The following was an email I replied to and thought it might be good to share.
FROM MY CONSULTING PROSPECT
Sorry for the delay due to the holidays of course and how crazy it is after the new year. Anyway, I have seen few software both FileMaker and Non-FileMaker based, unfortunately I did not like any of them, the main problem is the data is scattered all over the software and not in one place for easy viewing, also most of them requires lots of time and “clicks” to navigate through the records.
I believe software programmers should work closely with medical professionals to design such a successful software.
Currently I started fooling with Filemaker Pro DE 5.5 (the reason is because the 5.5 version is universal for Classic Mac and Win XP). I have to problem designing the templates and such, but scripting and linking the data all together requires experience developer in this field.
As you know by 2014 Electronic medical records will be required for all providers, so if you are interested in working on something like that I believe we can work together on building such a program sophisticated enough and yet easy to use.
PART OF MY REPLY
No problem about the delay in getting back with me and I hope you had a pleasant holiday with family and friends. Sometimes I think holidays were invented to give us a break from replying to our email in boxes!
FileMaker databases do seem to have a default behavior of being mouse click heavy. I've seen some people working on complex databases and you could swear they were playing a set of drums in a hard rock concert. In some ways, FileMaker 10 script triggers may provide some relief in that area. What I would recommend is documenting a set of goals for our project, then build a "proof of concept" skeleton file and update our documentation as we refine the prototype into what we want our finished product to be.
You should know that I'm not one of those developers that just wants to jump straight into the pixel wrangling. I like to have a work plan in place before we go into the execution phase of the product design. Then as we execute, we can monitor our progress against our plan. I like a very open and transparent working relationship that is progressively marking things off a to do list. This is why I tend to work on all new projects on a shared server so we can both work on the latest version of the product together. Some developers / development firms don't want you to ever see or touch the work in progress and I'm just not one of those developers.
I do work on a time and materials billing basis but I can offer a package deal of bulk hours. Some developers are touting what they call value based billing. This means a fixed price and a very limited disclosure on the actual time spent on your project. I like the idea of you knowing how much time I'm spending on your project and specifically where I'm spending the time. This is why I like to send daily timecards to you about each activity I work on for you. I like to think of my customers partners in the successful delivery of a project and not just the paycheck source of funding it.
So I agree with you 100% that every developer needs to work closely with the audience of their endeavors. In fact, I tend to turn down projects that don't follow those guidelines. Without active client involvement, database design is just a wild shot in the dark.
Although I do respect your viewpoint about staying with FileMaker 5.5 but I do think it would be too limiting to start a new project with anything less than the current version of FileMaker. I know the upgrade has some downsides but I'd like to work together with you in overcoming them. As a FileMaker Business Alliance member, I might have some pricing options for FileMaker that works well for us. If not, we can see what our best overall options are for FileMaker 10.
More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at email@example.com.
© 2009 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com
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