The pMD Blog

Welcome to the
pMD Blog...

where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.

"pMD is very user-friendly and easy to use on mobile! The previous software we had was great on the computer, but horrible on a phone. pMD is excellent on a phone - so good, in fact, that there's no point in using the computer anymore for capturing visits."


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The National Institutes of Health began a study in 2013, which is still ongoing, that aims to reveal how brain development is affected by various experiences, which include concussions, substance abuse, and screen time. CBS's "60 Minutes" reported on the early results of the study and found that heavy screen use was associated with lower scores on some aptitude tests. But the data is still preliminary and it's unclear whether the effects are long lasting.  Read More

•  St. Mary Medical Center's emergency department was facing a slew of problems, from overcrowding to gaps in leadership to changes in their electronic health record system. By hiring consultants and making updates to the design of their EHR documentation templates as well as to leadership and front-end processes, they were able reduce length of stay, left-without-being-seen rate, and the arrive-to-provider time.  Read More

•  According to a new analysis from the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS), Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) saved Medicare $2.7 billion to date, proving that ACOs are valuable and are saving American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  Read More

•  Families who don't qualify for subsidies under ACA (Affordable Care Act) are bearing the full cost of coverage as insurance premiums continue to rise. These financial challenges have pushed many to drop their coverage or turn to cheaper, less comprehensive insurance.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.





250,000. That is the number of deaths from medical error calculated in a study by patient safety researchers at Johns Hopkins. That would make medical error the third leading cause of death in the United States, outnumbered only by heart disease and cancer. Medical error is a problem that can affect anyone. Unfortunately, this doesn’t get the same amount of attention as other issues facing health care. Comparing medical error to the current drug epidemic in the United States, the Johns Hopkins report would put the death toll from medical error at 3.5 times the number of individuals killed by drug overdoses in 2016. However, thanks to great work being done by groups like IHI and AHRQ, as well as patient safety researchers, there are steps the health care industry can take to reduce medical error.

It is worth saying that Johns Hopkins’ estimate of 250,000 isn’t without criticism. Health care systems in the United States differ dramatically by location and finding a reliable estimate of the number of patients severely affected by medical error is no easy task. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not register medical errors as a formal cause of death and that the causes of medical error are hard to solve. Studies have found that common causes of medical error include fatigue, inadequate supervision, inadequate experience, and faulty communication. These causes are often institutional failures and can't be addressed by simply flipping a switch. So, what can be done in the face of a problem with such a broad scope and no single solution? And what can an individual practice do to start addressing medical errors in their own backyard?

One example of something hospitals could do to begin addressing this issue is to implement common sense systems to catch errors before they affect a patient. For example, medication errors, a common source for medical error, can be dramatically reduced by implementing systems like Barcode Medication Administration (BCMA), where a doctor or nurse scans the medication before giving it to the patient. This simple step gives the computer a chance to check the provider’s work. But, it isn’t necessary to implement new systems that can cost a practice thousands of dollars a year. For smaller clinics, simply applying “Do not Disturb” rules whereby those administering medication are able to work in a quiet place, free from interruption, was shown to reduce the error rate of those administering medication by roughly the same amount. Another key focus of patient safety research is patient handoff. Because of the complexity and variety of patients’ conditions, patient handoffs must adjust to fit the patient's situation and do have the potential to be a large source of communication errors. However, one study looking at patient handoffs found that implementing a mnemonic device, called I-PASS, to guide physicians through patient handoffs reduced adverse events by almost a third. Simple changes like using the I-PASS method are inexpensive and are designed to ensure that all critical patient information is communicated effectively and in a timely manner. Implementing these changes doesn’t have to come at the cost of reducing the quality of patient care. The same study found that there was no increase in time spent conducting patient handoffs and there was no decrease in time spent with patients.

Humans are prone to making mistakes, and doctors are no exception. One report says that rather than blaming individuals for mistakes, institutions can create a culture of safety in the workplace and design their systems to protect patients, making patients safer while unburdening doctors with the stress of being one simple mistake away from being on the bad end of a tragic statistic. pMD is proud to work with health care teams to promote communication in the hopes of preventing medical error and improving patient care.

Find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.









For those of us who are avid news consumers (myself included), a certain phrase has rapidly been appearing in the headlines with each passing day: the opioid crisis. The opioid crisis has captured the attention of the U.S. government and media due to its expansive grip on the American public and was recently declared a public health emergency by the current administration. This epidemic not only claims the lives of 130 Americans daily but also subjects a burden of nearly $78.5 billion a year on the U.S. economy. Countermeasures to this crisis have been enacted to provide necessary aid to health care providers and those who suffer nationwide. As active participants in health care, pMD is always seeking to provide a product that will positively impact our clients and the patients that they care for. For us to contribute in a meaningful way, we first have to examine the underlying causes of this opioid crisis.

What Caused the Opioid Crisis?

