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Weekly Byte: Dogfooding the pMD Call Schedule

The pMD development team has a number of cultural values that we believe help us work better together and produce a great product. One of the most important items on that list is that we, both on the dev team, and the company as a whole, use our own software in every way possible. We leverage pMD for everything from recording our expenses (we capture them as charges, just like a doctor would capture a medical charge), to securely messaging one another, to tracking sales leads.

Recently, we started trying to address a challenge we were facing with our customer support desk. We offer 24/7 phone support to our customers. pMD users can reach a pMD employee literally any time of the day or night, 365 days a year, if they encounter a problem or have a question. As our company has grown and we have added team members who are located all across North America, we’ve found it’s more difficult to coordinate the responsibilities of handling phone support than it was when we all worked in the same office together.

In our search for a tool to help us with this problem, we realized that the answer was right in front of us: pMD already has a call schedule built into it! Our customers utilize this functionality to keep track of which provider in their group is on-call at any given time, and to make sure that no call goes unanswered should a patient need their attention. We immediately saw that we could use the pMD call schedule internally in much the same way to coordinate our customer support desk work.

To do this, we first built a programmatic interface to the pMD call schedule. This interface allows other software programs to “ask” pMD which employees are currently on-call. Then we did some work on our phone system to enable it to query the new pMD call schedule interface. Now, when a call comes in our phone system knows exactly which pMDers are available to assist. The best part is, the system doesn’t discriminate based on a person’s physical location. It can ring my cell phone while I’m on the road just as easily as it can reach the landline on my desk in pMD’s San Francisco office. I can work with pMD customers from literally anywhere on the planet that has a telephone.

This new functionality is still in its early stages, but so far it has been working very well. We hope that as it matures we’ll be able to roll out components of it to our customers. If pMD is able to route our calls internally, it could also provide that service for pMD users who utilize pMD to coordinate patient care. We’re excited that we’ve found another way to dogfood pMD, and can’t wait to see where it takes us.