I recently wrote an article on my blog called, “Custom Software is a Bad Idea.” This came out of conversations where we were discussing the differences between custom software and configured software. Custom Software describes a situation where a company would have custom software engineering done for their specific needs. Configured software describes software that is setup for a company’s operations via a user interface, not via code, and often by the customer themselves. Rpharmy's software is considered configured because our customers can update information in the app such as drugs stocked by the hospital pharmacy, related information such as black box warnings, and information needed for handling hazardous drugs, etc., but there is no customer software written for a specific hospital customer.
Rpharmy products, by definition, are SaaS products. If you’re unfamiliar with that acronym, it stands for Software as a Service. The simple way to look at this is that Rpharmy's software products are all web-based software. They're sold as a service to our hospital pharmacy customers, and delivered via the web. They require no integration with other systems such as EHR (Electronic Healthcare Records) software, Pharmacy Management Software, or anything else. Quite frankly, this is the secret sauce to Rpharmy's product because they're fast and simple to implement (usually measured in weeks) and require no other resources at the hospital besides the pharmacist to help load drug information into the system. Rpharmy helps hospital staff configure everything and load up the information. (It’s our white-glove approach to customer service.) If hospitals would like integrations into Epic or other systems, it can be done with just a few clicks and often less than 10 minutes of an analysts time to load up the EHR.
The key is that Rpharmy's products aren't custom software. They're in use at many different hospitals with many different systems and are configurable to work well in just about any environment where a formulary is required or it’s important to have USP <800> compliance (which is of course all hospitals in the US!) What’s most important is that we are able to quickly and reliably help ensure patient AND healthcare worker safety because our software is always fully tested, and the latest version for every hospital customer.
We have had customers in the past ask us to customize our software products. Initially we were hungry enough to say yes. What we’ve come to realize is that it’s generally a bad idea. Now, we stick to the notion of configurable which means that our software is well tested across a broad range of hospital environments. New features and benefits are easily rolled out to all of our hospital customers, and whenever issues arise such as security bugs, updates in web browsers or operating systems, or any number of other things that invariably come up with software, we can roll changes out quickly, globally, and reliably.
What’s more, we feel strongly that Rpharmy’s SaaS products, including FormWeb, Rhazdrugs, and BlackBoxRX, provide great value across hospitals and hospital systems by providing the right level of configurability to account for nuances across physical locations and hospital system while also being robust, bug free, and secure for all of our users. If we were to go down the path of writing custom software for customers, we would lose this advantage that we feel is core to the successful implementation of Rpharmy products in hospitals that help to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare workers.