MI Consultancy has been providing software for hospitals and other treatment centers in healthcare for 30 years. We were asked to rebuild the product in 2013. The collaboration turned out to result in some good new ideas. Deputy Director Anne ten Hove gives his impression.
"In 2012, we needed more development capacity. We wanted to provide users with more functionality, and simultaneously we needed to redesign our product in .NET to make it truly future-proof. Through joint relationships, I got in touch with NetRom Software. After a first introduction in 2013, Director Paul Edridge and I visited Craiova. We were surprised with the quality and professionalism of the organization. We started with some smaller pilot projects, and before long we decided to continue on a time/material basis.
Adjustable standard product
Our standard product is Neo ZIS | EPD (Electronic Patient File). It consists of modules such as EPD, workflow, DOT / DBC registration, appointments, EVS, patient portal, and so on. Neo ZIS | EPD supports the handling of clinical and outpatient registration, care paths, treatment plans and e-care. An order management module includes, for example, laboratory results for blood, urine and tissue research. Neo ZIS | EPD is an extremely well adjustable standard product developed in collaboration with users, while providing them with much freedom. For example, the staff in a hospital can define all registration or summary forms in the Electronic Patient File.
Complexer than expected
NetRom Software constantly builds modules and components. At first, the integration of these new elements into the software turned out to be more complex than we expected. Not everything was perfect, far from it. But what I greatly appreciate is that one can really put each and every problem with NetRom on the table. Everything is listened to respectfully, and equally important: there is always a business-like and reasonable answer which offers next steps and a clear perspective. Many modules and components have been critically redesigned and built. Virtually all of them have been extended with new functionalities. I expect this project to be completed by the end of 2018. At the same time we are working on a second project: Migrating the database to MS SQL Server. That's quite a challenge as well, even though we will finish it sooner than the first project.
Right from the beginning, I saw that the NetRom Software developers have built an incredibly rich knowledge base.However, the team in Craiova made itself very modest. We had to address this subject of their attitude: with their expertise, they are perfectly able to technically implement out functional requirements and wishes. Or, for example, to decide which technology and what platform they are going to use. For us, it’s been very valuable that they actually started using this knowledge so that we could focus completely on the demands of clients and the quality of our services. Now we are more flexible, we innovate faster and our sales volumes are increasing.
Leading in FHIR apps
Both the healthcare and IT industries are rapidly changing. It’s been a long time since a hospital purchased an Electronic Patient File system with its own database as a closed system. Of course, interaction has become crucial in the last twenty years. Considering the trend that hospitals specialize in specific treatments and operations, we think it’s clear that data exchange between the most diverse sources and apps is the new norm. Therefore, we are committed to responsive development. These can be very fast processes: we were the first ZIS / EPD supplier with the Dutch Triage Standard (NTS) certification mark. Thanks to the expertise and manpower in Craiova, we are now leading in the development of new apps according to FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), the new structure and communication standard in healthcare. Our lead is substantial, although we are a relatively small organization. We make the difference, partly because we work with the NetRom Software developers with their specialist knowledge of the latest technologies. As a result, we are now able to pay attention to our growth abroad.
We regularly visit our team in Craiova in order to continuously improve the work processes. Last month, four people from Craiova have come to visit us extensively for the first time. For some of our colleagues, their working relations with Craiova were based on e-mail, chat and (video) calling. Now that they have been personally introduced, their mutual understanding has become even better. As far as I am concerned, more employees will get to know each other better in this way. I have high expectations of our cooperation."
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