More Flexible CUSTOM Reporting Options

  • 9
  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Planned
Hi,

We have found that the reporting options often fail to meet the exact needs we have. We often have to find a workaround or export to Excel and try and manipulate the data.

This is especially the case when we want to meaningfully analyse:

  1. financial trends over time for a given location or combination of pracs or types of appointment(the existing graph options and choices of what to plot are very basic),

  2. combinations of client appointment types or item codes or groups of practitioners or locations over time,

  3. practitioner performance in terms of their repeat clients versus new client appointments.
The limitations in FD seem to be that:

  1. We can not select a custom group of items to report on.

    Say we want to report on 3 practitioners only. We should be able to hold the Control button and add to the list of items we want to select.

    The same applies to selecting a group of item codes to report on.

  2. The output data when exported to CSV does not include all of the data in FD.

    For example, when we export a patient list which has the most flexible filters available, it includes no real financial data. Conversely, the Billings Reports don't have the flexibility to choose by a group of practitioners, or to filter by appointment type etc..

  3. FD does not give options of displaying data in time periods. Only the Trend Analysis does this and it is too primitive in terms of display and also what inputs we can select.
Suggestion - CUSTOM REPORT FEATURE

Can FD create a CUSTOM reporting feature where we can select any combination of any of the inputs in all of the reports over any given period of time.

Eg - select any group of item codes, practitioners, appointment types, tracking codes, etc and export all data relating to this.

We can then export to CSV and display the data we need to analyse.

Any other way of trying to create new reports to suit some people will fall short of providing the solution everyone needs.

Thoughts?
Photo of Dan

Dan

  • 10 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like

Posted 4 years ago

  • 9
Photo of Hand Works

Hand Works

  • 57 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
That would solve a lot of our reporting problems too!
Photo of Timothy

Timothy, Business Care Manager

  • 761 Posts
  • 220 Reply Likes
We are working on adding item code groups (1 or more item code) and reporting practice groups (1 or more practitioner) in addition to the existing fee (item) schedules and practice groups to many of the existing reports, which will make the reporting even more flexible.

Having end users create custom reports is not a trivial matter and generally requires some paid technical assistance, requiring you to place a value on the information you wish to obtain.

Smartsoft can provide custom programming/reporting services to create functionality outside of Front Desk. However with custom programming, because the build costs cannot be spread over many users, the cost of these reports can vary from a few hundred dollars for something simple, to thousands of dollars based on the professional time to produce these reports.

As an alternative, we are happy that you engage your own external IT resources to create these reports on your behalf. The data in Front Desk is stored in an MS SQL format and other than the clinical notes and attachments data, which are encrypted for security reasons, is accessible for those that work with relation databases.  Note that Smartsoft may need to setup a read-only log in for your IT resource for access to your database in this case.

A further option is to use an external report writer such as MS Access to connect to your Front Desk database to produce your own custom reports. MS Access is an excellent end user report writer for MS SQL databases, but once again this does require some technical skills. We can arrange to setup a read-only database login and assist you to connecting MS Access to your data on a consulting basis.
(Edited)
Photo of Sondra Larkin

Sondra Larkin

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
I'm interested in designing reports in access - seems less time consuming than excel, does this jeopardise our data at all?
Photo of Tony Taddeo

Tony Taddeo, Managing Director

  • 76 Posts
  • 33 Reply Likes
<<does this jeopardise our data at all>>

The connection between MS Access and your database is a read only connection so that you can't accidentally make unwanted changes to your data.  To avoid security issues there is no default public login account to your database as we don't want unauthorised people accessing your data through the back door. :) A custom login needs to be setup on an individual basis for users that want this type of access. While we are there we can show you how to get a connection using MS Access. Note this falls outside of what we concider general support and a fee for our time will apply. 

You should not take this route unless you know how to query data and generate reports using MS Access. MS Access is included in some of the MS Office suite of products. For further information, please contact us by opening a support case;

https://www.smartsoft.com.au/support/
Photo of Neil McInnes

Neil McInnes

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hello,

I am currently working with a practice in the Northern area and we have just had an ODBC read only connection configured. As was mentioned to us beforehand Smartsoft do not offer users a copy of the database schema which is disappointing as when I looked through the tables it was not obvious where the data we wanted was to be found.

