WRMD 3.0, Over the Launch Hump…

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We would like to thank everybody for being patient while we launched WRMD 3.0. The first week was full of communication and it was great for us to get to know our users a little more. Our favorite part was when some of our users such as Marita at High Desert in Bend, Oregon and Lucinda at Bird Ally X in Humboldt, CA started to answer other users questions! Thank you, it saved me so much time. As you can see we now have more of a forum space within the message area. You can choose a message to be private or open to forum. When you have a question, if you phrase the title well, others that have similar questions can look at the message string and get answers and talk to one another. We don’t expect this to turn into Facebook, but it is a way for rehabbers all over the world to easily talk to one another. We also want to thank all of the very active users for their help and communications, we think you know who you are – Paula, Dorothy, Cristin, Marita, Lucinda and many others. Thank you for all of your updates!!!

There Were Several Little Issue Here and There that We Have Updated

  • The sign-in issue: when we transferred to the new database everybody had to reset their passwords. Unfortunately we also had a bug with resetting passwords. So, if you created a new password you were able to get into your account, but once you signed out you could not sign back in because your new password did not actually get update. Sorry about that!
  • At first when you signed-in you were in 2016, when you went to look at 2015, you could not get back into 2016 without signing off and signing back on. This is now fixed as well.
  • There was an issue with time as well. Everything was in UTC 0, which was London time for the first few days. So, anything that was recorded during those days will have the wrong time, but everything is fixed now.
  • There was a minor issue with how the treatment records were organized oldest to newest and even if you changed it in settings, it was reverting, but that got fixed.
  • The lab was not taking info at first, that got fixed.
  • I could go on for awhile here. Suffice to say that we have been working hard, and are grateful for your patience while we work out the kinks.
  • The “People” section is updated so that you can better manage your rescuers, volunteers and donors.

Years in AccountHopefully you have been able to figure out how to navigate through the years. On the bottom left of the screen there is an option for the year you wish to look at. If you want to do searches that include 2015 and 2016 you need to go to “Search Records”, put in your dates and search that way.  If you just want to look at pending cases only, you can do the “Quick Search”|”Disposition Pending” and that will give you results for all years. If you enter terms into quick search it will only search the year you are in.

We hope that everybody is getting used to the new Locations feature. One thing to remember is that, anything from previous Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 10.14.03 AMyears might not be completely accurate. Everything got transferred over, but it might not be in the correct format. There is not much we can do about this, unfortunately. Also, when you change the disposition to any but Pending the location will blank. So, if you have animals in freezers or out for testing you should record it in the location field as well as rechecks or keywords. The location, however, will remain in the  history.

Due to the nature of managing this database we have had to reduce the number of custom fields that can be created per account to 10. If you have more then 10 custom fields you will not be able to enter new info into any fields created after the first 10 that were created. If you require more than 10 custom fields, please contact us about potentially creating a custom extension for your organization. Because of the time and resources involved with custom extensions we will charge a fee, on a sliding scale, depending on how extensive the customization is.

We Are Still Working on a Few Things

  • The search function inside the treatment record
  • Fixing the autocomplete bug
  • Fixing the “No Significant Findings” entry that auto-populates to the initial care comments field
  • Prescriptions given during the first day of care will auto-populate to the initial care screen
  • Increased privacy and security so that information is less accessible to your users
  • Necropsy and Husbandry extensions
  • Help Section

Thank you again for your patience. I know it has not been completely perfect, but we are so grateful to work with such a wonderful group of compassionate people. Thank you for being so kind to us in your feedback!


Bringing in the New Year Together

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Happy New Year! Thanks to everybody for being patient with us while we bring in the new year with a faster, smarter and completely redesigned database. I want to thank everybody that has contributed to finding the bugs and issues that we could not find during our tests.
It was so wonderful seeing all the communication amongst the community. As you can see we do have a more open forum type space where users can talk to one another. We consider WRMD a community project we just manage it.
Last night, Jan 1st we fixed most of the issues identified that day. Tonight, Jan 2nd we will fix most of the issues found today so that we do not disturb everybody’s work.  There are a few issues that have come up that are taking a little more time to fix, but hopefully we will have everything back on track in the next few days.
Thank you all for your help and patience! We are extremely appreciative!

