7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2017 10:55 AM by roparry

    Is filemaker the right solution?


      Man, I've spent about 5 hours digging and I'm still pretty confused as to whether or not I should jump into Filemaker for my limited use scenario.


      I have a small therapy company with 8 therapist.  I have my therapists complete a pretty simple spreadsheet that tracks their time.  Basically they clock in and out, and record the total count of tasks performed for that day... patients treated, daily notes, evaluations, etc.  Using this information and a pre-determined time value for each of these tasks, I can calculate billable time, and overall productivity.


      What is missing for me is the ability to do more than look at, or manually compile this data over time in other spreadsheets to report trends, comparisons between disciplines, etc.


      What I am imagining in my head.

      1. Therapist logs into a website and has the ability to start a new daily timesheet, save it, work on it periodically during the day, then at the end of the day submit it.  Each therapist would probably be "connected" for less than 10 minutes per day completing it, four days per week.
      2. Data is saved in the database and tagged with the name, date, and discipline of each therapist that submitted it.
      3. Then I am able to login and report the data in many different ways.
        1. A simple date range list report with each therapist and their total hours for that date range for payroll.  Ideally exported such that I could import into payroll software.
        2. A date range report showing the average productivity of each therapist over that range.  Would be cool if I could even formulate this into a narrative.  During this period you saw X patients, completed Y evaluations, etc.
        3. Be able to run a report that compared individuals over time in a line graph.  I've done this manually in a spreadsheet, but it takes forever to keep up with.


      Is filemaker the right choice?  I mean, I'm sure that it can do all this.  But I only have 8 people that will barely use it.  My budget is less than $500 per year to pull it off.  I'm just hoping someone can tell me whether or not this is a relatively easy thing to do on this platform and if it can be done inexpensively for such a small team with limited use.

        • 1. Re: Is filemaker the right solution?

          Yes, FileMaker is the right choice.  Yes, it's quite simple to build in FileMaker.  Will it cost you less than $500?  No, probably not.  Even if you count the value of your time at $0 (I highly doubt your time is worth nothing), you still will have FileMaker licensing (which is quite reasonable since it lets you build this very fast without a CS degree) and some likely recurring hosting costs.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Is filemaker the right solution?

            I concur with eric.

            From a technical perspective FM is a good candidate however i think your budget will eliminate any custom solution development.


            You might want to try something like TSheets...

            #1 Rated Time Tracking Software | TSheets


            Or Toggl

            Toggl - Free Time Tracking Software

            • 3. Re: Is filemaker the right solution?

              Yes, Filemaker is able to do this and is not that difficult to do.  Here is a link that will help you. It’s the Filemaker Training Series. I am also attaching a Filemaker and HIPAA document I found (2006).




              You wrote…”Basically they clock in and out, and record the total count of tasks performed for that day... patients treated, daily notes, evaluations, etc. “


              If no personal identify or protected health information is recorded then disregard below…


              Some concerns you need to figure out are:


              Are you complying with HIPAA? Or do you need to?


              Will you be using Protected Health Information?


              Will you be using Personal Identity Information?


              I suggest that you contact some other PT businesses that you are friendly with and find out what they are doing to protect this confidential information.  If you have the patient’s name, procedure, or other identifiable information such as Social Security and the like then you need to protect the data. The best way is to review HIPAA requirements to determine what you need to do.


              I tracked Patient Outcome data for all Cardiac Arrest, Heart Attack, Stroke, and Trauma Alert patients for the fire department. I did not have support from out IT department. I ended up encrypting (TrueCrypt) a partition of my desktop hard drive where I stored the file. This was in the FMP 11 days. My office and the building were secure. Backups were done to an encrypted drive that was locked in a safe.



              • 4. Re: Is filemaker the right solution?

                Thanks Mike!  No HIPPA requirements, just straight total numbers being entered. 

                • 5. Re: Is filemaker the right solution?

                  That makes things a whole lot easier. I know you are busy but spend some time and go through the Filemaker Training Series and FMI just released the replacement to this  New video tutorials and DevCon videos published. Be worth your time to look into this.

                  • 6. Re: Is filemaker the right solution?

                    Sometimes the key question is not "can fileMaker do this?", but "Can YOU do it with FileMaker?". It may require that you invest some time and possibly some $$ in acquiring the skills needed to set up a solution that meets those requirements. How much will be needed will depend on your abilities, current knowledge and how fast/well you can learn from the available training materials.


                    And we'll be happy to answer specific questions here in this forum as well.

                    • 7. Re: Is filemaker the right solution?

                      We have just released the Custom App Academy to help users get started with FileMaker.  Tutorial 201 and 202 are centered around a physical therapy clinic


                         FileMaker Custom App Academy

                      Learn how to build custom apps with self-paced video tutorials

                      Get started: www.FileMaker.com/learning/custom-app-academy