This is the long-delayed review of the MyMBS App by Galen Medical based in Melbourne, Australia. It is an App developed for doctors, nurses and proceduralists.
First off, what is the MBS? The Medicare Benefits Scheme or MBS, is a listing of the Medicare services subsidised by the Australian government. Most hospitals have a thick white book that one can flip through to look for the MBS item. However, for those who have internet access in their surgery/ practice/ hospital ward, you can alternatively find the MBS list available online at http://www9.health.gov.au/mbs/search.cfm .
So, the MBS is already available in a book and online! Who needs the iPhone App then?
You would need the thick white book if you don’t have an internet connection or you don’t have an iPhone (or don’t know how to use one), otherwise, you can keep the book underneath the table of your beloved administrative officer.
How about internet access versus the myMBS iPhone App? This is where it gets tricky.
Sure, the MBS is available on the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing website, BUT, you will need a computer terminal (which more often than not is occupied by your favorite person in the ward doing facebook) or a Smart Phone with internet access (if you can get a signal in the bowels of your lead-lined hospital or out-of-coverage country practice).
With the MyMBS app, you only download it once (hence no need for a constant internet connection) but get free updates the same way you would have with the offical MBS website.
Now, we go to the nitty-gritty of the myMBS App:
The search function of the myMBS app is pretty straightforward, just like the one on the offical MBS website. However, I would have liked the search function to be able to offer nearest word / spelling. We all make mistakes in spelling every now and then, whether it may be from mistyping on the iphone or just plain bad spelling.
Good clean interface. I like the colored tabs to make things easier to navigate.
Very useful favorites function so you can keep a quick reference for your common procedures. It would be nice to incorporate some of the calculator function to the favorites (e.g. – all the dollar values inside a folder should be added up together so that you just add the subtotal to another procedure / or set of procedures that you might do.
This is probably the main selling point of this app – adding up MBS items without touching a calculator! I do have some gripes about it. Whenever you add more to list of calculations, you always have to go through the list again from the add item button. I think it would be better if you just click a checkbox next to the MBS item that you need to add it on the list instead of going back and forth – too many thumb movements for me! (think of it as mouse clicks – the less the better). [correction, there is an additional calculator icon on certain items so that you can add them to the calculation panel without going through the add item box]. In addition, as I said earlier, having your favorite grouped items added together already and being able to choose it from the add item button would make wonders.
Another feature I would like to see is the ability to save the calculations or list for future reference. A further step would be to upload the list to a server so you can audit it again at some point.
4/5 Stars: Almost perfect for what it was made for but I envision a few tweaks that would make it a killer app!
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