WRMD 3.0 Upgrade Schedule

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Red_Coming_Soon_StampDear Wildlife Rehabilitation MD User,

On December 31st at 10:00pm Pacific Standard Time (6:00am UTC) we will begin upgrading WRMD to version 3.0. At that time WRMD will not be available until we are done with the upgrade. For the past month we’ve been rehearsing the upgrade process so we expect it to go smoothly and if all goes well, it should take less than two hours to complete.

This upgrade process requires that we transfer all of your data into the updated database. This includes all your settings as well. We’ve done our best to make sure that all your settings work in WRMD 3.0 but if you think something isn’t behaving the way you think it should, please let us know. Our top priority during this upgrade is to make sure that the transition is smooth and that you can still use the database the way you always have. If you encounter any errors or issues please let us know as soon as possible! You can still message us from within WRMD by clicking Ask for Help or email us at [email protected]. We will be available to fix issues that arise at a moments notice during the first week of the new year. We do not expect any issues, but we are prepared to handle them if they come up.

As a Reminder,
Here is a List of All the Important Changes You Will See In WRMD 3.0

  1. Dashboard Upgrade:
    • We have updated the first page you see after you sign-in. It was designed to help navigate the database more efficiently.
  2. Add New Record:
    • One this page we have updated the species database behind the scenes and it is much smarter and faster. We also naow have the ability to have multiple common names for a species. An example would be “mule deer” and “black-tailed deer” can both be used even though they are the same species. There will also be the additions of a few unknown species such as “myotis, sp” or “warbler, sp” for those  critters that are difficult to identify.Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.12.24 PM
    • We also have a new panel for donations, if you had a custom field for donations that data will be moved to the new fields.
  3. Navigating the Screens:
    • When you first go to a record you will notice that the screen looks different.
      • The tabs (Rescuer, Initial Care, Continued Care and the Extensions) are now under the new “Cage Card” and “Location” panels.
      • The “Cage Card” panel now has all the identity information about that patient such as case #, species, band, name, reference number and date admitted.
      • The “Location” panel has the information about where that animal is. For more information on the new locations feature see our Locations Blog post.
  4. Initial Care:
    • You will notice that the initial exam area has been changed to be more informative.
    • Ages have changed as well and are categorized by bird, mammal, reptile/amphibian. We have spent years coming up with the new ages, for more information on ages see our Ages Blog post.
  5. Rechecks:
    • We have put a lot of time and thought into the new recheck system. It is much more user friendly and useful. For more information on rechecks see our Rechecks Blog post.
  6. Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 8.54.39 PMShare:
    • One of the new permanent tabs in the records is a “Share” tab. This tab is used anytime you want to “share” a record.
    • Within the share tab there is the ability to “Transfer Records” to any other WRMD account. For more information on transferring records see our Transferring Records Blog post.
    • The paper forms are now found in the share tab as well.

There are many other little additions here and there which you will probably find at one time or another. All of these new features where created from the ideas of our users, so thank you for all your help in helping create WRMD 3.0. We are quite pleased with how it turned out and I hope you enjoy it.

Not Yet Working

Because of the nature of what we are doing, we are not quite finished with a few of the features. Our plan is to have everything up and running as soon as possible, but we want to make sure everything has transitioned smoothly before we finish the last little bit. So, below are the features that are not quite available yet. Remember, just because they are not available does not mean that your data has vanished, it is just in long term parking for the moment.

  1. Necropsy extension
  2. Husbandry extension
  3. WRMD import
  4. Case summary extension
  5. Batch update
  6. Analytics

Happy New Year!!!


