The best way to reach us for suggestions is to click here to contact us via the web. We love to hear from you! But please be aware that we receive a large volume of requests from our users. Unfortunately, we simply cannot respond to each & every request we receive. Nor can we instantly predict whether, when or how we may add your “wish list.” The policies below have been refined over a period of decades to maintain a high degree of responsiveness without sacrificing our programming efforts.
First, please extend us the same courtesies we extend you. ECLIPSE has been in daily use at thousands of locations by tens of thousands of users over a period of decades. We value your opinion. However, please don’t assume that ECLIPSE is created in a vacuum. We have over 25 years of experience running our own busy, multi-disciplinary practice.
When you make statements such as:
“…have been getting started with Eclipse for a few weeks now and would like to make some suggestions that could help streamline its use”
… we get it! In fact, since we’ve used ECLIPSE in our own busy multi-disciplinary practice for many years, we really get it! But odds are better than good that we’ve done actual live user testing and have extensive feedback that tells a different story; perhaps you’re not considering relevant issues. That said, a quick review of your README should demonstrate that the only thing constant in ECLIPSE is change.
- ECLIPSE is an “off-the-shelf” program. ECLIPSE is not customized for individual offices. All requests are considered based on their benefit to our entire user base. If you have specific needs, odds are that you can hire local programmers to design custom reports, add databases etc., through our SQL / ODBC interface.
- CMS Medicare/Medicaid/Comp/etc. changes are handled as they are received. Users must provide documentation from payers detailing changes which affect them. Payers rarely provide printed CMS 1500 (or other) documentation directly to us. Additionally, on the rare occasions when we can get in touch with them, they will only send information to the provider. If you can provide a link to online specifications, it makes it easier to review your issue.
- We modify ECLIPSE and post changes to the internet weekly. We also handle mandated form changes within days of the request. Thus, we are very responsive and interact regularly with our customers. However, we cannot correspond with users who request a response via phone or email. Occasionally, we receive correspondence that demands an instant response to a particular request for a software addition or change. We apologize, but we don’t find that to be an efficient way to run our business. We have many thousands of users and can’t re-evaluate our short & long term goals immediately upon receipt of a request from a single (or a few) client(s). In fact, on any given day, we have thousands of pending requests. After review, if we decide to implement your request, we may contact you to discuss implementation & testing.
- Please keep in mind that, as certain as you are that your report, statement, or other changes are essential for every other health care practice using ECLIPSE, those views are likely to be at odds with the views of other clients. How do we know this? Over 30 years of experience with thousands of offices. That’s why ECLIPSE has an ODBC interface.
- Submitting requests verbally through a third party (e.g. Help Line consultants), is like playing the game “telephone” — where information is passed from person to person to see how much it has changed by the time it reaches a final destination. This actually hinders the update process.
- Requests should be coherent & provide examples where warranted. Again, this simply helps avoid confusion. If the update is important to you, please ensure that we have everything we need to “get it right.”
- At any given point in time we have an agenda that extends at least 24 months into the future. In other words, additions made on the basis of your suggestions may appear in ECLIPSE tomorrow (literally) or next year (sometime in the future).
- Programming is not like instant coffee. Anyone familiar with the much publicized “Year 2000” problem (which didn’t affect ECLIPSE) must know that many large companies spent amounts in the tens of millions just to update current software to handle 4 digit years (i.e. 1997 vs. 97)! Programming can be time consuming and expensive. Thus, updates must be carefully designed and tested.
- If, after noting the above, you’ve come to the conclusion that we’re ignoring you, please review any README. (The README file accompanies every ECLIPSE update that you download.) Over two thirds of the changes in the README are the result of user requests. As noted above, we cannot correspond with you to discuss in detail why we can’t or won’t add something you believe to be simple, obvious, and/or necessary. The README should make it apparent that we have an agenda, and update the software (including fixes) on a continuous basis.
