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.

The trust currently has two instances of Rio; therefore two versions of Beacon have been created to reflect the two different systems. One for Mid Mersey and one for Mersey Care. The two instances of Beacon will exist until the Rio merge takes place. Once the Rio systems are merged, the Beacon applications will be reduced to one.

Who can access Beacon?

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

Rio Account Type

Can I access Beacon?

Mersey Care Rio account

Staff will be able to access Mersey Care Beacon Only

Mid Mersey Rio account

Staff will be able to access Mid Mersey Beacon Only

Mersey Care AND
Mid Mersey Rio account

Staff will be able to access BOTH Mersey Care Beacon and Mid Mersey Beacon using the separate links.

No Rio account

Staff will not be able to access either Beacon application.

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.  You will be notified by Trust email  communication when the system is available for you to access. 

A link to the network folder containing the Beacon applications will be provided within the commucation. You will need to click on the link to open the Beacon folder, double click the relevant Beacon application and press 'Run' to open the application. 

When can Beacon be used?

If Rio downtime is planned for, staff will be told when the links to Beacon will be made live to access via Trust communications.

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, the links to Beacon will be made live for staff to access, and a Trust communication will be sent out.

What information can be accessed in Beacon?

Each instance of 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:

Beacon - Content Overview

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

  • Mersey Care Beacon: Data will run up to midnight the night before
  • Mid Mersey Beacon: Data is approximately one hour behind live

The data availabilty in each 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 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 each 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 each version of Beacon has been developed and Rio users are asked to complete this training to familiarise yourself with the tool. 

Each eLearning will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Mersey Care Beacon eLearning

Mid Mersey Beacon eLearning


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