime example is QEF Pharmacy Services™. The QE Facilities Outpatient Pharmacy
provides a range of out-patient dispensary services for speciality medications.
All of these services are underpinned by robust NHS IT systems but, where
applicable, bolstered by ‘best of breed’ third party software to enhance core
Against this background, John Welsh (Associate Director of Pharmacy Services at QE
Facilities) began examining how the homecare delivery service could be
optimised, the primary requirements being accuracy and supply of product to the
patient. His investigation of current market offerings highlighted Touchstar
Technologies ‘PODStar’ Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD) software as a system
that was widely used within a number of industry sectors including general and
Initial dialogue took place with
Touchstar business analysts to develop a detailed scoping document that
identified QE’s specific requirements. It was apparent that a high level of
integration with existing NHS systems would be required, a stipulation that
would have been impossible with a standard ‘off the shelf’ product.
Fortunately, one important facet of the PODStar offering is the Evo-link integration
product. Designed as a dynamic interface tool,
EvoLink can link the PODStar software to almost any other system, enabling the
automatic transfer of data from a separate system into the EPOD software.
Supporting the population of multiple systems, errors are reduced by the
removal of manual re-keying of data. Utilising the power of Evo-link, Touchstar
personnel established a secure flow of data between several legacy NHS systems.
employed to optimise the planned delivery of the prescription to the patient at
their home or other appropriate location. Confirmed delivery slots are
automatically transferred to PODStar from QE’s central database and
subsequently released to the drivers as authorised job runs. In parallel, a
matching barcode label identification is generated. On delivery, this barcode
can be scanned to confirm patient receipt thereby ensuring full traceability of
the prescription drugs.
QEF drivers are equipped with Android smart
phones. The Cloud-based PODStar system offers a 'Planning and Optimisation'
tool that automates existing manual processes for office-based Pharmacy
personnel. The driver’s smart phones are used for both proof of delivery /
signature capture and tracking of the driver and vehicle location. Back at the
QE Pharmacy, management can view a real-time update on a map showing
the fleet position as well as additional data on the job status and
John Welsh commented: “We
chose to partner with TouchStar Technologies as we believed they would deliver
a bespoke system based on our exact requirements. The PODStar system delivers a
number of key benefits, including:
point job creation
- End to
end electronic link from point of prescribing, dispensing to receipt of
medicines by end user
electronic system for sustainability
Following a robust trial the PODStar system is now fully ‘live’ and
delivering the key benefits.
Overall we're very pleased with the system and, as we continue to expand,
we look forward to continuing our relationship with TouchStar and contemplating
further bespoke enhancements”
Touchstar Press Contact: Mike Turner, Group Marketing Manager, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
QE Facilities Contact:
John Welsh, Associate Director of Pharmacy Services, Email: email@example.com