On the way to the connected pharmacy
Smart Rx, a specialist in pharmacy technology and services for over thirty years, has adopted a structured writing tool to develop its technical documentation. A choice guided by the need to gain in reactivity and which is based on the SaaS Calenco solution, developed by the French publisher NeoDoc. Why has Smart Rx switched to a more structured writing tool, which favors work on content rather than on form? What were the contributions of this change for Smart Rx in terms of responsiveness and precision?
Smart Rx, portrait of a specialist in connected pharmacy
Smart Rx is a brand of the Cegedim Group, a leader in solutions and services for the healthcare professions. A group that supports healthcare professionals worldwide by offering them business software. Publisher of a complete solution for the management of pharmacies, Smart Rx is the partner of choice for more than 4200 pharmacies in France.
Pharmacy, a rapidly changing profession
A local partner, Smart Rx supports pharmacies on a daily basis, in the management of their activity and their transition to the digital age. Indeed, the profession of pharmacist has changed profoundly in recent years, a digital shift that requires being able to rely on a complete and efficient tool. Providing its customers with the information necessary to react to regulatory changes or the health context is a requirement that Smart Rx must be able to meet as quickly as possible.
The challenge of technical documentation in a complex and changing regulatory environment
The example of the Covid-19 crisis that we are going through illustrates the sector's need for responsiveness. The pharmacies are awaiting information concerning the evolution of reimbursement for antigenic tests or vaccine doses, for example. Another particularity linked to the sector of activity: many elements are subject to regulations. The role of the pharmacist is therefore evolving, he needs advice and information in real time; support that Smart Rx seeks to provide as a local partner.
Smart Rx software is therefore evolving on a daily basis. Responsiveness based on a flexible and efficient documentation system. Regular updates are made, especially on technical notes. And the software itself is updated three times a year. Developments characterized by the integration of new functionalities that enrich the solution. But which also imply the need to renew all the supporting documents.
Looking for a structuring tool
Already detached from office software such as Word, the technical writing department initially used a specific solution called Robohelp. But this tool no longer fully met his expectations. The need to switch to a more standardized, structured writing tool was clearly felt. It is in this context that the head of the technical documentation department, Florence Bourcier, who already knew Calenco, decided to contact the editor's teams in Aix-en-Provence. The aim was to gain flexibility and efficiency. However, the particularity of SaaS Calenco software is precisely to be articulated around a single source of content and to separate the substance from the form, allowing the writers to devote themselves entirely to the writing.
Once the solution was validated and deployed, the team of writers, already familiar with the methods inherent in structured writing, very easily learned about this tool.
Three types of documents were concerned by the implementation of this new approach: user manuals, administrative documents and technical notes.
An open and tailor-made solution
Founding principle of the Calenco solution, the reuse of content. It allows, once the content is intelligently fragmented, to edit multiple documents from the same source, to simplify updates or changes and to avoid copy/paste, the source of many errors. This modularity, associated with the filtering system, makes it possible to gain time.
Another undeniable advantage of Calenco is that it is an open solution. You can add modules to it. The developers of Smart Rx were thus able to set up a gateway between the Calenco system and the online help center. The Help Center therefore extracts data from the source document to feed the hotline with specific content.
Finally, a crucial point for editors, to free themselves from the constraints related to the layout in order to be able to concentrate completely on the content. To solve this problem, Calenco has developed style sheets that automate the editing of documents in multiformats. Smart Rx currently has two style sheets, one for HTML, the other for PDF.
A new methodology for efficiency and compliance
User manuals, administrative documents for technicians and the hotline, today nearly 70% of documents are produced using the Calenco solution. A transition that took place without any particular difficulty. And with a little hindsight, Florence Bourcier, technical documentation manager, enthusiastically underlines the changes brought about by the choice of Calenco.
The evolution of the methodological approach is the first point that emerges when we talk about Calenco. Choosing Calenco required rethinking the technical documentation, thinking about the very structure of the documents and focusing on fine-tuning the content. “In a way, it is an invitation to work better.” she tells us.
The second point mentioned is the idea of sizing: “In its simplicity, [Calenco] specifically addresses the needs of Smart Rx; it is not a gas factory” declared Florence Bourcier. Calenco indeed offers a tailor-made response, which adapts to more or less complex needs. Only the functionalities useful to the customer are deployed, nothing superfluous, unlike many software packages offered on the market. “I use the entire solution provided and not just a tiny percentage,” explains Florence Bourcier.
Third point is the undeniable efficiency of Calenco. Everything is faster: creation of technical documents, revisions, updates. An observation also shared at the level of the maintenance department, where far fewer errors were seen. A change resulting from the improvement in the accuracy of the documents provided. A significant benefit, because the pressure on the technical documentation department is strong. With many requests. You have to produce quickly, be responsive, because the quality of documents has a direct impact on the 4004 pharmacies using Smart Rx.
“With Calenco, we have gained in compliance and speed ; an undeniable advantage in answering the questions of our pharmacist customers” concludes Florence Bourcier.
A feeling shared by Almudena San Romàn, project manager; who said: “Knowing how to size the solution to meet the genuine needs of the customer, knowing how to adapt to specific business requirements is a commitment on the part of the Calenco teams. Every customer is unique, so is every deployment”.