Respond End of Life FAQ’s | Respond Employee Health Software

Respond – End of Life Frequently Asked Questions 

In 2009 with the release of BD Protect Healthcare Worker Safety (HWS) which was intended to be the replacement for the Respond software for employee health, BD announced via email, Knowledge Base and by letter that legacy software (Respond) would reach end of life and end of support December 31, 2012
The plan at that time was to move Respond users to the BD Protect Healthcare Worker Safety (HWS) software.

In 2011 BD felt that it had to make strategic moves to re-focus on the core businesses, due to many factors in the global economy .  These moves required tough business decisions, including the end of the Employee Health, Infection Prevention and Syndromic Surveillance software packages

The result was the announcement in the summer of 2011 that the BD Protect software would no longer be sold, and that the existing plans to discontinue the legacy software (including Respond, RedBat and AICE) at the end of 2012 would continue. 

To help guide customers through steps for employee health software solutions these most frequently asked questions have been gathered here.
Q: What if we have questions or run into problems? 

Contact incrediblySmart.  After leaving BD, having been the lead Respond/BD Protect Application Support Specialist for over 9 years, I started incrediblySmart to continue to service the Respond/BD Protect community of users through vendors, and through direct support of individual customers.  I am committed to continuing Respond support until 2017, after that time I will only assist remaining customers into moving to other solutions, instead of offering paid support.
Q: Will the software continue working after support has ended? 

There is no clock or feature in the software that forces the program to quit working once you no longer have support.  You can continue to use the software for any length of time you’re comfortable with.  The software is known to work with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 (even on 64-bit machines and versions).  The server should be Windows Server 2008R2 or Server 2012. Newer versions of Windows (like 8.1 and Windows 10) are known to have some compatibility issues with Respond v4, and should not be used. 
Q: Do you have advice for what to look for when we look at another vendor? 

You’ll want to take in account the reports that you use, and be sure that suitable reports can be made.  Many solutions include fields or ways to record the data you need, but it’s not only important that the information goes into data entry screens but also consider what’s available from that data as reports.
In your comparisons look at the reporting features and not just the interface or what the program can do in terms of capturing data.
Also look at how easy the software is to use, is it fast, friendly, intuitive?  That’s what will make you productive.
Q: We want to look at other vendors are there any you can recommend? 

We can’t make personal recommendations, but we’ve put together a list of vendors that you can examine for yourself.
You can evaluate what they offer and compare with your needs to see if there’s a match. We have limited first-hand knowledge of the software and do not know all the benefits to any particular software.  Once you find information from one vendor, such as a certain feature you like,  you may use some of the keywords or features on one site as a basis for a new web search to possibly find other products.  If anyone finds that a vendor or product is excluded from this list, that exclusion is not intentional and we would be happy to include as many options as we can provide.  Those listed below are listed in alphabetical order by software title and not meant to show any preference. 

Workplace Integra :  

It is also understood that there solutions that may be suitable provided within Kronos, 
Lawson, Meditech or PeopleSoft and some customers have modified other systems they already have, to assist with the needs of employee health. If those software vendors are already providing solutions to your facility, that may be another option. 

 What about exporting and importing our data? 

Ask each of the vendors you might choose if they already have a way to import data from a tab delimited flat file. If you would like to keep your Respond data, you will want to ask if they can import the data and what that service will cost. 
The requirements for OSHA injuries, Illnesses and Exposures are to keep the data for 15 years after the employee separation date.  Some state requirements are even longer (30-years).
It may be important to have a single system keeping your records, instead of keeping paper records, Respond records, and a replacement system.

LINE LISTING reports from Respond or HWS can be created and then exported (saved to disk) to include all data from a particular screen in a TAB delimited text file format. There are some steps you’ll need to do to make sure the reports produce the results in a usable format, and it is likely that you will have to do some formatting changes, the vendor you choose can tell you what they require.

Q: We’re considering self-supporting once vendor support ends, do you have advice on what we should do? 

Backup, make copies, have the manual, keep the passwords & know where the highest version full CD is. 

 your files frequently using BOTH the backup utility within the program AND the network.  Then make backups of the files made by the backup utility off your computer, on a USB drive, or copying them to multiple locations on a regular basis. 
Make sure that your network back up works when it’s time to restore, some network backups may appear to be working, but not restore the file properly.
Consider doing a “crash-test” – meaning have the files restored, before you need them – to make sure that when you DO need them, you know they’re right.

Be sure that backups have some long-term restore ability.
You don’t want to find that the problem you’re having started 3 months back, and the backup you’ve been doing nightly only backed up the problem over and over.

Make copies
 at least yearly of the program data files group, if not more often (monthly/quarterly). Copy all of the sub-folders in the RData (HWSData) directory – excluding DATA (since that was covered in backups above). If you ever had to “restore” your files, you can place the file group back. Most minor problems with Respond/HWS can be fixed by re-copying the file group, and having a backup of the database. 

Have the manual 
the program manual/users’ guide (available in PDF from the HELP folder), should have a short-cut saved to every users’ My Documents folder, this way they have ongoing, predictable, easy access to the manual at any time. 
When training issues arise, or questions about how something is supposed to work, this will provide answers.

Also consider any training guides you may have downloaded for attending training classes, or any support documentation regarding web-installations/upgrades as part of the manual, and keep those as well.

Know where the CD is
, besides a good copy of the data files group, and a working backup you can rely on the next best remedy for most problems you’ll encounter with Respond (or HWS) is being able to REINSTALL the software, or install on new workstations.  Make copies of the files on the CD on the server (and test install it from there to make sure it works).  If you ever have to re-install, you’d have the disk to do it.  Make sure the CD is the most recent version available.  If you have done a web-update, web updates will not work once support has expired. 

While re-installation and restore may seem drastic, this will fix a lot of minor problems with the software. 
The CD installation files for Respond version 4.6.2 – used to be available from BD and may be downloaded here:   Username: LegacySW  Password: Titan+7
Our support services also offers a download of the installation software, if you have problems with the link above.

Know who owns the Administrator Account –
Respond Administrator accounts are created at the facility and there is no back-door access to the program without the 1st Administrator account. You must have access to the Security Manager (User List) program to remove, edit or delete user accounts.  It is recommended that someone at the facility keep track of the username and password of the 1st Administrator account, or know the person that has access to this account at all times.The options for getting administrator access once lost or forgotten will require assistance which BD is unlikely to be able to provide.