Brian Smith in a Top Hat and Tuxedo

Brian K Smith, PCT’s Business Manager

Roy Huggins, LPC NCC

Roy Huggins, PCT’s Director

November 2016 Status Update

Greetings Workbook subscribers! This will primarily be a technical update to outline the major pieces of the Workbook project so you have a framework to understand what the heck we’re talking about in these updates. In addition to technical work, we’re also actively searching for resources or partners to help us complete the project sooner.

The Major Components of the Workbook Software

  • The backend server (backend or server for short)
    • Stores the information needed to display the workbook to you.
    • Determines which information to display to you at any one point in time and adjusts this based on your answers.
    • Stores the user’s responses.
  • The questions
    • The workbook will get your information one question at a time. Sometimes your answer might be a list of things (e.g. All the physical devices in your practice that access Protected Health Information), sometimes it might be a simple yes or no, sometimes it might be text you compose yourself (e.g. “My current policy when an employee leaves the practice is…”). As you can imagine, there are hundreds of potential questions to ask you, all of which we need to create ahead of time along with the order they should be asked, how to decide if a question is relevant, etc. etc.
  • The admin client
    • Allows us to manage the creation and maintenance of all the questions. There’s too many of them and the details and interrelationships are too tricky to do this content creation work in a spreadsheet, text editor, or even directly in the database, so we need a custom tool to do the work.
  • The user client
    • This is the piece that you will interact with directly. It is a web page that will display all of the structured data produced by the backend server in a human friendly way. This software will help you keep track of where you are in the compliance process as a whole, but its primary job is to present the next question you need to answer or next step you need to take. Along with the thing you are working on, this web page will also let you know about the various opportunities to learn more about what we’re asking, whether that is a CE module, an explanatory paragraph or two, or a short video demonstration.

Progress Since Last Update

Backend server: I have integrated a number of codebase improvements that a contractor worked on last year. These changes will make the software easier to develop and maintain in the future.

Admin and user client: No progress

The questions: Aaron has continued to make progress on mapping out the complete set of questions for the risk assessment piece and is close to complete with that effort. This is not getting the questions into the backend server; it’s preparing the list of what those questions will be and how they relate to each other. This will make the actual process of getting things into the backend server a lot easier when the time comes.

Other: I spent some time in the past month writing some software tools to help make my accounting work easier. They don’t directly help get the Workbook finished, but should help free up a bit more of my time for direct Workbook progress.

Upcoming Work

I will keep making slow progress on the backend server. My next project is setting up a proper test suite, which is key to catching bugs before we go live and making sure ongoing changes don’t break existing features. Aaron will keep working on the question mapping effort until that is complete. Roy will keep trying to ensure we have enough money to stay in business.

I will provide the next update by January 13th.