Claris FileMaker to power digitalization for a cancer treatment clinic
Medisprof and IDS, Claris Partner, developed a robust, secure, scalable digital system to manage patient data and procedures.
28 April 2023
Healthcare/Cancer treatment clinic employing 200
Support rapidly developing chemotherapy and oncology departments by automating treatment protocols and streamlining patient care paths; enabling health professionals with fast and secure access to patient information to ensure top-quality diagnostics and treatment. Implement a highly customizable platform capable of integrating with administrative systems/processes required by national healthcare.
Robust, secure, scalable digital system with user-friendly interface; combines multiple medical and business operations modules and communicates with national healthcare systems.
More efficient patient experience and increased reception capacity:
clear treatment paths,
reduced waiting times,
reliable appointment taking process and reminders.
Improved treatment outcomes, efficient medical decision-making and communication between doctors:
centralized, secure, easily accessible and searchable patient data,
reliable automated protocol calculations based on patient data.
Comprehensive overview and effective management of ongoing improvements to both medical and business aspects:
Increased overall satisfaction of medical staff and patients due to fluid organization.
MEDISPROF, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
The interior of the building is bathed in natural light. Some patients are filling out their health forms on iPads in the waiting area; others are checking in by scanning their insurance cards and printing out their individual care paths at self-service computer stations; practitioners are notified of patients’ arrivals – everything is clear and follows well-set routines here.
This is the setting we find when entering what started as a family oncology practice in 2010, expanded to a clinic in 2013 and became a major Oncology Center in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in 2018. Now, the Medisprof Cancer Center employs over 200 medical staff and treats hundreds of patients on an everyday basis.
We met with Serban Udrea, Development Manager of the hospital, to find out what IT ingredients have been nourishing the successful growth of this practice, concentrating first and foremost on the quality of treatment and diagnostics provided to the patients.
Working with cancer patients makes it obvious that, in order to alleviate their physical suffering and address the urgency imposed by such a time-sensitive disease, their patient experience needs to be as smooth and as effective as possible. They need to know exactly what treatments they are scheduled for, where they need to go, and when. This also means helping doctors work more efficiently with their patients – having all the information they need at hand, being able to quickly look up and edit medical records and, if needed, easily transmit medical data to other health practitioners working with their patients.
From the very beginning Serban was convinced that implementing a digital system to help centralize all this information was the key to providing patients with the best medical care. Even if it meant continuing to perform certain operations in parallel to meet legislative requirements, like keeping all records in paper form and using a multitude of other software imposed by the national health authorities for certain processes.
Adding technology to stay focusedon quality of treatment
The first step on the way to digitalization was to develop a module that allowed Medisprof to create electronic patient cards and a database with about 400 treatment protocols.
Patients’ protocols require lots of calculations. Automating those and combining them with patient’s data was important to save time and to eliminate any risk of making a mistake. This is something that is strictly tied to a treatment outcome and we needed a straightforward, reliable automation process.
Today, a few years later, the system has become so much more than that! Multiple medical modules, such as chemotherapy, genetics and nutrition, are connected to administrative modules – a real Swiss Army knife combining CRM, ERP, and ETL features tailored for the specific needs of Medisprof. Most of the components are directly configurable by the Medisprof staff and administration from a dashboard. The system is designed to be able to add and update guidelines; change prices for services, and schedule them to take effect from a specific date. When adding a new staff member, it’s possible to configure which modules they have access to and set specific days and hours as available or unavailable for appointments with them.
Patients receive the best possible treatment thanks to solid medical records available throughout the system, which allows the medical staff to always make informed decisions. Software is designed to make sure that treatments are personalized and follow guidelines, and the values that are input are always verified by doctors.
Key indicators related to patients’ comfort are monitored and optimized. This has made it possible, for example, to reduce waiting times by tracking the time a patient spends in a waiting room from the moment they arrive (time-stamped by the scan of their insurance card) to the moment they are admitted for a procedure. Having a digital system for patient scheduling is of great help as well – patients receive SMS or email notifications about their upcoming appointments, as well as various reminders. They can also download their medical documents via a portal, and generally don’t need to worry about bringing their files and medical exam results every time since all doctors involved in the treatment have all the necessary information at hand all the time.