A Few Important Notes
Since HIPAA was signed into law in August 1996, we’ve been sought out by Blue Cross / Blue Shield carriers nationwide to test their systems for HIPAA compliant claims (as the USA moved from NSF to ANSI in 2002), have advised attorneys, doctors, and government auditors regarding HIPAA CFR interpretation, and first certified ECLIPSE to HIPAA specific government standards in 2011 for the Meaningful Use incentive program.
We appreciate your questions & feedback regarding HIPAA. If you’re an expert in HIPAA related law, and it’s your contention that some aspect of ECLIPSE is not HIPAA compliant, please provide the precise HIPAA CFR# (e.g. CFR 164.306) for which you believe the software is non-compliant & explain your reasoning.
HIPAA is about taking reasonable precautions. Thus, phrases such as “reasonable safeguards” are often used in DHHS FAQ’s regarding HIPAA CFR’s. One of our favorite examples is Sign-In Sheets, where providers have shown a general tendency to overreact by eliminating or drastically changing how they handle an essential legal tool. Please realize that HIPAA related provisions in ECLIPSE reflect real life issues. Thus, as was noted in the August 2015 article Security for Mobile and Cloud Frontiers in Healthcare (Communications of the ACM, Vol. 58 No. 8, Pages 21-23), HIPAA is a balancing act:
“I fear the day when your security requirement kills one of my patients,’ said a medical practitioner to the security professionals proposing improved security for the clinical information system. Every security professional is familiar with the challenge of deploying strong security practices around enterprise information systems, and the skepticism of well-intentioned yet uncooperative stakeholders. At the same time, security solutions can be cumbersome and may actually affect patient outcomes.”
Please consider the above before you send us email that makes non-factual, generalized statements (e.g. “… then ECLIPSE would be more fully HIPAA compliant“) based on vaguely stated concepts such as “In support of the 2013 Final Rule regarding HIPAA requirements, and addressable security compliance; It would be highly beneficial…”
Asking us to compromise existing features…
From time to time, we receive requests (such as this one regarding the scheduler) that suggest we compromise existing features:
“… it would be nice to palely highlight the current day. Not enough to distort the other colors used for things such as new pts, rehab only etc. but maybe a pale yellow default on the current day.”
ECLIPSE users already have full control of both text & background colors within the scheduler. Thus, the only possible way to “add” the requested functionality is by compromising existing capabilities. Needless to say, other ECLIPSE users will complain if we implement such requests.
Telling us about how much money you’ve paid us…
From time to time, we get comments such as
“Our office pays your company quite a bit of money every year and we are only asking for the addition to be able to…”
We appreciate those of you who maintain your subscriptions. That’s what allows us to provide the services we do. However, we admit that we’re often puzzled when doctors with appreciable overhead of their own make comments of this nature. Like most of you, we have similar experience with patient comments about our multi-disciplinary practice overhead. Typical comments include “I can’t believe you only spend 5 minutes with me and charge so much!” or “You only spend 5 minutes with me and the rest of the time I’m on a machine!” Such comments ignore or dismiss rent/mortgage overhead, cost/years of schooling, malpractice overhead, receptionists, support staff, etc.
Here are just a few reminders about what we provide, as well as what your subscription entitles you to:
- Your subscription entitles you to help via the phone from ECLIPSE EHR Solutions during its regular business hours. It also entitles you to download & install any updates produced during your subscription period. And though we’d love to be able to say “Yes” to every request (see top section above), it’s neither possible nor practical to do so.
- Unlike competitors, over a span of decades, we’ve never charged separate fees for major updates such as new forms (e.g. CMS-1500, Workers’ Comp) or new mandates (e.g. ICD-10 or HIPAA). We generally include everything in your subscription with the exception of fee-based services that require ongoing 3rd party involvement. (And we include some of those services too at no charge — like DIRECT email.)
- We were the only software vendor in the healthcare field certified for Meaningful Use in 2011 that didn’t change any of our prices or policies. Every other vendor doubled & tripled pricing structures. If we had chosen to follow the crowd, we’d have earned millions of dollars in additional revenue. Instead we passed 100% of the savings to our customers and absorbed all the costs associated with certification (a six figure dollar amount). That’s a fact that simply can’t be disputed.
