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Cornerstone 9.5 "is a life-saver" says super-user Alex DeRuiter

When he wants to learn something new, Alex DeRuiter takes matters into his own hands. Whether that’s mastering bonsai. Building a backyard bread oven. Or exploring the latest features in Cornerstone. During a rare moment of downtime at Grand Rapids Rapids Vet Clinic, Alex shared his impressions of the Cornerstone 9.5 upgrade, raved about enhancements like the new patient clipboard drop-down, and shared tips on getting team members up to speed on what’s new in Cornerstone.

Why do you and your staff prioritize upgrading?

Being a computer guy, I like to have the new features and to tinker around. And I've always assumed that there are extra security features when you upgrade.

What made you want to participate in the 9.5 beta?

We've participated in every beta for the last couple years. I’m just curious to see what’s new. Consistently with the Cornerstone upgrades there's always something nice!

How was the actual upgrade experience?

We operate 99% on thin client stations and just run Cornerstone on the server. So we only had to upgrade one computer. That took about 30 minutes.

How do you prefer to learn about what's new in an upgrade?

I like to read the release notes, then use some of my normal workflows to see what I’ll encounter in a typical day. So I’ll create and update appointments in the calendar. Run the various reports that are part of my daily life. And search for records like patient histories or testing invoice codes.

How do you typically train your team on what's new?

I look in the release notes for features that might affect their daily workflow. Then I direct their attention to those, like “hey, check this out, now you can go into the calendar and drag and drop appointments from one slot to another!”

(Like to learn by watching versus reading? Check out these short videos that highlight some of what’s new in Cornerstone 9.5, including improved navigation, new inventory features, and enhancements to the scheduler and patient clipboard—Ed.)

What’s your team’s favorite new feature?

They love the ability to recall previously accessed client/patient records using the drop-down in the patient clipboard. That’s been a lifesaver!

What are your top three new features?

Number one, I love the drop down for the patient clipboard. I use that multiple times a day. It’s great if a receptionist calls in sick and the phones are busier than usual. Or if you’ve got to recall a file that you forgot to attach, like lab work or records for the owner. Or when a doctor wants you to throw a note in the record of a patient from way earlier in the day.

The drag and drop in the calendar is my number two, I was really excited about that. We don't use it often, but it's neat.

The last one is being able to favorite specific reports and have those show up instead of having to sift through the hundreds of reports Cornerstone has available. That saves me time at least a couple of times a week.

Last question: if somebody at another practice said they were on the fence about installing the Cornerstone 9.5 upgrade, what would you tell them?

Come to our clinic and look at how easy it is to use. What's part of your daily routine that you're having trouble with, and let's see how we can do that same thing more easily in Cornerstone.

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