This guide outlines the release process followed to ensure Concentric continues to iteratively improve and respond to feedback, whilst ensuring great availability and minimising any impact on organisational processes.
The approach outlined is followed by all organisations using Concentric and is based on industry best practice for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) web applications.
Background application releases
In-line with continuous improvement prinicples we perform production releases every 2-weeks or so, following a defined release process. By default these do not require input from client organisations, and are termed background application releases.
Releases will often include small improvements that are not user-facing, and may include minor user interface updates or bug fixes. User-facing updates are designed to be intuitive and not require any additional training.
All releases go through a thorough quality assurance release process including manual and automated testing, across all supported browsers, testing all existing and any new functionality. The release is approved by both the Clinical Safety Officer and Chief Technical Officer, and is tested in two environments prior to release to the production environment.
An easy to understand summary of the release is shared publically in our release notes.
Releases are done as ‘near-zero’ downtime deployments meaning that there should be no impact to clinical or business processes due to a background release.
Co-ordinated application releases
There are times when a release needs to be co-ordinated with a client organisation, this is usually due to one of the following reasons:
- Implementation of a change to the integration with another of the organisation’s systems
- An update to the Concentric connector – which sits within the organisation’s network
- The release requires a change in process for a group of users
- Significant change in user interface meaning that communication needs to be sent to users
For these types of releases we will co-ordinate the release with the affected client organisation(s), ensuring that the change does not cause disruption to processes, and if appropriate, testing can occur in a demo environment prior to release.
Ontology content releases
The Concentric ontology is managed by a clinical team and is considered a globally-leading resource of treatment information. Updates to ontology content follow a defined process, following the information standard principles (see more in our standards and guidelines conformance page), and are done in parallel to application releases and will include additions and modifications, such as in response to newly-published medical literature or updates from Royal Colleges and national associations.
Ontology templates are fully customisable and the clinician is responsible for the information that is shared with their patient, as per the requirements of the Montgomery judgement to consider the individual and any material risks. Ontology content updates do not require co-ordination with the healthcare organisation. Modifications can be made to the local version of the Concentric ontology by following the consent template updates process. When an ontology release includes a request from a healthcare organisation the relevant individuals are contacted to inform that the request has been completed.