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Hospital waiting area

Northern Health and Social Care Trust 

Continu's remote monitoring transforms NHS Trust's UPS system management, enabling real-time alerts and proactive maintenance, significantly enhancing operational performance and sustainability.

Game Changer Remote Monitoring from Continu Helps NHS Trust improve visibility and operational performance of UPS Systems

Project Background:
The Northern Health and Social Care Trust is one of five health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland. It is responsible for providing a range of health and social care services in the Northern. 

Gary Campbell, ICT Network and Security Team of the Trust said, “We have over 200 UPS systems within our environment that require 24x7 monitoring. The biggest challenge that we had was that after 5:00pm when employees had gone home, critical issues may have gone unnoticed until the following morning. Staff would receive notifications of potential system problems by email which would mean that they would need to check their emails at all times of the evening for potential issues. It wasn’t a feasible or workable solution. We needed a system that could provide real-time alerts to our phones to improve our ability to respond effectively and quickly.”

Project Solution:
Gary continued, “Continu proposed their cloud-based remote monitoring system which provided native apps on iPhones and Android devices and delivered real-time alerts to the client's devices. This automation meant that any issues with our UPS system could be dealt with immediately as we were alerted on our phones and depending on the severity of the issue we could downgrade its priority if it was a minor issue or if it was more serious call out a Continu engineer.

The remote monitoring system from Continu is supported by an asset advisor straight from the manufacturer’s call centre which contacts us if there is a critical issue. The remote monitoring system would alert the team on their phones and, if required, the call advisor team would contact us direct out of hours, 24/7.

This meant with early notification that the Trust can identify potential issues before they occur, allowing Continu engineers to make repairs before any downtime can happen.”

The Trust has 11 units on contract with Continu, which were in their key facilities, including data centres and key points in their network where additional visibility was required and fully intends on renewing and extending the contract.

Project Results:
The remote monitoring system from Continu changed the way the client monitored their UPS environment. They were more proactive and could prevent failures before they occurred. The client had full visibility of what was going on from Continu's portal, and they were able to issue a communication to stand down if it was a minor problem. This prevented sending out an engineer to the site, which aligns with Continu’s purpose on sustainability.

Alison McFadden, Managing Director of Continu said, “We have changed the way we maintain client sites and to prevent unnecessary engineer call outs with diesel vans on the road if they are not needed. This creates a more sustainable solution for both the client and Continu. 

Gary continued, “The core thing that I've picked up from the product is the insights that it provides which are invaluable. Our previous systems were very manual. Prior to the remote monitoring system from Continu I would typically spend significant amounts of time running manual reports and in some cases guessing when a battery had reached end of life which meant that we decommissioned some batteries before it was necessary. The remote monitoring system from Continu provides an alert which indicates when a battery or parts need to be replaced within a certain time frame. This is vital especially today with the supply chain issues. With advanced notice we can now source new parts and batteries within the right timeframe and more cost-effectively. We can now pick the right level of replacements and move to a more proactive model.” 

Continu's remote monitoring system has provided the Trust with an automated solution that has improved their visibility, monitoring and operational performance of their UPS systems. The system has allowed them to be more proactive and prevent failures before they occurred and has removed the burden of staff having to check their emails in the evening, as they now receive an alert on their phone or a call from the call advisor. 

What the client said:
Gary said, “Continu is a fantastic partner who is incredibly knowledgeable in the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and battery energy storage systems (BESS) markets. Not only are they able to shorten the supply chain in terms of getting batteries and parts, but they also get preferential rates which for a Trust is really important. They work with proven suppliers which meant that they were agnostic in their approach with us. They weren’t trying to force us down a certain route because they worked with one supplier.

What it came down to was quality and the quality of the units that we received. We were early adopters and none of the other partners or vendors could supply us with a system that was comparable to the functionality of Continu. We were getting to a point where we were about to place an order for around 60 to 70 units over the next 2 years and if we had carried on doing what we were doing we were going to be inundated with emails and staff were going to be spending their evenings checking their computer for alerts which was not feasible. We wanted a management platform that was compatible with our existing systems and Continu was the only one that was able to demonstrate that ability.”

The Trust can now make more informed decisions about replacement parts and batteries, and it is moving toward a more proactive maintenance model which is more sustainable and cost-effective. The remote monitoring system is a game changer for us. 

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