Tonic - Release Notes

Greetings Tonic Fans and welcome to this latest edition of Tonic’s software release notes!

With the holidays upon us, it got us thinking about how Tonic’s core platform is a lot like the month of December: we have well-known features that are celebrated widely, and we even have separate features for those who follow different paths to healthcare enlightenment. But when cool new functionality launches on Tonic, it’s sometimes hard for these fancy new features to get their just desserts amongst the giants. So this edition of our release notes is dedicated to all those national holidays in December that may not get the fanfare of the more famous festivities but nonetheless deserve their moment in the spotlight. Plus this gave us yet one more excuse to observe National Rhubarb Vodka Day (Dec. 3).

Ready to learn about all these amazing new features on your favorite patient data collection platform? In honor of National Microwave Oven Day (Dec.6), let’s get cooking!

1). New and Improved Co-Pay Collection: while our co-pay functionality has always been simple to use, we decided to double down on creating an amazing patient experience and thus added animations for each step of the payment process and re-designed how we present receipts to make each charge even more clear. Thus, like National Baking Soda Day (Dec.30), this slick new co-pay design will really make your revenue cycle efforts rise to the occasion!

2). Even More Choices When Verifying Patient Answers: Tonic has long allowed you to edit any patient answers before they get pushed into the EHR or stored in our awesome backend reporting system. But we’ve added even more capabilities to validate patient answers, including the ability to mark or flag questions for further review, the ability to create and save filters for easy searching, and the addition of a rules engine that allows you to customize which surveys (or even individual answers) require review and which don’t. These features are as sweet as National Maple Syrup Day (Dec.17). Dear Canadian customers: agreed that we should not have a holiday for this.



3). Expanded Patient Information At The Point of Care: receptionists and administrators love how much patient information Tonic provides at their fingertips in order to confirm that the right survey or co-pay request gets to the right patient on the right device in the right setting (either in-patient or ambulatory). So we didn’t wait until National Flashlight Day (Dec.21) to shine an even brighter light on patient details, including encounter-specific information (such as visit type and provider) and tertiary financial class for even more robust compliance.

4). Customize The Scoring of Your Risk Assessments and Screeners: Real-time screening of patients has always been one of the most popular use cases for Tonic among our beloved customers. But some asked for even greater precision in how the risk scores are calculated so we added this gift under the tree this month too. Now you can choose if you want your risk score to be calculated as a whole number or be rounded to either the tenth or the hundredth decimal point. And all this just in time for National Dewey Decimal System Day (Dec.10)!


5). You Can Now Sort and Filter the Census List: unlike National Card Playing Day (Dec.28), the goal with in-patient compliance is to take as much risk out of the equation as possible. Thus, we added the ability to easily sort the Census list by admission date, patient name and location to further ensure that all the required surveys and consent forms for each patient are completed prior to discharge. Never be dealt a bad patient data collection hand again!
6). Consent Forms Get Even Better (As If That Was Possible!): never one to rest on our laurels – or on our mistletoe for that matter – we’ve built upon our industry-leading consent form functionality by now also allowing you to automatically insert the name of the person who administered the consent form too. You don’t have to wait for National Cupcake Day (Dec.15) to realize that this is the icing on the cake of a platform where you can simultaneously collect signatures of a patient, a provider, a witness and an administrator all on the same form and all at the same time!

Consent form

7). Greater Flexibility For Scheduling Survey Delivery and Appointment Reminders: most chefs looking to celebrate National Roast Suckling Pig Day (Dec.18) know that timing is everything. Well same thing goes with sending out surveys, forms and appointment reminders on Tonic. Our platform has always allowed you to schedule the delivery of said survey or reminder any number of days before or after the encounter or event. But now we’ve added the ability to also schedule delivery times within any number of hours before or after the event too. Side of bacon not included...


8). Likert Scales Now Come In Even More Flavors!: nothing stirs passions quite like the Likert Scale survey question. Some dismiss it as open to bias, while others say that’s like calling a violin a piece of wood with strings (which we would never do, especially on National Violin Day, Dec. 13). So we made it even easier for all sides to agree by giving you even more options to customize! While our Likert Scales previously allowed for a continuum of colors and images to make it easier for patients to understand the polarity of the answer choices, we’ve now added the ability to instead display any Likert Scale with the same image and with a monochrome color of your choosing (blue, orange, purple, etc.) And of course, you still have the choice to present the Likert Scale in either vertical or horizontal fashion as well. Itzhak Perlman would be proud (had he dropped the violin and become a clinical informaticist instead).
9). Streamlined Individual Patient Reports: though Tonic offers a cornucopia of different types of reports, a particular customer favorite is the individual patient report that filters all relevant discrete data into one easy to view “CliffsNotes” version. Yet the breadth of this .pdf report meant it had the tendency to run long and thus force too much scrolling when viewed online or in the EHR, or chew up too much paper when printed out. In other words, depending on the length of the survey it could become a rather thick stew of information, which works great on National Bouillabaisse Day (Dec.14) but less so on others. So we redesigned it from scratch to ensure that this type of report now presents all necessary information in a much more compact way. No more soup for you!


10). Full iOS 10 Support: all of Tonic’s native iPad and iPhone apps now work seamlessly with the latest version of Apple’s best-in-class operating system. Note that we would have done this even if Apple hadn’t continued to be such a fantastic partner to Tonic (which they have been!) – and even if National Eat a Red Apple Day didn’t fall in December (Dec.1).

So those are the major features to come out of Tonic’s magic workshop over the past few months. We are hard at work on the next batch of data collection wizardry, and look forward to telling you more about them early next year.

And for those of you who still wonder what effect said wizardry has on patients, see for yourself firsthand!:

Wishing you the happiest of holidays,

Your Devoted Tonic Development Team