To understand the actions that government and local communities are currently taking, the first thing that must be addressed is the underlying causes and societal impacts of the opioid crisis. Opioids (and subsequent opioid addiction) have had a presence in American health care since the Civil War, beginning with the use of morphine to treat U.S. soldiers wounded in battle. Then in 1898, Bayer Pharmaceuticals released a new drug that was intended to be a non-addictive alternative to morphine: heroin. Heroin was seen as incredibly addictive, with doctors in the U.S. having objections to the drug as early as 1899. The U.S. endured two major heroin epidemics, once during the Vietnam War era and then again during the late 1980s. With the introduction of prescription opioids such as Oxycontin in the 1990s, the numbers of addicted Americans skyrocketed. Today, there is a strong link between opioid overdose and prescription opioids.

To provide some context on the severity of the opioid situation, here are some startling statistics:

Nearly 11.5 million Americans misuse prescription opioids with over 40 percent of all opioid-related overdoses being attributed to prescription opioids.

The CDC states that those who use prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to use heroin compared to 2 times more likely for those who consume alcohol.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) finds that more Americans die from opioid overdoses than motor vehicle crashes.

The Midwest has seen a 70 percent increase in opioid overdoses from 2016 to 2017.

Large cities across the country continue to struggle with opioid addiction, as 16 major cities saw a 54 percent increase in opioid related overdoses.

Overall, the United States is taking a major hit from the over prescription and trafficking of pharmaceutical opioids.

Current Response

Recent laws that have been passed to address the opioid crisis include the bipartisan Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. SUPPORT has many potential positive impacts on the opioid crisis, ranging from increasing the amount of first responders carrying naloxone to the expansion of access to addiction treatment for Medicare and Medicaid patients. This law requires state agencies to establish drug management programs, notably state-run databases called Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP)PDMPs are increasingly being integrated into Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, allowing for easy access and real-time updates to a patient’s history. PDMPs are also actively managed by U.S. health departments to help form more effective responses to the crisis using real data.  

pMD Solutions

pMD is passionate about improving the lives of patients and having a positive impact on health care. So, what can pMD do to help with the opioid crisis? Now that all 50 states have functional PDMPs, physicians are required to accurately document patient interaction with opioids in their daily visits. pMD’s customizable software can help groups capture necessary data relating to opioid interactions and pMD’s Care Navigation and Clinical Communication tools would also be an asset to opioid recovery teams throughout the country. Opioid recovery teams are comprised of professionals who cover all the bases of opioid recovery to increase patient success, including behavioral health specialists, physicians, social workers, peer recovery coaches, and even lawyers. pMD creates a space for care teams to successfully track the progress of opioid recovery patients while also communicating with each other on the same platform. This, in turn, allows the health care system to have a more significant impact on the opioid crisis as a whole. For as long as the opioid crisis exists, pMD will continue to find ways to spread awareness and create solutions that will have a positive impact on the U.S. health care system.

Find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.






Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Health care spending has slowed down for the second year in a row. The lower rate can be attributed to a slower growth in hospital services, clinics, and physician offices, which make up 63% of health care spending, according to the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Read More

•  The USDA is easing up on the nutrition rules for school lunches. While the lunches are healthier than they were 5 years ago, schools need to have a little more flexibility in serving meals that kids would actually eat in order to avoid wasting food. The new rule gives administrators more leeway in serving non whole grain-rich breads and pastas, which is currently a requirement unless a waiver is in place.  Read More

•  Two rideshare giants are competing head to head to move into the health care space. Both Uber and Lyft have hired health care executives in an effort to become leaders in health care transportation services, providing reliable and comfortable transportation for patients.  Read More

•  The placenta has long been deemed an afterthought but more and more, scientists are viewing this ephemeral organ as critical to understanding the health and course of pregnancy. The placenta is the missing link between complications during pregnancy and development of the fetal brain.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In the wake of a growing trend where parents opt to not vaccinate their children, reported cases of measles worldwide have been on the rise. Measles, a highly contagious scourge, had been nearly eradicated in many parts of the world just a few year ago. However, due to under- or unimmunized children in recent years, measles outbreaks are increasing in places like the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean region, and Europe. At least 95 percent of a population must have immunity to control the spread of measles, according to public health officials.  Read More

•  Lyft, a ride sharing application, has announced the hiring of its first ever VP of Health Care.  Lyft has been focusing its efforts on reducing the health care transportation gap for patients and addressing some of the social determinants that cause care disparities.  Read More

•  The number of children in the U.S. who don't have health insurance is increasing, according to a report released on Thursday by Georgetown University. Advocates for children's health blame the current administration's policies on enrollment health plans for this rise. The uninsured rate for children rose by 276,000 in 2017.  Read More