Doctors working at the hospital are some of the main users of the application. When first starting to work with the software, they are usually impressed by its easy-to-use interface. They find it extremely convenient to be able to access a patient’s card any time, and to save a partially filled-in record. Having different specialties and different habits, they are great adopters of various customizations that are provided by the system.
Last but not least, the platform is used as an effective financial verification tool that operates simultaneously with the accounting system. Clinic management has a comprehensive view of what’s going on in the center thanks to the system’s dashboards.
So what is behind the scenes of this efficiency-boosting system?
Secret IT ingredients: Claris FileMaker and IDS – an experienced development partner
We started our business when we realized that most practices needed lots of different software in their day-to-day operations: one for reporting to the national health system, another for accounting, yet another for patient scheduling, and so on. We wanted to improve that and develop one piece of software to fit all.
Razvan Pop Kun, co-founder of IDS, a Romania-based company specializing in FileMaker development and consultancy, with long experience in the medical sector
When Medisprof reached out for help making their FileMaker application more robust and scalable to support their growth, Razvan and his colleagues already had 10 years of experience developing solutions using this platform.
FileMaker was the main software that we considered. From the start, we wanted a robust platform that could work across operating systems, was easy to develop, was highly customizable, and integrated easily with other software. FileMaker was the only one that checked all the boxes.
Rolling out a new, more complex solution to manage Medisprof was not a clean break between Before and After. The initial module was already in place, hospital operations were dependent on it, and IDS was developing a new customized solution designed to suit the specifics of Medisprof business logics, creating new additional modules that would facilitate day-to-day operations. So it was a gradual transition from the old system to the new one.
Due to the highly regulated sector that is healthcare, clinics and hospitals in Romania are required by the national healthcare service to use specific software. But for Medisprof, a one-size-fits-all software solution would have been optimal. The benefits of having integrated systems would make the whole administrative side of things much more efficient by removing double entries wherever possible, exporting data from other systems and importing it into the core system, and allowing validation of said data. IDS was well aware of the full potential of FileMaker and the ease with which it could connect to other applications to streamline processes.
In terms of integrations, there is still a lot of work to do. The problem here is not with FileMaker [but] on the other end, since most software [used in healthcare] doesn’t always use standards for data exchange. We always considered FileMaker a central hub where you can get all the information you need and use it as a core of your business. We think FileMaker is a very good tool for integrating with other solutions, and you can use it to normalize data – to get all the data and match it to what we need. Even if there isn’t a clear way to do it, there is always a workaround to make sure that the data you’re pushing or grabbing from other systems is what you need.
A holistic approach for the patient, technological efficiencies. What’s next?
With the same mission still in mind – to provide top-level diagnostics and treatment and to be as accessible as possible to patients, Medisprof is currently working on opening another hospital in Piatra Neamţ, which is 5 hours by car from their current location. By doing this, they are trying to reduce inequalities in accessing healthcare in oncology and diagnostics in Romania. There are not a lot of cancer centers in the country, and most of them are concentrated in 5-6 big cities. As different locations are not connected by highways, the rural population is affected by social and economic inequalities, and lots of them don’t have the resources to come to big cities to be properly diagnosed.
We’re trying to go to them with our expertise, with all benefits that we can provide for them. Making all the administrative processes more and more efficient is key for us to be able to concentrate on patients’ needs first, making all the rest as smooth as possible
In the context of the globally increasing prevalence of cancer, Serban realizes that in the near future, healthcare organizations will have to do more with less. Digitalization is the way to keep up with the pace. So as a next step in the partnership with IDS, they plan to work on certifying solutions based on FileMaker so that they are accepted by authorities as Certified European marked products, and to advocate for national certification for exported data, as well for the recognition of Electronic Medical Records.
Digitalization, integrations, scaling – these are inevitable processes for any healthcare organization that wants to maintain a certain standard of care and outcome. The implications are really big. Every hospital needs to take it into consideration, and not only on the administrative level. The future in healthcare is digital, and with FileMaker, you always stay ahead of the curve.
Learn more about how Claris FileMaker can help you scale your business – get in touch!