As a user of our electronic medical records system, you might have asked yourself how our company chooses the next developments we will tackle and why sometimes it is hard for us to give you a specific timetable for future developments. We thought it would be interesting for you to learn a little more about the things that have an impact on our planning and the prioritization of the development here at Omnimed.
Generally speaking, six factors impact our software development orientations and our capacity to deliver new products and improvements in our system.
- Our clients' needs and demands
- Government's requirements (certification)
- Our partnerships and decisions that are taken by them
- Our strategic directions
- Our team's capacity
- Our system's maintenance and the update of the tools that we use
1. Our client's needs
Our clients are our priority, and we do whatever we can to listen to them. We have in fact put in place a great number of communication channels to help us be as close as possible to the users of our application. Also, on many occasions, we have the chance to meet with you and collect your comments:
- Call for tender are a great opportunity to validate the list of demands and required features (the list of always similar)
- Training and support sessions directly with our clients help us confirm work processes and identify different needs
- Chat sessions and calls are a great occasion to hear about frustrations and the missing pieces, as well as get positive feedback
Each request and feedback are well documented in software that allows us to have an overview of the most common demands and the topics most addressed. Nothing is left behind.
As our system targets medical clerks, general practitioners, specialists as well as researchers, we have to try to satisfy the needs of all, which could sometimes give you the impression of not being listened to. We do our best to strike a balance between the development/improvements intended for each one of our user's types.
2. Government's requirements
Each year, we need to meet certain requirements to keep our certification. These requirements and changes are often out of our hands and often have a direct impact on our prioritization in the short/medium term.
3. Our partnerships
Sometimes our partners make decisions that directly affect our development strategy. For example, in 2016, the decision of TELUS Health to ask ZRx users to start to pay to use the prescriber encouraged us to start working on our own prescriber as it was important for us not to add this cost to the fees our clients already had to pay.
Also, our new partnerships and the delivery capacity of our partners also influence our work and priorities.
4. Our strategic directions
Just like any other company, at different moments during the year, we take the time to reflect on the new strategies to take to offer the best product while still respecting our core values, our future vision and ensure the long-term existence of the company.
It's then because we believe in the benefits of a Web application, and because we wish to keep being able to make it evolve each month that we took the decision to focus on the development of our Web EMR, leaving, therefore, our old application (the VMC) more and more behind.
5. Our team capacity
Over the years, we were able to identify our team's work capacity. Therefore, we can evaluate approximately the time and the number of people it would take to make certain development. Even if would love to be able to answer all needs at the same time, we cannot ignore this capacity and plan our work according to it. We're thankful to have one of the biggest development teams in our sector, which really helps us to deliver many features each month.
6. The system's maintenance and updates
Certain members of our team are dedicated to the maintenance and proper functioning of our system. They always make sure to make all of the necessary updates of the technologies we use as each new version of these tools could have an impact on our system. For example, whenever Google or Windows makes an update, we need to test our application to make sure that it still works properly.
Also, if we don't want our system to be slowed down by the growth in the number of users and of the database (the number of patients and date saved in their records), we need to maintain our systems to keep their good performance. It is continuous work that is essential for our company.
That's it! We hope that this will help you better understand our reality and the factors that influence our plan. We also want to remind you that each demand (other than minor changes needed in our clinical tools) needs to go through a decision and development process (reception of the request, documentation of the different usage scenarios and needs, analysis of the required elements, and of the complexity of the tasks, plan according to priorities already existing, development, test, pilot test, and official launch).
Thank you for contributing to the system improvements.