What is Beacon?

Beacon is a read only business continuity application which has been built for use if ever Rio is not available.

The application will provide access to essential, key patient information to allow services to continue to function without a clinical system. It is not intended to provide the full electronic patient record or all functionality found within Rio.

Please note: Following the Rio merge, the Beacon applications have been harmonised into one application.  All staff will now access the same Beacon application.  The single application contains the same functionality and all information and forms from the previous versions.

Who can access Beacon?

Staff will only be able to access Beacon if they have a Rio account.

Access to Beacon should be seamless for Rio users.  No username or password is required.  However, you may be asked to input your smartcard number if the connection between Active Directory and your Rio account cannot be made.  Ensure you enter your 12-digit smartcard number carefully.

Please note: The use of Beacon will be monitored using the system’s audit trail.  As per Trust policy, smartcards must not be shared.  The sharing of smartcards will be subject to disciplinary.

How do I access Beacon?

Beacon is only accessible during business continuity.  When the system is made available for you to access, you will be notified by an IT Service Desk email notification.

The link to the Beacon application will be provided within the email notification.

You will need to click on the link, select 'Open', then 'Run' to open the Beacon application.

 Guidance - How to Access Beacon

When can Beacon be used?

If Rio downtime is planned for, staff will be told when access to Beacon will be made available to access via an IT Service Desk email notification.

When Rio is unavailable and the cause is unknown, Mid Mersey System Support will investigate the issue. If Rio is expected to be unavailable for more than one hour, access to Beacon will be made available for staff and an IT Service Desk email notification will be sent out.

What information can be accessed in Beacon?

Beacon contains essential, key patient information from Rio only. It is not intended to provide the full electronic patient record or all functionality found within Rio. The document below provides an overview of the information which Beacon can provide:

Guidance - Beacon Content Overview

Please note: Information held in Beacon runs from the daily Rio back-up which we receive and therefore the information in Beacon runs behind the live Rio system.

The data availabilty in the Beacon application is detailed in the bottom left of the application window. This shows the date and time when the Rio back-up was last added to the application.

What functionality is available in Beacon?

The following functions will be availble for use in Beacon:

  1. Patient: search for and view essential, key patient information from the patient’s Rio record. This includes demographics, alerts, progress notes etc.
  2. Appointments: search for and view Team and HCP appointments (diary and clinics) for a given date (current day onwards).
  3. Caseloads: provides access to the Team Caseload view.
  4. Legacy View: provides access to legacy system information and shared record view for a given patient e.g. historical information from trust systems no longer in use.
  5. Ward: provides access to Inpatient Ward view.
  6. Help: eLearning for the Beacon application is saved here.

Please note: Appointments, Caseloads and Ward access is limited to what staff can currently access in Rio.

How do I use Beacon?

An online learning module for Beacon has been developed and Rio users are asked to complete this training to familiarise yourself with the tool. 

The eLearning will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Beacon eLearning

Please note: the online learning module for Beacon has been updated to align to the single Beacon instance following the Rio merge.


Guidance - Beacon Troubleshooting Guide


If you have any issues accessing Beacon, please refer to 'Who can access Beacon?' section above.  Alternatively, contact IT Service Desk on 0151 296 7777