“Information at our fingertips, anywhere, responsive to our ever-changing needs.”
Orthopro improves quality of life for clients by offering orthotic and prosthetic care for a variety of conditions. This includes artificial limbs and braces or supports to improve stability or mobility and reduce pain.
Serving a wide range of private clients, hospitals, and ACC requires a lot of information gathering, tracking, and reporting in different forms.
Cheryl Nicholson tells us about headaches, challenges, and achievements of their client information management…
Our needs: ‘too hard’
“We needed a database to capture a wide variety of client-specific information for complex reporting. We looked at numerous software packages but they didn’t cater for our unique and changing needs.
A friend who had written an Access database for the medical industry in Ireland adapted this to suit our needs. It worked well for a while but got messy with our continually changing data reporting needs.
We also had discrepancies between what we saw on the screen and what was happening in the database back-end; ‘what we saw was not what we got’. This ran the risk of potential complications if he was not available and we had to get a third party to make changes.”
The turning point
“As we use MYOB for our accounting needs, we discussed with MYOB what programmes/apps integrate with MYOB. We were recommended a programmer that custom-builds links between accounting packages and databases. She recommended Filemaker and Dominique.
He engaged with us and bounced ideas around. It was such a ‘seamless’ process that we can’t quite remember who had the original thoughts. We told him the information we wanted and how to present it. He gave us scenarios and options from other systems he had built, and worked his way from the high-priority features down the list. In the new system, we didn’t want information clutter, but only relevant client data to go into MYOB.
He made good suggestions on building-in capability for future functions to be added as required – making it flexible and scalable to move with our business. A complete future-proof solution.”
Getting through the nitty gritty
“It takes a lot of trust to allow an outsider into your confidential business information and to not lose or damage it. Our initial gut feeling was ‘yes’ to Dominique and has only grown to deep confidence in him.
The way information had been passed around our existing system, with so many changes, made it like Chinese whispers, so it needed a cleanup. During the tricky process that followed, we didn’t lose any important information on client history and clinical notes.
The data extraction and migration was a big job and potentially very stressful, but he made it as painless as possible.
Then came the moment of truth on the new system…”
What a difference!
“Our operational processes became so much easier. Previously our staff had to write things down up to 4 times and then enter it into the system, but now they enter it once, directly. It’s about 80% less admin time for them, giving them more time for manufacturing.
Before, they had to come in to the central office and wade through paper records to find out what they needed. Now, they can freely access client information at their fingertips from our satellite offices, so they’re better informed to make good decisions on the spot.
Our admin staff no longer have to spend a lot of time searching or to-ing and fro-ing, but are freed-up to do more ‘meaningful’ work such as checking orders to improve accuracy and workflow.
With a bit of trial & error gained from experience, we’ve needed to modify and improve a few things, and Dominique has been very flexible to accommodate this. As we’ve learned more about things that can be achieved, we’ve wanted more, which has been demanding for him, but he’s been able to roll with it.
The system prevents human error by doing a lot of the thinking for users. It limits options to stop people going down wrong tracks.
Clinicians can also safely create their own quotes and invoices at the time of consultation.
We are really reaping the benefits after six months, with much better tracking and control of our business, staff ‘sanity’, and bottom line efficiency. Dominique has also helped us towards our ultimate ideal of a paperless office.”
“Dominique gives us a personalised service, and having one point of contact works well for us as he really gets to know our business, and what we’re told is exactly what we get. It’s so refreshing to have such a reliable person who always does what he says he’s going to do.
Dominique is very down-to-earth and practical, not flashy. We can call or pop in any time to talk about issues or developments.”
…Cheryl Nicholson, Orthopro (www.orthopro.co.nz)
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