Dorothy House Hospice transforms IT thanks to local company

Dorothy House Hospice Care has turned to Wiltshire IT services and solutions company Mintivo to transform its digital operation to help create more time and resource for patient care.

Mintivo has been awarded a three-year contract to provide day-to-day IT support to the hospice’s 450 staff and many of its 900 volunteers, as well as help the 47-year-old charity on its journey to a cloud-based operation so that its staff can work effectively from anywhere.

The Lacock company has already spent nine months working with the charity to supports its technical staff in stabilising its IT system, upgrading internet connectivity at its Winsley base and improving its fundraising capability in its 25 shops.

But Mintivo Managing Director Chris Gough said the connection with the hospice dates back much longer. “Everyone here is aware of the fantastic work Dorothy House does and our staff have been running marathons and holding bake sales to raise money for some time,” he said.

“I’ve also been donating time to talk to them about cyber security and offer advice but I’m really excited to be working with them more formally because what we will be doing is moving the charity forward and making sure they get way more value. That’s so important because for a charity like Dorothy House every pound counts.”

Dorothy House Service Delivery Manager James Miller said staff, who cared for 3,000 patients and families in the last financial year, are already seeing the difference from the IT firm’s involvement. “Mintivo swooped in to come and help out at a very difficult time with a lot of change going on internally and just introduced some stability when it comes to support of our IT systems that was very much needed,” he said.

“Since then they have made several recommendations on new kit and been a massive help with improving our processes.”

He said better and more reliable connectivity means staff spend less time on tasks such as writing up notes or trying to log into the various NHS systems. “Clinicians using our systems are experiencing fewer dropouts and timeouts, which for a clinician spending an hour writing up a patient’s notes and then potentially losing them is a big deal. Additionally, non-clinical colleagues are experiencing a much faster and reliable experience on Microsoft Teams, which we use to facilitate remote meetings often including many participants” he said.

“One of the biggest advantages is that we are getting an entire organisation’s worth of expertise and experience. The service desk side of things, where our staff can get day-to-day help, is a large part of the contract but it’s having Mintivo as a technical partner to bring its expertise to project work that is very reassuring.”

He said Mintivo has also helped solve connectivity problems at some of its retail stores, particularly its shop in Bath. “We estimate that in the past there has been significant missed revenue because of connectivity at our stores as our till systems rely on stable connections,” said Mr Miller.

“Mintivo has designed a secure connectivity solution that routes all the traffic for that site back to our base in Winsley while running off a 5G sim card. This technology can be deployed anywhere there is 4G or 5G connectivity so now we can have pop-up shops at any event.”

Mr Gough said that because his staff are constantly monitoring the hospice’s IT systems they can predict problems before they occur. “We can see what’s going to break before it happens so there are a lot of hidden benefits for Dorothy House,” he said. “Their focus is and should be their patients so what we are doing will lead to more time for staff to look after the patients, either at the hospice or out in the community.”

Dorothy House reorganised their community care teams last year, bringing palliative and end of life care closer to people’s homes, meaning that now 90 per cent of Dorothy House patients are supported in a community setting.

Mr Miller added: “We view Mintivo as an extension of Dorothy House and that they are our IT department as if they were on-site all the time, not a faceless third party organisation. They have been excellent to work with and signing the contract with them has opened up the floodgates on all this innovation, which is very exciting.”

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