Like many startups, the beginning of this story begins in a cramped one-bedroom apartment with about 5 people who wanted to make a change.
OPIE Software: A story of Innovation and Opportunity
Just a little over 26 years ago, what we know as OPIE Software today was being built by a handful of developers and practitioners in the lively city of Gainesville. Like many startups, the beginning of this story begins in a cramped one-bedroom apartment with about 5 people who wanted to make a change. This local company is unique in that the founder and CEO, Paul Prusakowski, CPO/LPO initially launched the business as a website in 1995 that soon revealed the gap in technology that the Orthotic and Prosthetic profession was facing. The website quickly became a primary resource for information for professionals, patients, and the general public who wanted to learn more about orthotics and prosthetics.
After four years of development, Pruskowski decided to leave his clinical role at the UF Health Shands Orthotics and Prosthetics department to open a smaller practice where OPIE developers could work hands-on with clinicians to create the foundation of the EMR used in practices across the world today.
“[Clinician] workflows back then were fragmented. Our paperwork was spread out all over the office which constantly made our work more complicated and time consuming, especially when collecting payments” says Prusakowski.
OPIE Software serves a tight knit community of business owners, hospitals, clinicians, and administrators that make a difference in communities every day. To this day, the OPIE Software team continues to work with facilities to meet their evolving needs. In the OPIE HQ building located near Santa Fe, the practice Prusakowski opened all those years ago continues to serve the Gainesville community!
So, what is OPIE Software? Think back to the last appointment you had with a medical professional. When they reviewed your medical history and documented any of your concerns, was it on a computer or was it on paper? More than likely, your care providers are using an Electronic Medical Record (EMR or EHR) system to keep track of all their documentation, schedules, payments, insurance, and everything in between. Similar to the systems most providers use; OPIE Software is an EMR that is specifically designed for care providers and teams that work in the Orthotic and Prosthetic (O&P) profession. Practitioners in O&P commonly work with patients who have limb differences, amputations, and conditions that affect hands, feet, joints, and the patients’ overall mobility.
Although the profession and demand for care have been around for quite some time, when compared to other medical fields like general practice, pediatrics, dermatology, or dentistry, the O&P profession is on the younger side of the spectrum. Providing this type of care can be challenging not only because of the work that goes into customizing devices and components for patients, but insurance companies and payers make it difficult to collect for the care provided. OPIE Software helps clinicians provide care efficiently while encouraging a proven workflow that can help prevent claim denials and revenue loss so the clinicians can continue to do what they set out to do when they chose this profession: help their patients achieve maximum functionality and independence in their day-to-day lives.
OPIE Software has always maintained the overall goal to be the ultimate tool that helps the O&P community at large grow together. This vision has been made possible with the help of their team of over 90 people who are dedicated to the O&P profession as they continue to learn and innovate. As technology and the team advance, the future of OPIE Software is in the cloud. In 2019, OPIE launched its latest cloud-based app, OPIE Anywhere, that allows users to take their practice wherever their patients are located. Gone are the days of being tied to a desk and this has helped OPIE Software users immensely as they have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.
In general, the world of O&P is on the brink of change. Every day progress is being made in biodesign, 3D printing, and other fields that find creative ways to help those with limb difference and other conditions. The O&P profession is certain to continue to flourish in unimaginable ways and the OPIE Software team looks forward to continuing to contribute to the advancement of O&P!
Written by India Sugar