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Release Notes: October 2019

The October release of Alinity was deployed to Production sites October 17th. This release is made up mostly of minor refinements and bug fixes, but also sets the ground-work for the upgraded Corporations Management Module. The main features of the Corporations  Management Module—including online renewal and reinstatements—will go into production in November and December.

Corporations Management Module

This release launches the base components of the Corporations Management Module including support for corporate registration changes. If your organization regulates other organizations or must manage independent/private practice information tied to incorporated entities, the Corporations module provides a high level of automation for your workflows. The module supports online registration of new organizations, requirement tracking and follow-up, template based email communications, online Renewal and Reinstatement, and mid-year profile updates. Ownership tracking by share percentages is supported with confirmation processes for renewal and profile updates based on all shareholders, majority ownership, or designated contacts. The upgraded module is optional and, like all our optional modules, is available on a subscription basis for flat fee of $100/month which covers all administrators and members in your configuration.

Audit Schedules

The Audit module was enhanced to provide great control over when members and reviewers will see their audit forms. Audits generally start on a set date but you may want to email members in advance of that date with information explaining the audit. This scenario is now supported through a new “Audit Schedule” feature you can fill out to control when each audit will be accessible in the Member portal.  The schedule supports different dates for each audit-type defined in your configuration. This allows you to generate the audit group well in advance of when you want members to begin completing their forms.

Pre-Authorized Payment Exports

The standard Alinity export support was added to the Pre-Authorized-Payment screen. This is particularly important for organizations who have not implemented fully automated PAP support but do use an export of PAP subscriber information to update manually for provision to their bank.


Complaint/Discipline Outcomes

In previous releases of the Complaints module, outcomes used text descriptions and tags. Since tags can be created on-the-fly, this method did not provide as much rigour as a separate master table. In this release we have added full coding support to outcome types so that you can track and report against outcomes defined in a master table you manage.

New and Updated Queries

As with every release, new queries were added to make finding the information you need easier. Following is a quick summary of each new query organized by location in the software.

  • PAP Subscription management
    • Active: Returns all subscriptions that are currently effective.
    • By bank details: Returns all subscriptions whose bank withdrawal details match the options provided. Each option matches on whether the original value contains the given search text.
    • By rejected count: Returns all subscriptions with the given number of withdrawals having been rejected.
    • By year: Returns all subscriptions that are/were effective during the given registration year, as defined by your PAP Block start/end times.
    • Cancelled: Returns all subscriptions that are no longer effective.
    • Non-practicing Subscribers: Returns all registrants who have an uncancelled PAP subscription and whose current license is on a register not marked as active practice.
  • Corporation Registration management
    • A full set of queries, designed to mirror our existing registration queries for members, have been added to handle Corporation management. These are available from the Org management screen currently, and stay tuned for our upcoming, dedicated Corporation registration management page.

Other Changes and Bug Fixes

Profile updates attached to other form sets and workflows, such as Renewals, are now located exclusively with their parent forms. Previously, profile updates that were included as part of those workflows would also appear on the Profile Updates page. This update keeps profile update records that are essential to workflow in their proper context, while maintaining mid-year profile updates on their own page.

For organizations who allow their members to report continuing education/competence activities online outside renewal and also within their renewal form, an improvement was introduced to make the process easier for some members. Previously if a renewal was started and the member then tried to edit their education/competence activities outside the renewal form, they were blocked from doing so. The system advised them they would now need to use their renewal form to complete the reporting process. Some members preferred to withdraw their renewal form so that they could continue to report education/competence through the other menu option, but that was not always possible depending on the business rules that had to be met in order to get to the page with the “Withdraw” button on it. In this update we have ensured the “Withdraw” button is available on the first page of the renewal process to accommodate these members.

The People page was updated to include expired registrations in the default search and most query options. Expired records are identified by stricken-through text on the user interface (see screen shot). Previously, the page only included a registration record if that record was active within the registration year specified. If the record was expired however, it was filtered out. While it was always possible to run a query to search explicitly for expired registrations, filtering these records out by default when the current year is selected could “hide” records that should be moved to in-active practice register.

