I have long thought we BigD-ers need a website where we could go for entering and reading simple reviews of holiday dialysis sites.
First, back in March last year, I thought, “Maybe I can build one!” So I had a go using WordPress Themeshop, after lots of emails from “helpful salespeople” but that was too complex. Then, in May I went to an online jobs site, where you pay experts to do this stuff for you. That was a waste of money. It took days to find someone who understood what I wanted and didn’t want the earth to do it. Once I chose someone, he was never available. It was not a good experience.
Swinburne University Community Collaboration
Finally, a friend told me about university community collaborations, where I could possibly work with IT students as part of their course, to help create and launch the site. I live close to Swinburne University, so I checked out the website, found the name of the Manager, Collaboration and Partnerships, and filled in the application form.
Sarah, the Manager, came back to me quickly, saying she was talking to relevant IT academics to see if this could fit as a student project. After several meetings, the project got the go-ahead, as part of the IT Semester 2 course! Winner!
Over the next five months, I met the students Matt, Angelo and Mitch, and their Supervisor, Janet. We had regular meetings, first to confirm the design and later to agree on how the system would look. They produced design documents, development and implementation plans and more. But most importantly, the developed the website.
And it is beautiful to behold.
Once the Semester was over, they presented it to a range of Swinburne IT academics and their peers, to great acclaim.
And they Invited me along, so I took photos, drank coffee and ate cake. To me, it was a double celebration: of their excellent coursework, of which they are justifiably proud and for BigD-ers around the world, the all-singing-all-dancing TravelDialysisReview website was born.
We uploaded the system in December, ready for release. However, it had no reviews, and it needed a few so that everyone could see how it all worked.
Then disaster. I caught a bug and developed heart problems (as per my previous blog entries) and was admitted to hospital. TravelDialysisReview website progress ground to a halt. Until now, more than eight weeks later.
While I’m not 100% well, for the sake of expediency, I think it’s time I just put it up and made it available to all. I had hoped to have a few more reviews and maybe a couple of small training videos to show how it works, but they can wait.
Quick User Guide
In case you missed it at the top. the site address is: https://traveldialysisreview.com/index.php
If you want to find a review, you can search for the unit by city, suburb, country, unit name or address. If the unit has been registered, it will appear in a list. Click on the name and go to the review.
If the unit is not listed, you can record a new unit details (though you need to register first). Fill in as much as you can and leave any missing bits for others.
Once it’s recorded, you can enter a new review for the unit (you also need to be registered for this). Enter an overall rating out of 5, with side ratings for Comfort, Quality of Care, Cleanliness and Ease of Booking (also out of 5). You can click on each heading to get a quick summary of what you are rating. Finally, add at least 20 characters about the unit.
Enter as many units and reviews as you like. Each new review appears at the bottom of the main screen after moderation. I promise moderation (checking for things that will get me sued) will be quick.