Sodexo Case Study
When Sodexo was tendering for a major facilities management contract with London’s Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the services giant knew that technology would be key to its success.
The challenge Sodexo faced was not small. Handling over one million patient contacts annually, Imperial is one of the UK’s biggest acute NHS trusts.
Up for tender were the domestic, catering and, crucially, portering operations at three of the Trust’s busy hospitals, Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s, the latter famously in the news as birthplace of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. Porters and clinicians have since praised a sophisticated integrated communications and task management solution delivered by Avoira to serve those three west London hospitals.
Explaining why Sodexo placed such emphasis on technology within its successful tender response, IT Implementation Manager (New Business), Anthony Slater says: “In the world of healthcare helpdesks portering probably accounts for 80 percent of all calls so you’ve got to get it right. It’s got to be quick, efficient, easy to use and most of all reliable.”
Sodexo saw it could greatly improve upon the existing system which relied upon a standalone two-way radio system, the vagaries of human nature and was, says Anthony, “pretty inefficient.” “We wanted more of an integrated solution, that would enable a call received by a helpdesk operator to be recorded onto a computer system, integrated with the radio network and a text message with all the information of what the job required sent straight to a porter.”
Avoira devised a solution which harnessed a Motorola MOTOTRBO digital two-way radio system with Carps – a sophisticated task management system. This was integrated with Imperial’s existing IT infrastructure. This would enable the automatic logging, routing and tracking of tasks and allow Sodexo to radically streamline the whole process by empowering clinical staff to instruct porters directly.
“What we really wanted to do was implement a self-service capability, to allow nursing staff on the wards, not Sodexo employees, to get on a PC with Carps and log a request. That’s what we’re implementing now. It’s very simple. They can instantly see where they are in queue, log a response and get real-time status updates as to what’s happening to that request.
“Importantly they don’t have to pick the phone up which is good for them and us. We can eliminate a huge volume of calls to the helpdesk and the frustration that extremely busy clinical staff were previously suffering when being put on hold at peak times.”
The new self-service system has been “extremely well received” by nurses, as has the wider solution by porters, cleaners and catering teams. Anthony adds: “All the metrics and Service Level Agreement (SLA) data is recorded by Carps. We’re quickly able to create very powerful reports to demonstrate the quantity and, more importantly, the quality of service that we’re delivering.”