- Since 1985, we’ve worked hard to keep our fees & prices reasonable. We’re substantially less expensive than many competitors — in some cases by well over $100,000 annually. And that’s before you factor in personnel savings.
- Doctors have used ECLIPSE for their entire careers because we’ve always kept them current and they haven’t been able to outgrow us. (ECLIPSE has scaled from single user to 200+ users for some practices.) A single product. An entire career. Think about it. And think about the savings.
- It takes about a year to fully train a new HELP Desk technician. And the phone system that gives you live access (in most instances) represents the current state-of-the-art..
- HELP Desk techs have multiple layers of management personnel available to them, each of whom has years of experience. And those management personnel have access to doctors & computer scientists with a wealth of experience at their fingertips that encompass virtually every facet of modern practices.
- We advise government entities, auditors, attorneys, State Boards, payers, doctors, management consultants and many others. You get the benefit of that experience whenever you need it without incurring additional fees. We routinely help clients with audits and all manner of issues that go well beyond providing technical support for your ECLIPSE software.
- Our website — which gives you direct access to the developers — has allowed us to advise practices on weekends and late at night. We are not part of the HELP Desk and do not levy any additional fees whatsoever for our time.
Addendum for those who don’t like guidelines…
We have thousands of users. Despite the above stated guidelines, we occasionally receive requests demanding an immediate response. Regardless of the nature of your email, a response from us generally falls into one of several categories:
- We may let you know an update has been completed and that you can download a copy.
- We may explain how you can already do what you want in ECLIPSE.
- We may ask for further information.
- We may explain why it’s unlikely that we’ll implement your request or tell you that those of your colleagues we contacted to discuss your request disagreed with your assessment.
- We may re-state the above policies to you.
As noted above, you’re likely to let us know something along the lines of “I have no doubt that such changes might benefit EVERYONE who uses YOUR software.” And sometimes, you’re absolutely correct. However, odds are incredibly high that the only beneficiary is you. We receive many suggestions daily. Among our many other jobs, it’s incumbent upon us to keep ECLIPSE accessible to the average user on a daily basis.
And before you tell us how busy you are, please understand that our concept of “busy” is dozens of health care providers seeing thousands of patients weekly, along with 50 -> 200+ workstations in your facility, and 150,000+ patients in your ECLIPSE program. (Yes. There are ECLIPSE offices that meet those criteria.) Believe it or not, your relative size will not influence whether or how we implement your suggestions. After all, we deal with many single practitioner offices where the doctor sees fewer than 50 -> 100 patients weekly.
We recognize that each & every one of our clients has unique needs and a unique viewpoint. And we’ve done our best to make ECLIPSE extraordinarily customizable. Nonetheless, if we take the time to explain why we won’t implement your request (which we never do maliciously), please don’t respond by telling us we’re being defensive or have no clue with regard to what we’re doing. Nor is it fair to label us as “rude” simply because we explained why we won’t implement your request. We’ve experienced great success running our own multi-disciplinary facilities, as well as developing software for some of the largest private practices in the USA among many thousands of clients large & small. We’re experienced with local, state and federal audits / criminal investigations as well. We know most clients (as well as an assortment of other professionals) value that experience. We hope you will as well.
So, please remember that we maintain a fine balance among features used by thousands of practices, that “we” includes your colleagues who themselves run busy practices and have years of experience, and that regardless of your perceived need, as noted above, ECLIPSE will not be customized for you. And of course, as also noted above, review your README to see the changes we make on a daily basis.
Finally, in the event you contact us directly and perceive responses from our development team as rude, please be assured that’s never our intent. We have a choice. We can provide you with a [sometimes] cryptic, to the point response, or simply let you work with the HELP Desk and refrain from interacting with clients… which coincidentally… is how IT departments at other nationwide corporations work. (Unfortunately, our experience dictates that when you perceive a response as “rude,” it frequently coincides with the fact that our perspectives differ.)