Member Services: Meeting Membership Requirements For Online Services

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is a national voluntary organization of family physicians that makes continuing medical education of its members mandatory. The College strives to improve the health of Canadians by promoting high standards of medical education and care in family practice, by contributing to public understanding of healthful living, by supporting ready access to family physician services, and by encouraging research and disseminating knowledge about family medicine.

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cfpc.ca

Challenge:

CFPC has significant data collection needs, ranging from registration forms to surveys, servicing its 15,000-physician membership. Like many of us, CFPC members are busy people and they prefer completing online forms rather than paper forms due to their efficiency – no printing, mailing or faxing. Demand is increasing for CFPC to provide online options more often for their membership. The online programs team has the challenge of delivering new online solutions. This team had the following requirements for a solution:

  • Easy-to-use

    Current skills on the team primarily consist of design skills, not programming skills. Good-looking forms could be built, but integrating forms with backend databases needed to be addressed. .

  • Fast implementation

    Previous efforts to build forms would take a week or longer per form. This was not meeting their end-customers turnaround requirements and was also consuming too many internal resources to accomplish.

  • Cost-effective

    With budget constraints, CFPC did not have the resources to outsource the development of forms. They wanted an in-house solution that could leverage existing resources and skill sets. They were also looking for a flexible solution that would support multiple form formats – they did not want to be stuck with just one option.

  • Reliable

    With over 15,000 members, CFPC needed to deliver online solutions that are reliable. Online forms, servers and data routing needed to be available at all times and be able to handle a high volume of responses in a very short timeframe. Previously, internally developed solutions had crashed.

Solution:

To meet their online form requirements, CFPC selected FormRouter. Using FormRouter technology, they have already built over 10 forms for several projects. CFPC has

  • Solicited feedback from its membership to provide input to the newly elected government (June 2004)
  • Developed a major events program for the Family Medicine Forum 2004 by collecting presentation submissions
  • Captured file attachments including Microsoft Word and PDF documents as part of their forms
  • Quickly built forms with FormRouter’s Simple Form Builder and with Macromedia Dreamweaver
  • Enabled the autorun feature of FormRouter to download captured responses every couple of minutes
  • Integrated responses directly to a SQL database

Benefits:

CFPC has greatly enhanced their online programs for their membership. As a result, membership and department heads are very excited about leveraging this new capability. The online programs team has realized the following benefits thus far:

  • Form development time has been reduced from one week or more, to hours
  • Stability and reliability yield confidence. The system has handled every form submission and associated attachments flawlessly
  • Expanded capabilities of its in-house resources to meet the requirements of its membership and internal leadership

Summary:

CFPC is responding to the demands of its membership and its internal customers by delivering user-friendly, interactive online forms. As a result, efficiencies are created throughout the organization for both end-users completing forms and for internal staff needing to create forms and process captured responses.

 

 

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