Family Services Medical Centre cure their IT woes with Ironbark Healthcare Software

January 27th, 2005 by ironbark

27th January, 2005, Brisbane: Family Care Medical Services (FCMS) have gone live with  the Ironbark Healthcare system, developed specifically for medical deputising service  providers.

As Australia’s largest provider of after hours primary medical care services, FCMS runs the  after hours primary medical care home visiting service in South East Queensland and  clinics co-located with public hospitals.

General Practitioners subscribe to Family Care Medical Services so that their patients are  provided with primary care during the after hours period either by a doctor in their own  home or at an after hours surgery.

Following a period of growth both in terms of services and geography, it was becoming  obvious to Family Care that their existing systems were struggling to keep up with the  success of the company.

They recognised a need to implement a business management system which would  make it easier for them to comply with ever changing and increasing service delivery  standards set by the Government as well as to take advantage of the benefits available  to them by integrating new remote connectivity and data transmittal technologies into  their systems.

Family Care were running an outmoded Unix system into which there had been limited  investment over the previous twenty years.  This was causing the company several  headaches, not least being old and slow computer hardware and inflexible data  transfer methods.  Data entry was carried out via a user unfriendly DOS interface  incurring significant costs in staff training as well as data entry itself being extremely time  consuming.

As a company operating in a niche industry with complex and challenging  requirements, it was crucial that Family Care identified a supplier not only capable of  understanding their requirements but one with the experience required to develop a  dependable, yet innovative solution.

With these issues in mind, Family Care and Ironbark, in a joint venture, created Ironbark  Healthcare specifically for Medical Deputising Services.  The system has been developed  in Microsoft C#, part of the .NET environment and the most future proof development  language available today.

To ensure a seamless and disruption free switch to the new management system, the C#  solution was developed by Ironbark as a rollover system incorporating Family Care’s  existing systems and processes.  In addition, the old and new systems were run in tandem  for a month at the beginning of the Go Live process.  This meant that Family Care could  continue working with their existing processes and be sure that all of their staff were fully  trained and happy to use the new system before switching over permanently.

Ironbark Healthcare allows for fast and accurate appointment scheduling both for home  visits and surgery.  As patient calls are received by the Family Care control centre they  are assigned to the most appropriate doctor, according to variables such as where they  live and whether they have been seen by a particular doctor previously.  Priority patients  are graphically flagged to control centre  staff according to relative urgency of  complaint, waiting times and so on.

Doctors are able to access these schedules remotely using PDA’s equipped with GPRS  connectivity.   They can check their schedules ‘on the road’ to ensure any last minute  changes such as urgent or cancelled appointments can be incorporated into their  schedules immediately and can also send  any necessary information back to the  control centre.

In a company like Family Care where accuracy is essential it is fundamental that their  management systems are stable, robust and dependable.  Ironbark has not only  provided them with this but with a scalable, future proof solution capable of growing  with the business.

Since implementation, Ironbark Helathcare has become a key part of the Family Care’s  business  operation.  Family  Care  have  a  modern  system  which  is  quick  and  cost  effective to update as well as being adaptable to the future addition and integration of  new technologies.

The innovative use of one such technology – GPRS has streamlined the company’s  scheduling processes, allowing them and their patients to benefit from huge  improvements in efficiency and time saving.

“This was a challenging and complex project and it is testimony to the wonderful  teamwork that developed between Ironbark and Family Care Medical Services that  everything went so well.  I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the  exceptionally competent way in which the Ironbark team successfully upgraded and  implemented the software”

Jean Nixon, Director Special Projects, Family Care Medical Services


For more information about Ironbark please visit or phone   1800 649 524.

Contact: Natalina Ford

Marketing Coordinator

Ironbark Software

Ph: 1800 649 524


About Ironbark Software:  Ironbark Software develops and supports customized business management software for  high growth companies. We specialize in a number of different industries, including fresh  produce (from growers, to pack houses),  seafood, fuel distribution, manufacturing,  timber, building and construction and healthcare. Our specialist knowledge in our  industries, combined with our commitment to R & D has led Ironbark Software to be the  number one choice in business management systems for over 29 years.

Ironbark is software to grow with… 

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