8 Critical Questions to ask when Purchasing Clinic Software

If you’re thinking of upgrading your clinic management software to something newer and more modern, here are eight questions you should ask prospective software suppliers.

1. Device Integration

What equipment do you integrate to?

We’ve discussed Ambium’s superior device integration in previous blogs. but it’s worth reminding the reader that there is no software provided that offers the same range of devices to choose from. Most software providers only provide integration to the hardware that they sell.

Ambium Software does not supply hardware and we are not affiliated to any hardware supplier so that you, the customer, have a vast array of choices.

2. All-in-One

Does your software offer multiple device integration as well as comprehensive clinic management?

Most packages on the market offer device integration only, or a clinic management system that does not integrate with equipment. You may need two solutions to accomplish what Ambium does.

Ambium offers an all-in-one solution which manages the patient medical from entry into the clinic to exit with a completed Certificate of Fitness.

3. Cloud Online/Offline

Do you offer a Cloud solution? Can I continue working when the Internet goes down?

Ambium Cloud is the only clinic management system that offers online and true offline availability.

If a software representative says that they have Cloud software that works online and offline, please ask them for a full demo. Some software products use phrases like “Cloud ready” or “Cloud compatible”. This jargon is an attempt to fool the customer. These products are nothing more than a “save to file” and then “upload file” into a third party online storage supplier.

Ambium Software saw the value of operating offline because of the remote nature of many locations in South Africa. It was designed from the ground up with this in mind. Ambium is the only software that offers the mobile clinic (where connectivity may be unreliable) a paperless operation with Cloud storage.

  1. Ambium Cloud server where all your data is stored in a database.
  2. Your fixed clinic – with a local server that syncs to the cloud, you can continue to operate on the local server even when there is no Internet connection.
  3. Your mobile clinic – as with the fixed clinic, you can work off the local server even when there is no Internet connection.
  4. 5. and 6. OMP/Customer/Patient – would need an Internet connection to see records remotely.

4. Digital Signatures

Do your digital signatures become a part of the PDF document, capable of being audited, or is it “attached” to the PDF?

Be wary of systems that use a specimen of your signature. In many cases, the signature is created on a signature pad and then it is transferred onto the document. This may not be compliant with the ECT Act. It would be like signing on a “sticky note” and placing it on a contract.

With Ambium, your signature is signed directly into the PDF document. A full audit trail is therefore in place for any contestation. You can rest assured that your signed PDF is as good as better than black ink signed on a contract.

5. Remote Signing

How easily can my OMP or OHNP review patient files and sign Certificates of Fitness from remote locations?

Most clinic software systems on the market are paper-based and it is required that physical paper files be delivered to the OMP/OHNP for review and signing. The alternative is to scan and save files and email/deliver electronically. The OMP/OHNP then has to review files, print documents, sign and scan and deliver back to the clinic. If the OMP is on leave, you’ll have to wait until she/he gets back.

With Ambium, the OMP/OHNP can log into the application remotely, access the patient file, review and sign from any location, as long as she/he has their laptop and an Internet connection (via his mobile phone).

If the clinic is online, a patient can be examined, screened and a Certificat of Fitness issued, all in real time, regardless of where the OMP/OHNP is. The signed Certificate of Fitness can be viewed immediately at the clinic.

6. South African Design and Build

Is your software a South African product designed and written for South African conditions and regulations?

Many clinic management systems are indeed South African products. While quality can be a consideration, it might be a good idea to find out if the software is used anywhere else in the world.

It’s also important to establish how quickly queries can be resolved. With products purchased from another country, you very often don’t have a person to phone and most times it would take several days to get a reply to a query. This isn’t very helpful if there is a failure and you are desperate for urgent assistance.

Ambium is a South African product from “A to Z”. It is built to cater to South African conditions and according to South African regulations. Ambium also has the expertise and versatility to adjust, with little delay, to cater to changing needs and regulations.

Being South African, we are always on hand to assist with queries. A query seldom goes without a reply for more than 1 hour. It really helps being in the same time zone.

However, it will be interesting to note that Ambium is used throughout Africa as well as sites all around the world, from the USA to Mongolia.

Ambium’s Current Global Footprint

7. Technology Driven

Do you employ experienced developers or do you outsource your software development needs?

Very often, software is not the core business of an organisation developing and maintaining a product, especially niche markets.

Due to the extreme cost of experienced developers, many software products are developed by inexperienced, junior developers.

Ambium was designed and built by a team with 20+ years experience in enterprise software development for large organisations, such as financial institutions, medical administrators and revenue services, to name a few. Ambium is enterprise class software, but at a price that is affordable to non-enterprise clinics.

8. Continuous Improvement

Do you continually stay in line with regulations and development needs?

It’s easy to release a basic software package and then forget about it. It costs a fair amount of money to maintain software. Often, software becomes non-compliant, outdated, or bugs creep in as associated systems update (eg. operating system changes, driver updates, etc). Then you receive promise after promise for months and years, that the necessary changes will be made to the software that you’ve purchased.

At Ambium Software, we release new features every quarter. catering to customers needs, changes in regulations and the environment in which Ambium operates. Urgent updates are released seamlessly in between the regular quarterly updates.

Conclusion

While there certainly are adequate systems on the market that provide part of what is required to manage an occupational health clinic, and other systems that advertise more “features” than what is required by most clinics, there is nowhere a more versatile product than Ambium.

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