WRMD 3.0: Updated Ages

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The Conundrum

Over the past few years one of the most common questions we receive is about the age terminology used in WRMD. People ask us what each age term means or request to change them to something more suitable for their use. We’ve always been open to making a change to the age terminology but believe it or not, it’s turned into one of the most difficult things in the entire database to change. This difficulty stems from the fact that there are so many different age terms used among wildlife rehabilitators and other wildlife professionals.

Not only are there age terms used just for birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians but each of those groups can be drilled down further to define even more unique ages. For example, raptors can be aged according to their plumage and of course the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory has their own category of ages. And this only considers age terms used within the United States. If you consider that different age terminology is used outside of the States, it further complicates the situation.

Another problem arises from the actual meaning of some of the age terms. For example, some words used as ages are not actually describing the age of the animal by instead are describing the developmental status of the animal. For example consider the age term “weaner”. It is used be some people to describe a young animal. However, in reality the word actually means that the animal is weaning and its actual age might be appropriate for that weaning animal or it might not not be. An animal that someone may be calling a “weaner” could actually be an adult!

The Solution

Long story short, we have literally spent the past year talking with different groups and wildlife professionals about what terms are best to use to describe the age of an animal. Not surprisingly, we have found that it’s best to use ages specific to each class of animal (ie: birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians). As a result we have come up with a new listing of ages that WRMD 3.0 will use, listed below.

Birds

  • Egg
  • Hatchling / Chick
  • Nestling
  • Fledgling
  • Juvenile
  • Adult

Mammals

  • Neonate
  • Infant
  • Juvenile
  • Sub-adult
  • Adult

Amphibians & Reptiles

  • Egg
  • Hatchling
  • Juvenile
  • Adult

When you start a new a record and enter the species, WRMD already knows if that animal is a bird, mammal, reptile or amphibian and will only give you the options for that class. It will also still include the chronological ages for all animals in case you know, for example,  that the animal was four days old when admitted.

We think this is a much cleaner and more user and patient-friendly way to record ages. Fortunately, most of the ages already recorded in WRMD over the past 5 years easily match up to the new choices. However, some of them will need to be translated  to jive with the new system. We’ll take care of that for you!

We hope you enjoy the new animal age system! Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions!

Now that we’ve made this change it begs the question about developmental status. This is something that we want to explore further but to be totally honest we have no idea how to do it because at the end of the day, that’s something that has to be judged and assessed by a person.


WRMD 3.0: Transferring Records

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In WRMD 3.0 you can still print, email and export records. In addition to these options we are introducing the ability to transfer a record to another account. This is an idea that was discussed in the early days of WRMD but there weren’t enough accounts to justify the feature. There are now nearly 200 accounts and transferring records between them has become much more relevant.

Transferring a Record Only Requires 3 Steps:

  1. First, identify who to transfer the record to.
  2. Second, specify if the record is being transferred as a copy or for collaboration.
  3. Click Transfer Record.

Transfer Record

Transfer As a Copy Vs. Collaboration

The difference between these two is pretty simple. As the text on the screenshot above says:

“You may transfer this record to another account as a copied version or for collaboration of a shared version. The recipient account will be sent a transfer request message, allowing them to accept or deny the transfer. Transfers can not be undone.”

By default WRMD will transfer a copied version of the record to your chosen account. The two versions will have no connection to each other and any information written on one record will not be seen on the other.

If you choose to transfer a copy for collaboration, the recipient account will share a single record with you and anything recorded by either of the accounts can be seen by the other. This type of transferring a record can by helpful if, for example, you take a patient to another center for a surgery and that center needs to record that they admitted the animal. They can then write in there information on their record which will then be available on yours as well.

With either option, each accounts record will have its own case number.

Accepting the Transfer

Once the transfer request is made the recipient account will be sent a message asking them to accept or deny the request. This way accounts cant just dump their records into any another account.

Transfer request Message

After the transfer has been accepted the record will then be created in the recipient account. If the record was transferred for collaboration then both accounts will see a message on top of the record reminding them.

collaboration notice


WRMD 3.0: Rechecks

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Another feature that WRMD 3.0 improves upon, are rechecks. In the current version of WRMD you can create a recheck for a given date and set the type/priority for that recheck. In WRMD 3.0 there is nothing new about that, except that it has new features and is managed far better.

