$$ - First Look: GPComplete

Introduction

GPComplete is a fully integrated practice management solution designed specifically for general practices. It is developed by The Practice Management Software Company, and was first released in 2003.

The company claims that GPComplete is different from other practice management or clinical records systems, because it is not features-based, but workflow-based. It seeks to reduce the amount of time required by the doctor, practice manager and receptionist to complete the tasks they perform repetitively throughout the course of their day.

GPComplete Differences

The appointment screen is the ‘home’ for the entire system, and for every staff member. The doctor can open a patient file from here, the receptionist can bill and the practice manager can perform searches and see the day’s financial performance to-date.

A patient file can be opened by different staff members at the same time. A doctor can be entering notes for a patient while the receptionist edits their address and the practice manager handles their account.

The system includes all the components of a modern practice management and clinical records system, and runs off a single, open source database.

A sophisticated internal messaging system allows users to send short notes to each other. These messages can be linked to patient records, adding context to the message and allowing the recipient to open the relevant patient file easily. The messaging system is tracked by an audit log, and all notes that reference a patient are listed in the patient’s clinical record.

GPComplete allows keyboard shortcuts (hot keys) to be allocated to common functions, allowing the user to design their own way to navigate around the system. These shortcuts can be defined globally, or on a per user basis.

Doctors

GPComplete includes features common to most clinical packages, allowing clinicians to print scripts, pathology and imaging request forms, record and review the medical, family and social histories, enter clinical notes, generate recalls and reminders, scan and store documents and images, import electronic pathology and radiology results, and generate letters using sophisticated templates.

The system allows the clinician to review old notes whilst entering new ones and multiple patients can be opened at the same time. Encounter notes can record not merely the ailment but the severity and nature of the ailment.

Appointment durations can be customised and can be set as short as 5 minutes, allowing for maximum flexibility.

Practice Managers

A reporting wizard enables virtually any variable within the system to be reported on. Reports can be custom-created, saved, automatically run on pre-defined schedules and emailed to pre-selected recipients.

A central library and a Document Intray store practice documents, journals and other materials scanned or emailed. These can be shared or kept private. Document and Pathology Intrays download files and assign them to doctors.

Receptionists

An “Intelligent Billing” system remembers the practice’s top 10 billing profiles, each of which can be given nicknames (e.g. ECG) to allow for easy selection.

GPComplete contains a wide selection of Medicare Australia Online features, including ACIR, Bulk Bill, DVA, Patient Claims and Eclipse. Paperless DVA Claiming is currently under development, and will be released after the recently changed DVA specifications are crystallised.

GPComplete can be configured to prompt staff for a password before performing routine tasks. This feature allows an accurate audit trail to be developed, even in settings where several staff switch between multiple computers e.g. the practice reception.

Technical Information

GPComplete is built on client-server architecture and is designed to run on the open source Firebird database engine. The program has modest technical requirements, requiring that only 256MB RAM and Windows XP be installed on the client computers.

The GPComplete server does not require a specialised server operating system (e.g. Windows Small Business Server), and will function with only 512MB RAM.

It is possible to run the client interface on the server to minimise the number of computers required, however a dedicated server will provide better performance in larger practices.

In addition to running on Windows XP, GPComplete is compatible with both Terminal Services and Vista.

Training, Installations & Support

Practices switching to GPComplete receive onsite training and assistance with the installation of the software. Clinical data can be converted from Medical Director 2, Medical Director 3, MedTech32 and Best Practice.

Like most practice software solutions, GPComplete does not migrate financial data, requiring practices to “run down” their old billing package (i.e. outstanding invoices are receipted in their old billing package, while new invoices are generated in GPComplete).

The installation and training of all staff can usually be performed in a day, with training tailored specifically for GPs, practice managers and receptionists. GPComplete contains a built-in manual, with customer support facilitated by telephone, email and remote access.

Costs

The GPComplete software costs $500 for a site licence. In addition, an annual support fee is charged, the amount of which is determined by the number of doctors in the practice. The first doctor’s annual fee is $500, the second is $450, with each subsequent doctor increasing the total due by $400. The annual fee for a part-time doctor is $250. No additional costs are levied on licences for receptionists and practice managers.

If a GPComplete staff member is required to travel to perform the installation and training, associated costs are passed on to the customer. The only additional cost most practices will incur is for the MIMS drug database, which is sold separately.

It is worth noting that because the Firebird database engine is free, no underlying database software licences are required to run GPComplete, minimising the total cost of purchase and ongoing ownership.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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