Support for dating registrations to take effect whenever paid was added to this release. This is now the default behaviour for non-renewal registration change forms so that the effective date for the new registration is set to the date the fees are paid. This is most useful on Reinstatements but can also apply to registration changes created directly by administrators. Overriding the default to make the registration effective (or to expire it) on specific dates is supported as before.

The menu system appearing on the left hand side of the screen has been updated to make it easier to locate related setup options. While all setup options appear in the Setup menu item as before, the options related to setup of Exams now appear under the main Assessments heading as well. The main “Exam” option has been moved to the main menu from beneath Assessments to make it quicker to navigate to.

A new business rule was implemented in the email process so that if merge fields remain in the template for which no data is available for replacement, an error will be reported to prevent sending the message out. This situation arises when an email is drafted with one data source which is eventually updated to a new data source (with different merge fields) before the message is sent out.

Updates were made to the Provincial Provider Registry interface to improve error checking and reporting of issues in transmission from your Alinity system to the PPR. If your system if using the previous version of this interface (V5) and your system is upgraded to the latest version of Alinity (V6), this interface can now be upgraded. Please talk with the Help Desk about getting this change scheduled if not already complete.

Business rules were added to several date fields in the system to ensure dates entered are within a reasonable range. This check will lessen the likelihood a date typed in error will be accepted by the application. The fields affected are:

  • Complaint: Opened Date
  • Complaint: Conduct Start Date
  • Complaint: Conduct End Date 
  • Complaint-Event: Complete Time 
  • Registrant Credential: (all date fields)
  • Registrant Employment: (all date fields)
  • Registrant Exam: (all date fields)
  • Person: Birth Date
  • Person: Death Date

The “Registration History” button (see screen shot) on the Registration page is a handy utility to show the full history of registrations for a member while also viewing their latest registration for the selected year on the main page. The query to retrieve those records was, however, very slow on some systems. The performance has been dramatically improved so that the information should now be available in a second or two on all systems.

A number of performance improvements were made in all screens involved with managing Continuing Education including learning plans and member submitted reports. The functions involved in calculation of current status were improved most dramatically. For many configurations the search page has seen a 10x improvement in speed.

The procedure to merge duplicate organizations had errors resulting from recent changes for Corporations Management module and which were not caught in our standard tests. The standard tests have been updated and those errors are corrected in this release.

When a member form (renewal, profile update, etc.) is approved, a PDF is generated for it and stored into the member’s document library. Prior to this release, if the member tried to click on the form while the PDF was being generated, a “Failed to load PDF document” message came up. This situation is now avoided and a read-only version of the HTML form is presented during the short period of time (5-10 seconds) the PDF is being generated and stored.

An access error was corrected in this release which allowed administrators employed by the College/Association, and which were also members of the organization, to edit and approve their own form submissions. This is now prevented for all form types.

For organizations that track supervisor relationships on employment, duplicate records would sometimes appear where multiple supervisors were active in the same year. No actual duplicates were ever created but the user interface has been corrected to display the separate records properly so that each supervisor-relationship is distinct.

An error in the email trimming process (used to free up disk space) was corrected where an error would sometimes appear when trimming very large messages.

Performance improvements were made to the Approval process for large application forms which were producing time-out errors. A time-out error occurs if a process requires more than 30 seconds to complete. A related improvement was made to the email preview screen which comes up in certain configurations automatically after certain form types are approved.

A correction was made to the process that automatically creates a continuing education plan for members to report activities into for the current year if one did not exist when their renewal was initiated. In previous releases this plan was generated whenever the member was renewing to an active practice type. However, this was incorrect if they were not in an active practice status in the current year and has now been corrected.

In rare circumstances an error in a field not presented on the screen would occur and no error message would result. This resulted in the changes not being saved, but no explanation reported as to why. This situation was resolved so that an error is now displayed in these circumstances. Errors of this type, when they do arise, typically require refinements be made to the screen design so that fields involved in the error condition can be edited.

We hope you enjoy the new release.  Please leave a comment to let us know what you think!