This was originally a newsletter but doubled down into a development log, so it might as well be posted here on the blog.
We’d like to keep you in the loop of what we’ve been working on and what releases to expect in the coming weeks, so if you’re interested, read on.
1. Accept Payments Ahead of the Consult
Now that online bookings are stable and more patients are aware of how online scheduling works, we now want to help you deter no shows and cancellations, so we’ll be releasing a “paywall” feature in the coming week to allow you to accept payments ahead of time or be able to charge a booking fee.
This should drastically lower the no-shows, persistent bookers and even fake bookings.
I’d like to share with you some of the details and ideas as we’re building this feature out.
As with any major feature, it needs time to be ironed out and feedback over time will help perfect it. Everything is a work in progress until it isn’t.
Once the Paywall is Enabled
The patient must finish the payment first before the booking request shows up on your Booking Requests area.
Charging: Full PF or just Booking Fee
- Doctors can charge the entire PF or just a booking fee
- You will have a toggle to select if it’s a full PF fee or booking fee
- The clinic/staff/doctor has to accept within 20 hours after the patient has settled the bill or booking fee. If not, it will be refunded automatically to the patient.
Things We’re Still Considering
A. Appointment Request Must Be Accepted within 20 Hours or Fee is Refunded
We’re still thinking if this should be adjusted to 12 hours to increase the urgency to make it a better experience to the patient. What do you think?
B. Basic Plan vs Pro Subscribers
Subscribers will be able to turn the paywall off while those on the Basic plan will have the paywall enabled and cannot be disabled. We “might” start with both plans being able to enable/disable it.
C. Paywall Setup
If paywall is enabled and the fee is left empty, default booking fee will be set to 50 Pesos. This is for those that don’t set it up and those that haven’t used their SeriousMD accounts.
The service fee rate is still the same with our current billing at 5%+50 but we are contemplating to increase rates to 10%+. As I mentioned before when we released the Billing module back in late March, we were just trying to cover the transaction costs to be able to release it as fast as possible to help out with the situation and we will think about things after ECQ.
We didn’t really expect quarantine to last this long back in March.
We’re basically covering everything the whole time, we might as well close down if this continues. For those new to SeriousMD, we have not increased subscription pricing the past 2 years, so there’s no costs for calls, notification costs and other costs involved when we came up with the Pro plan pricing way back then.
Plus, the banks are charging for deposits for the payouts and our email + SMS notification costs are C-R-A-Z-Y right now and the per transaction fees are not going down. 😓
D. Patient Inquiry
As there will be more new patients that will be able to discover you, we are thinking of enabling a way for them to inquire first.
That’s it for the paywall. Once we release the paywall feature, you’ll start to put together what the next major update will be about. You’ll definitely notice it. I’ll keep it a secret for now.
2. Over the Counter Payments
Our previous OTC (Over the Counter) payment experiment was a failure because our partner banks and organizations couldn’t handle instant/real-time updates.
It took freakin’ days, some even weeks, for them to verify a payment.
I’m excited to say that we will be opening it up OTC again and giving it another try in the coming weeks, aiming for real-time updates for OTC payments. Wish us luck.
3. The “Document Request” Update
Yes, we’ve heard your requests to let your patients be able to send you files ahead of a consult.
We only limited that feature to protect you all from abusive patients and those asking for free consults. At the end of the day, it’s us that will be blamed, not the patient.
The wait will be worth it though as you’ll have a plethora of options that you can use at your disposal. I should be able to share more info with you in the next update. This is another major update the other team is working on.
4. SeriousMD iOS App V2
A lot of you have been wondering how the iOS V2 update is going.
The iOS team has been working hard to build, tweak, test, test and test.
Unlike your regular software, building an iOS app from scratch is really not the same. Each page and each interaction is unique. Each part is drawn manually etc. all the while it should fit in the different sizes while considering offline data integrity. So it is taking time to get it to “release quality” because it’s critical that all bases are covered.
The previous week, we’ve entered the 85% zone. I’ve been helping the iOS team test it and it’s pretty much there. This week, we’re entering the the optimization stage, basically, making it a faster and smoother experience, especially for those with huge patient lists above 10,000 or patients with large numbers of notes and images.
Here’s a preview: (It’s not a myth. It’s just hard, that’s why almost nobody really does offline-online real-time syncing nowadays.)
Once we release this and once we deem it stable, we can start churning out the new features the web app has been releasing the past months. It’s catch up time from there.
The important part is just to get this out and make sure data are saving & syncing.
5. Now Serving Directory Update V2
The design team just released a whole new design for the NowServing.ph website.
Yes, it’s still in beta, so the design will continue to be tweaked and search results will still fluctuate as the team further improves and tests results (yes we’re also doing user testing with real live patients across the country. It’s based on real data and not our assumptions.)
This new site also detects your location and suggests doctors based on the location detected OR filters selected by the patient.
Much like with Google, the results we want to show the patient should be the most relevant to the person searching so it cannot be alphabetically organized.
There is an algorithm to it that automatically computes various details you have in your profile and ranks your profile accordingly when a search is done by the patient.
For those that want to be found, be sure to update your profile details, add a description, add a picture, add your specialties, check the proper specialty boxes, edit your clinic details to properly tag hospitals and locations, add your PRC ID etc. – In short, just update your profile completely. We cannot really do that for you.
Are there other ranking factors aside from those mentioned above?
We should be ready to launch and promote it sometime in the next month.
Your Specialty Is Missing?
All specialties are already there and searchable but it might not yet be showing in the images as the design team will still have to make a design for each one. (The ones with the images per specialty)
Badges on Your Profile Page
Oh, and remember last time that we mentioned that we’ll be putting badges on your new profile page design? We’re just about ready to do that.
The first target would be to get your societies on board. We’d like to work with your society to get everybody legitimately verified.
If your society would like to work with us on this, just let me know. It would help bring more trust to your profile while promoting the society as well. It’s a win-win.
6. Other Recent Updates
We’ve released a ton of new things the past months and we opted to not send separate emails for those releases and just put them in the Whats New area of SeriousMD.
If you haven’t been able to check the What’s New area, here’s a summary for some of the updates.
- Design tweaks to the interface, making it easier to send prescriptions, starting a call, see the appointment time etc.
- Also improved SeriousMD mobile views on various tablet sizes
- Message delivery status can now be seen to see if a message was successfully sent.
- A Share Call Link button was implemented in cases that the patient needs to use the web browser instead of the phone.
- Sharing your screen is now possible during a Virtual Consult
- Improved duplicate patient detection for online bookings
- You’re now able to upload multiple images at one time
- You have QR Poster designs you can print out and put on the door of your clinic.
- The Now Serving app has a tablet mode now, it also has a torch option to use the flash of the phone to better light (For example: You want to see the throat better.) Also shows the patient’s signal strength
- “Document Release” Update > Send documents Automatically after a bill is settled
- Medicine Delivery is now available. (We’re still working on getting other pharmacies on board. Referrals to contacts with higher clout in those companies are welcome. The end goal is to be able to work with them and eventually, get the pharmacies to be on board to verify every single prescription, this in turn protects you and your patients. This is the first step towards that.)
And…. that’s it… for now.
We have so much more in the works to tell you about. We can only hope that you’ll continue to support us and share SeriousMD with your friends.
Have a great week everyone!