Perhaps a standard database view would be a good way to go with other interested practices having input into the data required. It would also resolve the issue of table linking which would be an issue with most practices I would suggest.

Regards,
Neil McInnes
Photo of Tony Taddeo

Tony Taddeo, Managing Director

  • 76 Posts
  • 33 Reply Likes
Hi Neil

Working with our database should not be embarked upon unless you are expert in working with well normalised relational databases supporting complex systems. We do pre-warn clients requesting read-only access of this requirement. As part of our data transfer services from other systems we are often called upon to reverse engineer unknown databases, with no assistance, in order to extract the data from them,so it is possible with the correct skills. Unfortunately, the database scheme is not available for commercial reasons as it forms part of our intellectual property.
 
I would recommend that we create 1 or 2 basic SQL scripts for your client, which you could use as a starting point. Can you please have them contact us directly should you require this assistance.

www.smartsoft.com.au/support
(Edited)
Photo of Neil McInnes

Neil McInnes

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi Tony,

Thank you for your response.

The practice already have read only access to your database, I note that you suggest creating 1 or 2 basic SQL scripts which would be very useful, I shall meet with my client to specify what data we would like included in the scripts.

Would you be prepared to create a view based on the required data (this would resolve the need for searching for and linking the relevant data table), which could then be connected via ODBC and reported on using MSQL? Ideally I am looking to format some excel workbooks which can be refreshed by the practice as required. This way the practice would not need to rely on Smartsoft other than to add new data columns if the need arises, a win/win I would suggest for both parties.

Regards,
Neil.
Photo of Timothy

Timothy, Business Care Manager

  • 761 Posts
  • 220 Reply Likes
Hi Neil. We're happy to discuss this further. Can you contact us directly through support regarding this matter (www.smartsoft.com.au/support). We are happy to assist in creating custom scripts for you on a consulting basis.
Photo of Melanie L Waugh

Melanie L Waugh

  • 12 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
That all sounds really complex. Other practice management software I have used has a report option where you could select fields you needed from all fields within the practice management database and then to filter if needed within those fields. That allowed us to print directly from the practice management software or export to Excel, etc if needed. I'd just like to be able to access reports showing things like client total number of visits, the last appointment date for all clients - things that help me manage following up with clients or looking at my drop out rates, average client sessions attended, etc. Some of that type of data doesn't seem to be available currently in the patient list reports that we can export. Is it in a different report or just not possible currently?
(Edited)
Photo of Andrew

Andrew, Community Manager

  • 344 Posts
  • 112 Reply Likes
I’m sorry if this seems complex but unfortunately what people want on reports is based on how they use the system and can vary greatly. We have looked at reporting options offered by other practice management software that allow users to select custom fields, but they will generally not allow you to produce the reports such as drop-out rates and average clients sessions attended as the data is stored in different tables such as client, transactions and perhaps appointments that need to be linked.  The ‘Patient List’ report offers similar functionally to what we have seen in other programs with report writers, but with an easier to use dialog.  This data can be exported to excel or csv format for further manipulation if required.

In regards to ‘last appointment date’, this can be found in the ‘Active/Inactive Patients' and ‘Recall Patient List’ reports.  We do get clients contacting us regarding ‘average client sessions’ attended or ‘average patient visits’ and they are generally not based on the same criteria for each client. We would be happy create a custom, easy to use report for you based on you criteria on a consulting basis.  Generally, most reports take us about 2 hours of work.

As far as what is happening with reporting in the near future, we are currently working on adding ‘Reporting Groups’ (like ‘Practice Groups’ but for reporting purposes) and Item Groups (customisable groups of billing items to report on in addition to the current Item Schedules). We are also considering a new general patient retention report/average patient visits report.

Photo of Melanie L Waugh

Melanie L Waugh

  • 12 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Thanks Andrew. The 'Active/Inactive Patient's report will help me with some data I am after. The new general patient retention report/average patient visits report sounds great and will probably tick some other things off my wish list. Thanks again.
Photo of Dan

Dan

  • 10 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Hi - just wondering if there has been any progress on this Andrew:

"...a new general patient retention report/average patient visits report."