Here’s the Rundown of the Changes to Rechecks

  1. You will be able to create multiple rechecks,
  2. you will also be able to mark a recheck as being completed,
  3. and we added a new recheck type/priority called Alert.

rechecks

Multiple Rechecks

On the Continued Care screen there is a Rechecks panel like the one seen above. All you have to do is fill in the fields for the recheck(s) you want to create, and click the icon to the left of the date field. This will automatically create the recheck and add it below in a list (as seen below). Of course you can have multiple rechecks on the same day and give them different priorities. You may also update and delete rechecks as needed. To mark a recheck as being completed, just click the check box to the left of that recheck.

multiple-rechecks

Recheck Alerts

You can see in the example of rechecks above, that each priority is highlighted to help distinguish related rechecks. One new recheck priority that we are adding is called Alert. This recheck behaves in all ways similar to the other rechecks, but it also causes one additional behavior. Whatever is written as the Alert recheck description, will also be displayed as an alert message at the top of the patients screen. (See the below screen shot for an example). This is a great way to create a really important recheck that especially needs to be seen.

alert-recheck

Lastly, we still have the Rechecks page that will list all the rechecks due or are past due for the current day. Just like the rechecks show above for an individual patient, these rechecks can also be deleted, updated and marked as completed.

rechecks-page

Over all, these changes aren’t too drastic but are really helpful. Thanks to the wonderful advice of all our users, we were able to make this a very comprehensive system. We think that this implementation of rechecks is going to be a big hit and people will love being able to set multiple rechecks and keeping track of which ones are completed.

As always, if you have any feedback, comments or ideas please send them our way! You can leave a comment bellow or send us an email at [email protected].


WRMD 3.0: Speed

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Lets Talk About Speed

(Warning: this blog post is kind of “techy”)

We are acutely aware of the speed issues that WRMD is currently facing and to be honest it’s actually very embarrassing. Basically (at the risk of sounding arrogant) the problem is stemming from our growing popularity. The number of accounts and their users continues to grow and unfortunately our servers aren’t keeping up with the demand. That’s all going to change in WRMD 3.0. WRMD has grown far from being a simple application used by a handful of rehab organizations. It’s now a full on web application that has very serious demands on it. As such, it needs to have a scalable server backbone and a framework built for optimization of resources. Without trying to sound to “techy” I’ll explain how the demand will be able to scale as needed.

Our server setup will use a load balancer to distribute traffic to as many web-servers as needed. So if demand gets high during the summer then we can just add an additional web-server to help with all your requests. Those web-servers will only be responsible for displaying WRMD to you, while behind them will be a very large database server that will handle all the heavy lifting. If this doesn’t make any sense to you then just check out the diagram below.wrmd serversServers are only part of the speed equation, the software itself also needs to be efficient at everything it does. A major part of our development in WRMD 3.0 is to maximize its efficiency. Rather than explaining all the nerdy things that we are doing in detail I’ll just tell you that everywhere that we can cache, queue, optimize or schedule a task in WRMD 3.0, we are. Our goal among other things is to have WRMD 3.0 be as quick and responsive as possible so that this database is not slowing you down from helping your patients.


WRMD 3.0: A New Way to Record Locations

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One of the updates that WRMD 3.0 will have is a new way to record locations. But, before I explain how this new way will work, let me first explain the problems that we are trying to solve (if you don’t know them already).

In the current version of WRMD there are 4 major problems with recording the locations of your patients.

  1. There are two places to record the current location, the enclosure field and the homecare extension. Which one should be used?
  2. It’s difficult to see at a glance where the patient is. This is partly because of the location of the enclosure field but also because (again) there are two places to record the patients location.
  3. It’s difficult to enforce the same spelling and format of your enclosures.
  4. Users are responsible for recording the location history of a patient. This might seem unimportant but it actually can be a helpful tool when trying to manage a disease outbreak or tracking how long a patient was in an enclosure.

