About the Client
The client is a healthcare software solutions provider company, founded by a group of leading dental healthcare professionals operating in Salt Lake City, Utah. The client focusses on creating technology solutions that help dental practices improve efficiency, reduce cost and enhance patient engagement, and also provides IT consulting and services for healthcare professionals.
The client wanted to create a responsive, multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform to provide software apps and services for managing all aspects of a dental healthcare practice. The online solution would allow dental offices to better manage their practices via a full service dental marketplace portal, offering specialized applications and services for dental practitioners. These apps and services add value to dental practices by streamlining operations, maximizing revenues and enhancing patient engagement. Portal users would benefit from integrated services to manage operations such as payroll management, dental lab services, payment processing, patient interaction, communication, marketing, healthcare financing, in-office discount plan, e-learning, avoid dual data entry and data integrity issues.
To function as a full service dental portal, the product also needed to integrate seamlessly with dental practice management systems.
The SaaS platform would house custom built applications that address many common dental office challenges. These applications would be exclusively available in the online marketplace and cover an extensive range of services. A few of the areas are:
- Insurance Fees Reimbursements – Provide professional assessment and negotiation services that help dentists negotiate reimbursements with insurance provider organizations.
- Patient Communications and Appointment Scheduling – Enable effective patient engagement for appointment scheduling via text and multimedia messaging.
- Practice Fees – Provide reliable industry benchmarking data and online revenue calculation tools so dental practitioners can make informed decisions regarding their practice fees.
- Custom Dental Plans – Allow dental professionals to create and market their own customized discount dental plans to guarantee savings to their patients.
- Dental Supplies – Provide subscribers access to an exclusive product database that guarantees the lowest prices for dental supplies.
Silicus was selected to design, develop, test and deploy the dental marketplace for dental practitioners and create the custom built dental office management applications described above. To give customers 24/7 access and flexibility to pay for only the apps or services they want, the client wanted to offer the solution as an on-demand online subscription service.
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Azure Cloud Infrastructure:
Since the client wanted to offer the solution as a multi-tenant SaaS solution, Silicus built and deployed the solution on the cloud. In order to develop an easily scalable, HIPAA compliant, on-demand software service with the high performance and accessibility requirements desired by the client, Silicus advised the client to use Microsoft Azure.
Application development, testing and deployment were successfully implemented using a single infrastructure and hosting services vendor, with the Azure cloud platform used as both the development platform and the production environment of the SaaS solution. Azure was selected for this project due to the following advantages:
- HIPAA Compliance – Azure provides a highly cost effective and robust HIPAA compliant cloud hosting for healthcare application.
- Developer Operations (DevOps) with Azure Infrastructure Services – With all aspects of product development executed on Azure cloud infrastructure, Silicus ensured an efficient transition from design to deployment. Additionally, these applications were built on Microsoft technologies that work seamlessly on the Azure cloud.
- Pay per Usage Pricing – The client pays only for the amount of storage and computing resources consumed based on the Azure cloud model.
- Zero Hardware and Infrastructure Overheads – Azure cloud services provide a readymade hosting infrastructure and development platform that does not need to be setup or maintained by the client. By using Azure, the client saves upfront and maintenance costs on hardware and software needed to develop and host their product.
- Availability and Scalability – Azure cloud hosting allows the client online access to their production infrastructure and can automatically scale bandwidth consumption up or down based on demand. The Microsoft global cloud infrastructure and availability guarantees 99.9% uptime for the client’s portal.
Main Features and Highlights of the Core SaaS Solution:
Dental Application Marketplace:
Similar to leading app marketplaces such as the Google Play store or Apple App store, users can create accounts and subscribe to the applications and services within the online dental marketplace platform. The store features software apps for dental practices developed by the client and other third party developers. As part of the client’s marketing strategy, Silicus created free and premium versions of the following applications:
- Insurance Reimbursements – Provides access to services for reimbursement fee assessment, negotiation, online tracking of claims, enforcement and reimbursement process training services.
- Patient Response System – Allows dentists to confirm appointments, send reminders and easily send marketing messages to the entire patient base or select groups via text message.
- Dental Supplies – Subscribers gain access to special discounts and promotions on dental supplies with manufacturers and authorized distributors.
- In-Office Discounts – The fastest, most efficient way to create, administer, and track your discount plan.
- Dental Plan Creation – Dentists have a financial dashboard and reports to demonstrate the effectiveness of the plans. Patients can sign up online and access their plan membership services through the portal.
- Fee Setting – Provides revenue calculation tools and access to geographical percentile and utilization data sourced from FAIR Health, a non-profit consumer organization.
- Services Marketplace: Allows users to sign up for professional services from the client and third parties in areas such as, payroll management, dental lab services, payment processing, patient interaction, communication, marketing, healthcare financing, in-office discount plan, e-learning, avoid dual data entry and data integrity issues. Users can also benefit from IT and consulting services for dentists.
Client App Administration:
Allows dental offices to control and manage information regarding subscriptions, providers and more. The patient management component further allows the office administrator to define and edit patient records, users and access levels.
Patients can communicate with doctors, pay bills online, view visit history and reschedule appointments.
Other notable features of the solution created by Silicus include:
- Responsive web design for compatibility on mobile and tablet devices.
- Application specific dashboards for users to track and manage their subscribed services.
- Integration with leading dental practice management systems, such as Dentrix, Eaglesoft, Open Dental, etc.
- Audit logging and access control features which ensure security and privacy guidelines for HIPAA regulations and compliance.
NET Framework 4.0, ASP.NET 4.0, MVC 4.0
Windows Server 2012
Tools & Libraries
Authorize.NET Payment Gateway
Visual Studio 2010
Low Operational Cost
With Azure as the hosting solution, operational costs can be predicted, tracked and scaled based on the client’s needs. The client accelerated their time-to-market and reduced capital expenditures due to Silicus’ expertise in deploying cloud based multi-tenant SaaS products. The client could launch the multi-tenant on-demand online dental management platform. The operational costs to maintain and run the SaaS were low, allowing the client to budget for sales and marketing.
Integrated Cloud Development
Azure cloud infrastructure provides the building blocks for developing cloud native applications, which are designed for high performance, scalability and ease of access. By leveraging the power of Azure, the Silicus development team rapidly developed a software solution that meets all of the client’s requirements. The client benefited from the enhanced collaboration between Silicus’ development, testing and production leading to cost savings in terms of reduced development lifecycles.
Subscription Based Solution
The solution created by Silicus using Azure cloud infrastructure can be configured for different subscription models and customized to meet the customer’s needs. Microsoft Azure provided the ideal platform to develop and deploy the solution, where dental subscribers have the flexibility to choose the apps and services they want to purchase. Subscribers select applications and services based on their needs, allowing the client to focus on creating comprehensive healthcare solutions that add value, solve the challenges faced by dental professionals, and improve patient outcomes.