Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1st Banfield rotation of 2nd year

Only 2 days in, and I already had my first rotation.  I spent 4 hours in banfield today, doing physical exams, helping with a foreign body removal surgery, taking radiographs, and generally enjoying it.  The banfield rotation is definitely are a lot more fun this year than last.  I still can never remember how to use their practice management/medical records software, since it seems to have been designed by somebody in the 90's who had never used a computer before. 

The practice management software issue is one I put a lot of time into.  I make no secret of the fact that I plan on owning my own clinic within 10 years of graduating from school, and I've been doing a lot of research into the different software platforms.  The clinic I used to work at had avimark, which wasn't impressive, even though it's one of the most common in the industry.  Numerous threads on VIN, and even many of the software company's own sites fail to live up to what my expectations of good software should be.  If I knew any languages other than HTML and java, I would totally fix that.  But on the off chance that somebody who does reads this, here's my list:
  • Should be intuitive to regular computer users.  Keyboard shortcuts should mimic those we're already used to.  A search function should be ctrl-F (or command-F for mac users,) not one of the f-keys. This is one of the big areas most software I've looked at fails.
  • Should seamlessly integrate scheduling, billing, estimates, records, and patient reminders. 
  • Should automatically take care of inventory - drug quantities (and keep track of expiration dates,) medical supplies, while cross-referencing them with accounts receivable from suppliers.
  • Should have a quicken-like accounting function, and should take care of clinic accounting and payroll. The accounting software portion of it should let the owner look at their clinic's profits by categories, and run multiple "what if" scenarios.
  • Should have a logical record-keeping system, that's customizable to a clinic's needs, and that backs up medical records to either a hard drive or the cloud on a regular basis.
  • Needs to automatically upload lab results into medical record, straight from in-house lab. (Ditto for radiographs, ECGs, ultrasound images, cytology slides - anything that could be digitally integrated into a more complete medical record.)
I'm sure I'm leaving a lot of my requirements off this list, as I'm just taking a quick break from studying.  I really don't understand why there's not an ideal program yet on the market.  It's 2011.  It's not like I'm asking for something that is technologically impossible.  I honestly think that the market hasn't demanded this product yet, because the main buyers of practice management software aren't really comfortable with computers, so they don't know what to demand, or how to describe their needs.  Maybe there will be something fantastic by the time I can be in a position to have to make that decision. 

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