ISS Facility Services

Date Added 10.09.21

Helping hospitals run smoothly

Hytera PDC760 multi-mode radio transforms essential facility management services.

Hospitals are multi-faceted, complex sites that are dependent on resilient communication infrastructures. When renowned management company ISS Facility Services gained the contract for the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool, Resound provided one of the most advanced radios that is available on the market today.

Too many devices

Given the unreliability of broadband, hospitals rely on radio networks for critical communication, and suffer the risk that they could be fined huge sums if systems go down.

But in addition to carrying radio devices, many service teams today use dedicated smartphone apps to log and complete the varied jobs required around the hospital.

Given the inefficiencies and inconveniences this can cause, ISS recognised that there was an opportunity to find a new solution for its Catering, Cleaning, Portering and Security services.

“It is essential for us to have fast, clear comms as it has a wide knock-on effect throughout the hospital,” said Abbas Ali, ISS Business Systems Support Manager at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool.

“Our teams have to complete a vast number of important jobs throughout the day, from keeping wards clean to transporting patients and medical equipment safely around site. They need to know what jobs are required and when, otherwise it impacts cleaning schedules, patient services and so much more.”

Best of both worlds

Following a survey at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Resound recommended the new Hytera PDC760 multi-mode radio – an innovative solution launched in 2019 as the first of its kind to combine DMR critical voice and LTE broadband data services on a unified platform.

The PDC760 is an easy-to-use radio integrated with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Acting as a radio and smartphone in one, users can connect to the Google Play Store to download Facility Management Apps which can be accessed via the radio’s touchscreen LCD display.

Resound provided 15 PDC760 radios for use by various teams around the hospital site. To ensure 100 percent signal coverage, a repeater base station and external antennae were installed on site.

Trunking software was also configured to enable smooth, efficient communication between users and channels — allowing increased capacity for a large number of staff to communicate with voice and data.

“The hospital needs constant communication, particularly in critical situations,” said Abbas. “Running on a hybrid network with the PDC760 means we can utilise broadband but if it fails, we can depend on the radio network.”

The PDC760 is designed with high levels of secure encryption to ensure that sensitive data is well- protected.

“From an IT perspective the PDC760 is great because we can focus on supporting one device rather than several,” added Abbas “We are able to lock the devices with a security pin so that staff are only able to change the elements they need to, and we can manage them remotely.

“The PDC760 radios are also used by the security teams, as the NFC capability allows staff to simply tap the radio against touchpoints around the hospital site.”

Streamlined services

ISS installed two apps for Portering and Cleaning services onto the PDC760 radios. Through the apps, the helpdesk is now able to assign jobs, ready for individuals to accept. Once the staff member has completed the job, they can close it and the app creates data that is reported back to the NHS Trust.

“Having the capabilities to run apps on the PDC760 radios has been extremely beneficial because the job reports are now much more specific, and the internal processes are more efficient,” said Abbas. “The onus is no longer on the helpdesk to assign and log tasks, so their time is freed up for other jobs. We have been able to gain more accurate data on how long jobs take, which is crucial for the NHS Trust and its Service Level Agreements.”

In addition to providing annual system enhancements Resound provides ISS with regular maintenance visits and emergency response call outs.

“Resound have been great to work with and are always helpful,” said Abbas. “They understood that providing high-level patient services is our top priority, and we can only do that with a good comms network. The Hytera PDC760 radios have made a huge difference by enabling faster, easier communication among the facility management departments. They are definitely the future of radio.”

Find out more about the Hytera PDC760.