keywords: incremental configuration, just in time configuration, barriers to entry
This is a case study of a Practice Management Solution for Optometrists. Optometry is relatively unique in the medical world because it involves materials like eyeglasses, contact lenses, and accessories in addition to medical billing. Each material and service that is sold, needs to be priced. Materials for things like eyeglasses can become very complex because there are different types of lenses, coatings, colors, and add ons, and more. In addition, medical and eye insurance have different rules and each insurance company also differs from other insurance companies.
Software configuration literally takes months from purchase until the office is running on the new system.
This is a painful process that creates a severe barrier to entry. It can have an adverse impact on revenue and patient care. Overall, it makes it hard to close the sale.
The problem was compounded by the fact that this was legacy software that had database needs that didn’t necessarily fit into the customer’s point of view.
Just in Time Configuration
Incremental configuration allows a doctor’s office to continue to be productive with no gap in patient care. While some configuration still will be required up front, fee schedules can be added in at the Point of Sale and over time the system will become more robust as it learns doctor’s fees.
When a material isn’t in the system yet, Odette Optician can start to add it by indicating that she “can’t find what she’s looking for.”
This leads to an elastic search screen that shows both the results as well as MSRP and cost. If Odette Optician knows the multiplier, she can readily add the lens into the system.
With this design, implementation could be cut down to a few weeks rather than 2-3 months.
(Note, the form is legacy and was out of spec with the look and feel of the rest of the application)