In WRMD 3.0 we think that we have solved all these problems in a very simple way. You may recall from the previous blog post there was a picture of the WRMD 3.0 Initial Care screen. On that screen you can see that right up top are two panels, one identifying who the patient is and the the other identifying where the patient is. This new Location panel will serve as the single place to manage a patients current and past locations.

wrmd 3.0 case header

To record a new location for your patient all you need to do is press the Enter New Location link and fill in the displayed form. Typically, when an enclosure is written down we describe the date the animal moved in, the area where the enclosure is and the name of the enclosure. Only the Date, Holding At and Area / Room fields are required. Once the location information is saved you will be able to see exactly where the patient is without having to scroll around the screen.

wrmd 3.0 clinic location

wrmd 3.0 updated header

When you want to record that your patient has gone to homecare with somebody, just create a new Location record but change the Holding At field to Homecare. The Area / Room field will change to Caregiver and the Enclosure field to Address.

wrmd 3.0 homecare locationNow that you can record homecare locations directly on the patients record there is no longer a need for the homecare extension. For this reason we will be discontinuing the homecare extension with WRMD 3.0. If this frazzles you then remember that these changes are far better for you for simplicity. Also, none the features that are available with the homecare extension will be lost, you will still be able to produce the same reports. In fact some reports will be much better because of the detailed data being recorded.

Another great benefit of this change is that a patients location history is recorded automatically for you. Once you have recorded multiple locations for a patient just click the History button below the current location and see where the critter as been.

wrmd 3.0 location historySo now we have one place to record locations, location history is saved automatically and the current location is visible right up top. That just leaves enforcing the same spelling and format of your enclosures and we think that we’ve got a simple solution for that, too. Within the settings area there is a new screen for you to identify all the Areas/ Rooms and Enclosures at your facility. Just fill those fields in and now when you create a location record you will get an autocomplete suggesting which value to use.

wrmd 3.0 location settingswrmd 3.0 location autocomplete

Tell Us What You Think!

This is a significant change to WRMD that we have been thinking about for a long time. We also think that its going to be a great change that will be well received from the users.


WRMD 3.0: A New Look and Feel

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The very first thing to learn about WRMD 3.0 is that the application has been completely redesigned with a new look and feel. Not only does it look great but, even more exciting is that WRMD 3.0 is designed to be completely responsive to the size of your device. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you are using a desktop computer, a tablet or a phone, WRMD will look and work great on any of them. In fact we have been trying to make the phone/tablet version of WRMD 3.0 feel as if it is a native application on your device.

Here Are A Few Screenshots of the New Look and Feel So Far

And Here Are the Responsive Versions

 

The changes in design are almost completely aesthetic in nature. It’s mostly just a re-branding of the application to look much more clean and user-friendly. We have tried very hard not to change too much so that you and your volunteers will still be familiar with where things are. However, there are a few design changes that do affect user experience, such as the main navigation moving to a new location (see below for more details). We are also going to be introducing a much better way to manage your patients enclosures and homecare records. We’ll discuss this in a future blog post but as a teaser you can see what it looks like in the above “Initial Care” pictures. What you will see is the patients identification details (we call this panel the cage card) to the left and to the right the patients current location. That means that when you go to any patients record, the first things you see right up top are Who Is This Animal and Where is It?

Improved Navigation — Here’s Everything You Need to Know:

WRMD 3.0 Record Navigation

  • The main navigation (Rescuer, Initial Care, Continued Care, …) used to be in the header. Now it’s within the records. Ta da! The purpose behind this change is to more closely relate the records with their navigation.
  • We’ve moved the Dashboard link to the side under Quick Links.
  • You can now share a record (print, email, export, transfer or duplicate) from the Share drop down menu to the right of the main navigation links.

Basically, we’ve cleaned some things up and moved a few things around to make room for some other new and exciting things. Stay tuned…

Give Us More Feedback

We are listening to your feedback and greatly appreciate your time giving it. If you have something to share with us please do!

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