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Protecting the public with bespoke software

A vital government initiative asked our team to develop a new, streamlined registration process and web-app database. Their work is to protect the public from rogue healthcare practitioners by continuously monitoring the alternative health care industry.

There are expected standards that alternative healthcare practitioners must adhere to before being featured in the database. Once a Healthcare practitioner has been approved, they can register their services on the database. Effectively, it's a directory with a whopping 19,000+ alternative healthcare providers the public knows they can trust. However, it's far more complicated than other online directories you may have used before. Due to the nature of the industry and how thorough the registration process needs to be to ensure practitioners are genuine, it called for something complex. 

The Situation:

Unfortunately, our client had outgrown their current registration system. Over the years, processes had evolved, and their system could no longer provide the flexibility and dependability required. The database had become outdated and couldn't cope with the quantity of data held there. It was slow, clunky to use and had no scalability. It was also fully hardcoded, making it impossible to make updates easily without a developer's expertise. These issues had a knock-on effect by reducing the team's productivity and impeded the front-end user experience. And, because the web database is the one-stop place for the public to find a safe alternative health care practitioner, it was definitely time to upgrade.

The Solution:

A standard "off the shelf" software application wouldn't be fit for purpose, so the only way forward was to develop a bespoke software solution. Working closely with our clients, we developed a fully customised customer management system that met their exact requirements. The new framework can now support a complex registration process, efficiently manages masses of backend data and clearly presents the front-end data when requested. It also utilises an integrated, online third-party payment provider to manage subscription plans with ease.

At the beginning of every project, we listen to our client's needs and establish their long-term objectives. This is so important for our developers to deliver the best possible product and ensure they use the right tools for the job.

For this bespoke build, it was agreed that a Rails backend database with a customer-facing React sign-up process would provide the solution our client was looking for. React comes into its own for single-page applications due to its dynamic nature. It offers an improved user experience by supporting complex single-page forms, which reduces clicks and means fewer page loads. The Rails framework is best suited to backend operations such as database querying and management, so vast quantities of practitioner data is no challenge. Combining the superpower of both React and Rails produces a dynamic, reliable and stable product. And because they're open-source, there's also the foundation for growth in the future. 

A big part of the business is offering a subscription package to practitioners. Opayo (formally known as SagePay) is one of the most reliable payment providers and is trusted by thousands of companies worldwide, so using Opayo was a no-brainer! The previous payment process had a few connectivity issues, which could confuse users. Still, with a new robust framework and clean code, it was easily fixed.

The final aspect of the user journey was to integrate Google Maps. When potential new patients are looking for practitioners, the map will highlight who is in their area. These results can be filtered by practitioner name, therapy and a range of distances. Patients can then use the contact information or website URL to find out more.

The Result:

The final product is a robust, streamlined registration process and a web-app database that is dynamic, scalable and focused on user experience. What was a confusing registration form is now much easier to complete, and the database search function has been upgraded, allowing for a smoother front-end search function. 

Also, we've made sure the CMS is entirely customisable, so the team can independently customise the user journey without the need for a developer. This means in a fast-paced environment; edits can be made faster.

If you're looking for something a bit different, get in touch for a free consultation. No project is too big or too small; we can help you formulate your future.

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