Charge Capture

Simple and intuitive web application for physicans to submit charges.

Overview

Physicians are required to document and submit charges to the government for the serivces they provide throughout each of their shifts. Typically physicans hire third parties to handle the documentation submission and payment logistics. Medicom is one such provider of these services. Most companies in this industry rely on fax machines and mail to handle the transactions for security reasons. Medicom hired us to build a web application that would ease the submission and tracking of these charges using the power of the cloud.

Process

The project started with discovery of what the key features were that would help to alleviate the pains the current workflow was causing. It quickly became apparent that the submission and entry of information were the most time consuming portions of the job.

Through an iterative approach we started with addressing the most painful parts to insure we addressed the core problem. Through continuous deployment, Medicom was able to view the progress on the application as new features we added. We iterated the design a number of times to simplify and streamline the interface to mitigate the pain points. This was a collaborative effort between us and Medicom as we both worked to find the best approach.

With the core problem addressed then other features became possible and the foundation built in the previous iterations made it obvious where these features integrated and how they should be built. By focusing on the core need first we find the application reveals itself.

Design

From the beginning, it was clear we needed an interface that was trival to use. Physicians don't have time to bother learning new technologies. They want to submit their charges and get back to helping patients as quickly as possible.

The first core pain that needed to be addressed was submission of charges. This was achieved through a drag and drop interface that allowed physicans to upload files from their workstation. Real time upload progress was provided and a recent history of uploaded items was provided. Nothing fancy, just an interface that gets right to the point and doesn't get in the way.

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Upon submission the staff at Medicom needed an interface to review the submissions and move to the next step in the process. A list of recent uploads from all physicians was provided with a fast filter search and patient tagging was available to assist staff in narrowing the list to the physicans they are responisible for.

After the core features were completed it became obvious that a messaging system would be very helpful to allow the staff to securely communicate with physicians regarding any questions they had about particular charges. Email is not a suitable tool for this since patient information is involved. Hence we created a messaging system that would allow staff and physicans to communicate while being protected with bank-grade encryption.

Development

The Medicom charge capture application was built as a REST API using Ruby on Rails with a single page application front end written in EmberJS. We chose this application architecture to make it much easier to add a mobile application in the future. Furthermore, this architecture provides a clean separation of concerns where each part of the system can be tested independently.

Deployment for this application was also unique since the nature of the data has numerous regulatory requirements that must be met. There are limited providers in Canada that meet such requirements and the application had to be built such that deployment within one of these environments was possible and efficent.