Category Archives: MedZope

MedZope Explained

Jon Edwards, on the ZoPyMed list ( explains what MedZope ( is all about. Click read more for the full post: ‘The initial goal of Medzope was to produce a system that could be used by anyone who can click a mouse, or type with one finger, to build a website and update it regularly – no knowledge of HTML, CSS, DTML, XML, ZPT, etc. required.’

OK, pour yourself a cup of coffee and prepare for a lengthy explanation!

The initial goal of Medzope was to produce a system that could be used by
anyone who can click a mouse, or type with one finger, to build a website
and update it regularly – no knowledge of HTML, CSS, DTML, XML, ZPT, etc.

A good example is at – we set up the basic
structure for them, the practices add the content. (Note: we are a
commercial business “Pricom”, selling services around the open-source
software we produce “Medzope”)

Things have progressed and now Medzope aims to address two areas – Websites
and Intranets –


– see the description at of course it’s
equally applicable to departments within a hospital as to practices within a
Primary Care Group …or to single organisations

– we’re expanding the functionality to give more “Customer Relations
Management” facilities for patients, and to include things like
online-booking of appointments or ordering of repeat prescriptions.


– early days, if I describe what we’re doing for Doctor’s Practices, perhaps
you could say what needs to be done differently for hospitals, or other

– Teams/Departments (in a practice these might be Doctors, Nurses,
Reception, Admin, Management) – each has its own “sub-site” (with protected
access if required) with its own calendar/scheduling, guidelines/protocols,
news/noticeboard, document-library, contacts list, useful links directory,
training management area, discussion forums

– Top level – used for general info that applies to the whole org, and to
pull together information from the departments. For example “Today’s Events”
at the top level would list public events from the Calendars of all the
Teams/Departments, “Today’s Events” in the Doctors’ department would list
only the meetings, rotas, holidays, appointments for Doctors

– Workgroups – password-protected areas for cross-function projects/groups
to collaborate and share information. Examples at a practice might include
Audit, Clinical Governance, Teen Health, Mental Health, Business Planning

– Workflow/Scheduling bits – for example, patients phone up requesting home
visits, (once approved) these get added to a “Pending” list, Doctors can see
the Pending list on their desktop, they click a button to say “Yes, I’ll do
that one” and it comes off the list and onto their schedule/calendar, Admin
staff can see the list of each Doctor’s visits for the day, and have the
relevant patients’ notes ready.

– across the whole system you can assign different access levels and
permissions. So, for example, each Department might have a “Managing Editor”
with overall responsibility for keeping info up to date. He/she can then
delegate access to different parts (the calendar/schedule, the document
library, clinical guidelines) to different people for editing, without
worrying that they might break other bits, or see something they’re not
supposed to.

– each user can have a private “Member’s area” where they can keep stuff
they are working on, subscribe to newsfeeds and discussions, and see at a
glance what’s happened recently in the site-sections they are interested in

– integration with public website – a bit vague, but I’m thinking that when
a useful article/newsitem appears on the intranet, you should be able to
click a button to publish it to your public website. Or when a question
appears on the discussion forum of the website, you can pull it onto the
intranet, and discuss it internally before feeding a reply back to the
public site?

It’s all fairly “generic” intranet functionality, but customised for
healthcare organisations, to save you the time and hassle of doing the
customisation yourself!

> However it
> is not good for doing inventory, administrative tasks and
> management tasks.
> For example, it cannot be used to run the pharmacy, do outpatient
> scheduling
> (for now!), to research Evidenced Based Management of the running of a
> specialised service say for diabetics in a diabetic clinic.

Apart from the pharmacy (and possibly inventory), which I believe FreePM
could handle(?), these are exactly the sort of things Medzope could do.

> It is
> also not
> easy to do scoring systems and the like to be implemented in it,
> which are
> increasingly part of outcomes management.

Generally I’d say that anything to do with Patient Information is best
handled by OIO and/or FreePM. I think this kind of thing would fall into
that category, but I’m not sure? [:-)]

> I hope I am making sense [:-(]

You are, and it’s a very useful discussion, thanks for raising it! [:-)]

> OK Jon, play ball!!

You’ll notice I still haven’t addressed how the different systems could

That’s partly because this email is already far too long, and partly because
I need to think about it more! But hopefully, now you have a better idea of
what Medzope aims to do, lots of synapses will be firing in your brain, and
the ideas will flow freely! [;-)]

Generally speaking (and feel free to correct me), FreePM and OIO handle
anything to do with Patient Information. Medzope handles administration,
team-working, knowledge-management, workflow. But it’s the areas in-between
where things get interesting!

Hope that’s helped to move the discussion along a step?

Cheers, Jon

Jon Edwards
Pricom Ltd