Remote desktop software

There are several customers of Panara on whose computers
I have installed and configured our software and given
‘on-site’ technical support and training without ever going near
their practices. In fact in 2 cases I have never even visited the
towns let alone met the customers.
Not long ago this would have seemed impractical given the slow
rate of broadband rollout in Ireland.
Back then I used to need to make at least one and, depending
upon how people were coping, up to several visits, invariably
involving more time wasted driving than working on-site.
This transformation in work-practice has been made possible
by the combination of remote desktop software and
broadband internet.
In simple terms what this software does is to enable the helper
to control over the internet the keyboard and mouse of the
computer of the person he is helping and to see what is
on that computer’s screen.
All the while the person being helped can see what the helper
is doing. The person being helped remains in overall
control, everything the helper does is visible to him and he can
bring the session to an end when he chooses.
So now training can be given in bite sized chunks rather than
setting aside a day and expecting people to maintain
concentration for long stretches.
For me it means that I can download the software to the client,
install and configure it and check that everything is set up
properly without having to go on the road.
It should to be pointed out however that all remote desktop
software products are not equal in terms of features, speed
and reliability.
I tried several before settling on Teamviewer. This was actually
recommended to me by a dentist using Panara and in my
opinion is superior to anything else I’ve come across.
It’s not the cheapest unless you use it for non-commercial
purposes in which case it’s free.
Please note that clients of Panara do not need to purchase
a Teamviewer licence to receive support from us. Our
Teamviewer licence covers this situation.

Changes to the Recall Manager

I’ve upgraded this recently. The changes have given rise to some negative feedback (e.g “overly complicated”).
While  I can’t argue that it isn’t now more complicated it is also much more powerful.
Prior to this it was only possible to call up patients for recall based on their recall date.
Recall dates were set by the program in response to certain events such as when a course of treatment was marked as completed.
Closing a course of treatment was something users have long been accustomed to doing for GMS and PRSI patients in order to generate a claim.
However for Private patients their was no such incentive for the user to close a treatment course.
In cases where it was forgotten no recall date would be set.
Because of the above limitations and shortcomings the recalls manager needed a revamp.
There are now 2 default recall plans, one for the hygienist and one for the dentist. (Default recall plans are applied by the program to patients who don’t have their own individual recall plans explicitly set up.)
Patients can have two individual recall plans, one for the dentist and one for the hygienist.
Differently worded recall letter templates and SMS message templates can be put in place for dental and hygiene recalls.
Although it is still possible to use just recall dates to determine who to recall,  they can now form part of a wider strategy, or be omitted entirely if desired.
The central idea behind the new recalls manager in Panara is the query.
Users design queries to recall only the patients they wish to recall when they wish to them to be recalled.
This is the part people are finding difficulty with, although with a bit of practice I believe it is nowhere near as daunting as at first sight.
The good news is that once a query has been designed, reusing it at another time is just a matter of selecting the query from a list.
Users can design and save as many queries as they wish to deal with different scenarios.
For example, a typical query might return all patients who satisfy the following criteria
1: The patient is due for recall to the dentist (ie the number of months since last seen by the dentist exceeds the patient’s recall period.)
2: The patient has not been sent any recalls since they were last seen.
3: The patient does not have an appointment with a dentist or a hygienist.
4: the patient did not fail their last appointment.
5: the patient can be sent recalls (ie the patient hasn’t been marked as ‘not to be recalled’.)
Running this query will return a list to whom letters/SMS messages can be sent en masse or through which someone can work their way telephoning patients and making appointments as they go.