Our careers rarely follow the path we expect. That’s certainly the case for Frank and Lorraine Pyefinch.
They started their careers at the hospital in the small Queensland town of Alpha, working together as a doctor and nurse, respectively. Never, in their early days of marriage, did they expect that Lorraine would one day be elected as Mayor of Bundaberg Region. Nor did they think that Frank’s evening hobby of writing computer code to log rainfall and track his wine collection would lead to the creation of two multinational medical software companies. But that’s exactly what happened.
If you’ve recently visited a general practitioner, there’s a fair chance your family doctor is using a software program created by Frank and Lorraine.
Frustrated at the time it took to manually write prescriptions by hand when he was working at Aberdovy Clinic on Crofton Street, Frank developed his own program and in 1992 he started selling the product to other doctors. Between patients and caring for their children, Frank and Lorraine spent their lunch breaks and evenings providing technical support to customers. Their weekends and holidays were spent at medical conferences, demonstrating the software.
They sold their first business in 1999 and by 2004 they’d developed a new product, called Best Practice Software, which could take patient appointments, keep medical records, produce scripts, check pathology and bill Medicare.
About 65 per cent of general practitioners in Australia use Best Practice today. Specialists and allied health professionals across Australasia are using their products too, and they’re working on innovative new cloud-based options.
Lorraine said she and Frank were proud of Best Practice. “We pinch ourselves sometimes and think ‘wow, look what we’ve done’,” she said.
At the forefront of the medical software industry for 30 years and now with more than 250 staff, Frank said they could stop ‘churning out code and attending endless trade shows’, and focus their energy on providing opportunity to young people in Bundaberg and skilled professionals moving to the Region.
They recently opened a new 80-seat contact centre in Bundaberg to complement their existing head office on Woongarra Street and offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Hamilton in New Zealand.
“We’ll be opening up more traineeships for school leavers in Bundaberg who are interested in STEM, specifically technology, and want a professional career, but may not want to go to university or do a traditional trade,” Frank said. “A lot of our staff have started as trainees or new graduates and are now in leadership roles. We support their professional development. One of our guys has recently completed his Masters in Cybersecurity, so the roles are quite varied.”
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