•  In response to the ever-growing sentiment that physicians are becoming bogged down by EHRs, the federal government drafted a new strategy that details goals to reduce clinician burden surrounding their interaction with EHRs and improve EHR ease of use, while still meeting regulatory requirements.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  For over a decade, hospitals across the U.S. have been merging at a rapid pace. Hospitals argue that consolidation benefits patients because of cheaper prices from coordinated services. However, in a recent analysis, mergers have been shown to actually cause an increase in prices on average hospital stays.  Read More

•  The Department of Health and Human Services is looking to remove regulatory barriers to sharing health information and recently passed the HIPAA request for information (RFI) on to the Office of Management and Budget. This is a big step in HIPAA reform as electronic data-sharing is becoming more the norm in health care.  Read More

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received at least 252 cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. This polio-like disease has affected a number of children between the ages of 2 and 8. The illness starts with a fever and, in some cases, progresses to paralysis.  Read More

•  In March, Uber launched a HIPAA-compliant health platform that allows providers to schedule rides for patients.  Now, Uber is seeking supporters within the industry to help expand its reach and help address access gaps for patients with limited transportation means and no cell phone.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) proposed a new rule on Thursday that gives states more control over setting rates for capitated payments as well as providing a three-year transition period to shift from fee-for-service to managed care. The proposed reform would allow states to include access to telehealth providers and define what qualifies as a "specialist" in determining network adequacy standards.  Read More

•  Respondents to new research are skeptical about the role electronic health records (EHRs) will play in precision medicine, saying in a recent report that precision medicine may be too complex for EHRs. Hospitals all over the world are embarking on precision medicine work, even if EHR vendors are not poised to dominate the realm.  Read More

•  In recent experiments, mice genetically modified to develop symptoms like those of Alzheimer's were given a synthetic form of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, a substance found in marijuana, over a six week period. These mice performed as well as healthy mice on a memory test. Mice given placebos instead of THC exhibited signs of memory loss.  Read More

•  How much do you remember from this week's health care news? Take the weekly health quiz to find out!  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.





pMD is a small company, and we often say that we wear a lot of hats. Even so, I’m often on the receiving end of an eyebrow raised in surprise when I tell my friends outside of pMD that I oversee employee onboarding.

“Isn’t customer success your job?” “Isn’t employee onboarding part of a whole different department?” “Do you want to put that beer down?”

My answers, in order: yes, no (but please don’t ask me to help file your I-9), and definitely not.

Customer success is indeed my job. I make sure that our customers have the best possible experience with pMD, from implementation to training to ongoing support. This is exactly why I am so involved in employee onboarding. All of us at pMD, from operations coordinators to senior software engineers, interact with our customers on a daily basis, so it’s extremely important that new folks start to practice customer interactions early and often.

Helping our clients in a support and training capacity is one of the first ways that our new employees start contributing at pMD. They spend their first few weeks at pMD in “bootcamp,” learning the fundamentals of how to be a “pMD-er.” So, what makes a good pMDer?

1) Understand what pMD does and why we do it. Some of our new employees come to us with a background in health care, while many others do not. A big part of getting up to pMD speed is learning not only about our specific products, but the current state of health care in the United States, and most importantly, pMD’s mission to improve health care and save lives.

2) Be willing to work hard and go above and beyond for our customers. pMD is so proud of our unparalleled customer service, and it’s imperative for that part of our culture to get passed down to every new person that joins our team. After any interaction with a pMD employee, we want a customer to feel not only that their question was fully answered, but that their day is at least slightly improved after speaking with one of us.

3) Master the basics. Each employee has a long road of continuous professional development ahead of them, but with the help of their mentor, by the time they graduate from bootcamp, they will be proficient in giving top-notch software trainings to new users, providing the best customer service experience to our existing clients, and ready to hit the road for their next on-site implementation! (Pro-tip: dry clean your suit before each trip.)

Most of our employee onboarding process (aside from all that pesky paperwork) is focused on industry knowledge and pMD product knowledge, all with the goal that our newest hires can successfully jump right into pMD life as soon as they graduate from newbie to contributor. The way I see it, employee success equals customer success: two birds, one stone.

Find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.






Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Amazon Web Services (AWS) is working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to leverage cloud technology in order to make big biomedical datasets more easily accessible in health care and and for researchers. AWS is joined by Google Cloud and others for NIH's STRIDES Initiative, or Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability.  Read More

•  On Thursday, the government announced a new payment model that would more closely align Medicare Part B drug costs with prices of the same drug in other countries. This new payment model, called the International Pricing Index (IPI), is projected to save Medicare over $17 billion over a five-year pilot.  Read More

•  You've heard of microplastics showing up on beaches all over the world. And now, researchers have even found microplastics in samples of human waste from individuals spanning across 8 different countries. There's a concern that microplastics might be entering the blood stream, lymphatic system, and even the liver.   Read More

•  The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new flu drug, Xofluza, which is expected to work against drug-resistant strains. The drug is not approved for young children and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still strongly recommends that every American over six months of age get the flu shot as soon as possible.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.