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Meet Our Team | Miles Saunders

Meet Healthcode’s Product Owner – VEDA and Healthcode Account

Tell us about your role and responsibilities at Healthcode?

In nine and a half years with the company, I’ve had a few different jobs. I started in Customer Services, then moved to Quality Assurance before taking up a Business Analyst role for about seven years.

The role of Product Owner was created quite recently to drive product development in different areas of the business. There are three of us and I look after VEDA, Healthcode Account and the team that supports our ePractice software.

My first big project in November 2022 was the launch of Healthcode Account, our improved login process which enables customers to access all their services with their own email address and password, instead of a long User ID. They’ve told us it’s much more user-friendly than before and best of all it means they’re no longer ‘locked out’ of their account. 

Our VEDA system is probably the biggest part of my remit now. I am responsible for managing it in its current form and overseeing future development.

What does this mean for customers?  

While the name VEDA might not be that familiar to our ePractice customers, it’s effectively the gateway to our core business services. For example, third-party practice management systems have always connected to VEDA so practitioners and practices can send invoices to insurers via our Clearing Service. Providers VEDA to do things like send electronic bills, obtain insurer pre-authorisation, send secure messages or check The PPR (Private Practice Register) etc.

We’re now in the process of rewriting all our VEDA modules and the VEDA system itself which will make an enormous difference. There’ll be a new back end to make everything faster, a new user interface (UI) that will be much more intuitive and we’re adding loads of new features to help customers run their businesses.

It’s a major development programme, starting with our Membership Enquiry and Pre-Authorisation modules.

How will you ensure these projects are a success?

I previously worked on Pre-authorisation and VEDA which means I’m already familiar with the system and understand the issues and I’m pleased to have the chance to address these in my new role.

It’s equally important that we go out and ask customers what they want from us and what we can improve on. We’ve been speaking with three or four big hospital groups and one of the big insurers to gather feedback about what works well and what we need to improve on. All that information feeds into our product roadmap which helps set out what we need to do and when.  

We’ve also implemented better management processes as part of our Transformation Programme so we can get things done more efficiently. In the past, we’ve tried to tackle massive projects which have tied up resources and caused delays. The development model we’re using now is more like a production conveyer belt where all the items are manageable and allocated to a team. That gives us loads more flexibility so we can get stuff done more quickly for customers, including bug fixes. A lot more of the work is automated, such as product testing and eventually we’ll be able to release features into a live environment, without the need to take our systems down overnight. 

What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?

It’s going to be a busy year for the company overall with product launches like our ground-breaking eBooking service. From my perspective, I’m looking forward to the release of new versions of our Pre-authorisation Service and Membership Enquiry and the teams involved are working hard. Overall, it’s exciting to see how much there is on our product roadmap and you’ll see us pick up the pace now that we have the foundations in place.

Meanwhile, we’ll continue to resolve issues with our existing products and services and support customers so they can run their businesses efficiently.

What do you like best about working for Healthcode?

My new role gives me more of a platform to engage with customers and build strong long-term relationships with them.

I love seeing customers use us for our excellent service and great products, with useful features that save time and money. Until recently, I think we’ve had some really innovative solutions but the user experience had not been at the level we’d like. Now we have the resources and organisation to transform our products and make a difference for customers – it’s rewarding to be part of that process.

And finally, how do you switch off outside work?

I enjoy a quiet life. We have two dogs – a ten-month-old Cavachon and an 11-year-old Lhasalier – so there’s plenty of dog walking to do. Although there’s quite an age gap, they get on really well and I think having a younger dog around has given the older one a new burst of energy. When I’m not exercising the dogs, I like gaming and programming and winding down in front of the TV or with a book.

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