The Picis Line – October 2018

Message from Marcus 


I spend a LOT of time on airplanes (in fact I’m writing this on a flight!).  Air travel has changed over the last several years.  With airlines charging for checked luggage, people now gather up prior to boarding to jockey for position to get on sooner.  The thinking is, if I get on earlier, I’ll have space to store the bag I didn’t want to pay to check.  Many people don’t even want to carry on their bag, but the cost to check it almost forces them to.

Subsequently, the airlines spend more and more time managing the boarding process.  They work to soothe passenger anxiety and squeeze as many bags as possible into those overhead compartments, which seem to be getting smaller too.  I’ve actually seen arguments break out, on the aircraft, between passengers and flight attendants and/or passengers and other passengers – all about the overhead space.  Plus, flights get delayed while flight attendants have to “gate check” bags because there’s just no more room in the overhead.  Oddly, some passengers now get what they want, checking their luggage without paying for it – but it’s a positive, unintended consequence of the policy that has created many negative, unintended consequences for its constituents.  Besides the aforementioned anxiety and conflicts, flights are often delayed because of the now elongated boarding process; deplaning after arrival is also more painstaking, which can delay departing flights or even cause missed connections; then there’s the impact of the pre-boarding gaggle that interrupts the travelers walking through the terminal.  All of these negative, unintended consequences come as a result of one mission – raise the bottom line.

Like any business leader, I know how to read a profit and loss statement.  And I do understand the need to get the right value for the product/service the business provides.  Sometimes, that can appear unnecessary but it actually is simply aligning to fair market value.  When we acquired Picis from Optum, we began charging customers for upgrades, a policy that was met with some pushback.  As we talked with customers about the value of the new release, the new enhancements and what that would mean in terms of value for them, the pushback slowed down.  I think the only challenge after that was that the policy created a need for facilities to budget for an upgrade in advance.  We tried to be flexible with those customers as worked through the time constraints of budget cycles.  Ultimately, our customers who have moved to the latest version of Picis are pleased with the value they have received!  Customers are now lining up for upgrades as budget becomes available as well and we are thrilled to have as many customers as possible on the latest version of our products – it means that we have more and more clinicians taking advantage of the enhancements that can make their days easier, so they focus more on patient care.

Upgrading software is a tricky proposition and we have learned some valuable lessons along the way.  The first was that the enhancements we think are impactful, actually aren’t always impactful.  Years ago, Picis built product enhancements based on what design features the individual developers thought were cool and fun to work on.  Early in my tenure at Picis, I asked a Director in our R&D group if he had received customer feedback – he actually asked me why we would do that.  In his mind, the planned enhancements were wonderful and exciting.  After some dialogue and a bit of firmness, he shared the enhancement plans with a handful of customers and the feedback was underwhelming.  He came back to me and said he’d decided to make adjustments to his enhancement plans because what his team thought was cool was of little interest to users.

We have since pivoted to a more customer-centric process, where we review planned enhancements with a subset of customers and ask which ones will make the biggest impact for them.  Doing that means we deliver value!!  Upgrades are never flawless because of the complexities our customers have in their environments.  We continue to refine our Quality Assurance process so we can minimize any potential issues before the upgrade is deployed.

All of these processes have made for smoother and smoother upgrades.  As we continue working on the next evolution of our products, we have taken some extra time to get feedback on the enhancements and functionality of our next major release.  We’re excited about not just the new look and feel of our next release, but also the functionality that our customers have told us they desperately want.  Maria Jaskela, our Director of Product Development, continues to work with customers to refine the needs of our users so the next version delivers on value!  It is definitely an exciting time to consider upgrading!!

Now if only I can figure out how to convince the airlines to change their policy – what if they charged to carry-on luggage instead of check it?  It would be great if they asked their frequent flyers what we thought of how that might upgrade our experience ☺

Marcus Perez
EVP, Picis


How to Capture a SqlSpy Log in Picis OR Manager

At times, your CSA will ask you to capture a SqlSpy Log.  This is a useful troubleshooting tool for diagnosing errors/issues that are being experienced by the end user.  The SqlSpy Log helps our developers identify a root cause.

Below are instructions for capturing a SqlSpy Log from the affected user’s PC.

In OR Manager

  1. Go to Tools.
  2. Select Options, then select SqlSpy On.
  3. Next, attempt to reproduce the problem and/or error.
  4. Once done, go back to Tools, Options and click on SqlSpy Capture.
  5. You should get a little window from which you can save the captured file.
  6. Save the file to your desktop and then attach the file to the case (ticket).
  7. To turn SqlSpy Off, go back to Tools, Options, and select SqlSpy Off.

R&D Update

8.6 Core Products

New releases coming

Web products


Picis 10

Professional Services

Did you know…

that Picis has a way to link out to a website like a difficult airway letter or Braden Risk Assessment Scale. You can link to a document, website or program via QuickLink.

Quick Links

You can integrate different types of add-ins called “quick links” with the patient chart to extend application functionality:

The Quick Link and Macros menus are displayed automatically if quick links of their type are configured. (The Screen Layout menu is always present.) Program quick links can also be included on the main toolbar and macros can be added to the macro toolbar. Buttons on the macro toolbar are often configured to appear pressed in after they have been used. Typical quick link programs include the Concurrency module and Internet Explorer.

 Contact our support team for more information!

CAB Corner

The US and Canadian customers met in September and reviewed the new booking tool that is included with MR4. This is a great tool to send an email when you book a Surgery, it can even send reminders via email!  We also introduced our new Product team: Maria Jeskela – Director of Product Management and Visi Sierra Ramos – Product Analyst. They will be working with customers and staff to move the product forward. Look forward to chatting with them in future about enhancements!

Harris Corporate News

There is still time to register for our customer conference! 

The 2 for 1 sale is still going on! See you in Chicago!

Event Details

Location: Hilton Chicago (Chicago, IL)

Dates: October 31st – November 2nd

Learn more HERE

Register HERE

To learn more about the discount, contact or your CSM (Customer Success Manager).

Upcoming Events

Tuesdays with Theresa Webinar

November Topic to be Determined

Save the Date!

Tuesday, November 6th at 9 am PST / 12 pm EST

Thank you for reading and see you for our next newsletter!

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