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Understanding Our Users

Our mission at SARD JV is to develop solutions that really help our users, so understanding our users is central to what we do. As a way of boosting this, last Thursday we held the inaugural SARD User Group Event in our new office. It was a day of discussion and feedback from some of our key users, and also an opportunity for us to present some new features and products that we are currently developing. A big thank you to those who attended; we had representatives from many of our clients from a wide variety of job roles and trusts. It was a really worthwhile and enjoyable day and something we want to repeat annually.

The idea was to get the group together and stimulate discussion between trusts, in order to pin down some common needs or themes, as well as for the whole team here (including account managers, software developers, office manager, research and events, business advisor and board director) to get the chance to interact with some of our key users.

The feedback sessions were very constructive and overall we got the impression that there is a really positive feeling regarding how things are working with SARD JV and our interactions with our clients. Attendees commented that they really like the user interface, and receive a lot of positive feedback from doctors. The chat system was widely praised. I did a short presentation on our work to implement the Framework of Quality Assurance for Responsible Officers and Revalidation and our first implementation of that, the QIT report, was also well-received.

We also got some really valuable feedback to help direct our future work. One theme that came up was that where they do arise, many user problems stem from IT illiteracy/’technophobia’ amongst doctors, and we talked about ways we could make our system more user-friendly to help mitigate that. Several revalidation administrators mentioned that they ran regular ‘clinic’ sessions for new and existing users of the system and found these very useful in improving revalidation rates and engagement. There were also requests for us to build more links with third-party systems, in order to automate the importing of information as much as possible.

One key outcome of the meeting was the enthusiasm for new ways of managing notifications and reminders depending on the needs of individual Trusts, so we are going to be looking into new ways of doing this.

After the feedback sessions Kevin and Philip presented some of the new features and products we have been working on over the past year – it was great to get these in front of users for the first time, and get some initial feedback. Finally in the evening we took the opportunity to hold an office-warming party. A nice man made mojitos and a good time was had by all.

As a follow-up to the event, Sophie has sent out packs to attendees including the minutes and presentations. If you were not able to attend but would like one of these please get in touch. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this an excellent day, and we look forward to the next one in 2015.