For over 35 years, Cantel has been working with healthcare providers to revolutionise the prevention and control of endoscopy infection. One of their leading products is the SURESTORE® Endoscope Storage and Transport system. Using SURESTORE®, you can store a scope safely for up to 100 days, rather than the 72 hours offered by normal storage cabinets.
The SURESTORE® device has an embedded micro PC running the software, which controls the decontamination hardware built into the cabinet. The existing platform, created by a lone developer, needed several upgrades and comprehensive support cover.
Although the SURESTORE® product had been on the market for many years, it had always been developed and supported by an external individual contractor. Not only was the contractor planning to retire but there were other associated issues that Cantel wanted to address. For example, being dependent on a single developer meant that there was no support cover if he was on holiday or unavailable for any reason.
They also wanted to upgrade the software with several new features. However, they found that there was not enough developer resource available when they needed it, and they were paying a retainer even when they didn’t. In addition, because the software had been developed by a lone individual, there was a risk that it did not follow industry best practice.
The whole team at SAS now supports the SURESTORE® devices installed in many hospitals throughout the UK. We manage the software source code within an appropriate control system and we develop and test all software updates to ISO9001:2015 standards. We've eliminated the lone developer dependency and Cantel can progress their development roadmap at whatever pace suits them.
The first task we completed was to put the various existing versions of the application under source code control. Previously there had been multiple different versions of the source code live at the same time, all released from separate code bases. We regressed the source code base to the last known good release version and then reapplied code changes to bring the product up to date, but on a single code base.
We keep the main branch releasable at all times, meaning that we can apply a support fix at any time without impacting live hospitals. New features are developed in their own branches and released when tested. Not only do we now have several developers up to speed on the system but we are also able to bring in our UX, UI and QA team when new features are required.
We have helped Cantel to stabilise the SURESTORE® platform and have added new features such as multiple language support, a cleaner UI design and extra features for the engineers that service and support the machines. Cantel know that they can request additional product features whenever they like, without worrying about resource constraints. Conversely, when no upgrades are required, they are not spending money retaining a contractor that has no work to do.
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