Our client is a local Drug and Alcohol Treatment center.
The Right Step has a relatively straightforward revenue cycle that lends itself well to tight integration between the clinical side of the business – electronic patient management – and the accounting side. The CEO of The Right Step noticed this early on, but at a time before Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management Systems (PMS) became widespread and readily available to niche specialties such as behavioral health clinics.
In order to obtain the benefits of such a system without giving up the flexibility to run their business their way, The Right Step hired an in-house developer to write their software from scratch. The result was a tightly integrated piece of software that closely mirrored TRS’ business needs and which could be quickly and easily modified to reflect changing needs.
A side effect of this flexibility was an increased reliance on internal development resources. When the original developer left the company, TRS was left with a proprietary software platform that required extensive knowledge of both the software and TRS’ business needs to maintain. Added to this, TRS was embarking on a project to lower IT costs by outsourcing their server and PC maintenance, all of which required changes to the software that nobody in TRS was qualified to make.
Entrance was asked to step in and support a custom electronic health record and insurance billing application. Entrance provided a team of developers and business analysts to understand their business and make the required changes to their custom software. The developers worked full time on the software for several weeks in order to make the immediate changes necessary to support the new IT environment and prepare the software to scale for a larger audience. During this process, the business analyst became an expert on TRS’ business requirements, allowing the team to anticipate change requests and target areas of the application for improvement that would have the most immediate effect on productivity within TRS.
As a result of these efforts, Entrance was able to spend time and money “fixing the problems,” reducing the overall time spent fixing bugs and providing technical support.
Entrance was also able to identify a large number of “support requests” that were caused by the software’s intrinsic design and which could not be cost-effectively avoided. Rather than continue to pay for development, Entrance recommended that TRS research Practice Management Systems with the intent of purchasing a new system to replace their in-house solution. Entrance helped TRS to evaluate the costs (loss of flexibility in addition to monetary expense) and benefits (access to best practices and shared development costs between multiple clients) of replacing in-house development with an off-the-shelf application.