The pMD Blog

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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.






When I was an intern in college, I remember thinking, "wow, these free snacks are such a treat." Little did I know that I was missing out on so much more from a work environment. Nowadays, the bar is set so high that it’s barely a blimp in the sky. With startups offering impressive amenities like game rooms, unlimited paid time off, trips abroad, catered meals, shuttle buses, and even onsite gyms, how does a candidate even begin to know which place is the best place for them?

Take it from someone who works for a company that has actually been awarded a Best Place to Work (BPTW) many times over -  it’s all smoke and mirrors unless you can find the right balance of work, culture, and life. So what does it take to win and sustain multiple BPTW awards? While there’s no simple formula, and every company’s situation is varied, I’d like to think of these as the key building blocks that form the foundation of a desirable office environment:

Take Your Time, Be Extra Picky

I’m sure you’ve heard about the extensive hiring processes at some of the major tech companies, like Google's 9+ step process, for example. It’s insane to think that a hiring process can span several months but there’s a good reason for it. At pMD, we may not reach the level of a 9-step process but ours is certainly as thorough and comprehensive. We choose to do it this way not with the intent to intimidate but to find that special candidate who can ultimately accept any challenge, think analytically, engage with customers on a meaningful level, and interact seamlessly with the team. In short, we’re extra picky about who we recruit because we want the absolute best and brightest who’s passionate about improving health care and becoming an integral part of our pMD family. We also appreciate a good dad joke here and there. Got any?

Reward Your Team, They Work Hard!

According to a recent article by Training Journal, “staff are any organization’s most valuable asset and [...] need to be nurtured, supported and encouraged if they are to be successful”. I couldn’t agree more. pMD does a great job of rewarding not only individual performances but also performance across the entire team. With our quarterly and annual assessments, we can look forward to rewards like cash incentives, cabin leases in Lake Tahoe, a day at the spa, a day spent racing cars on a track, a new coffee machine for the office, dinners at upscale restaurants, credits to purchase your favorite bottles of wine or spirits, and even trips to tropical destinations. Your team should know they’re valued, so showing your appreciation by way of incentive, big or small, is always a show of good faith.

Focus on Career Development and Transparency

I think one of the biggest mistakes a company can make is to neglect the professional development of its employees or better yet, to not make that its biggest priority. Building a successful company and successful team starts with nurturing at the individual level. However, as the Atlantic points out, simply having a mentorship program in place is not grounds for successful career development. Providing transparency from all directions - from management, from mentor, and from mentee - can help a mentorship program thrive. What does that mean exactly? It means having clear expectations of the responsibilities of both the mentor and mentee and providing an open feedback channel between the company, mentor, and mentee. pMD’s mentorship program begins on your first day in the office and continues throughout your entire career at pMD. At any given moment, you can be both a mentee and mentor and that’s where I think pMD gets it right. You’re continuously learning while at the same time passing down the knowledge you’ve learned.

Let Them Eat Cake

Literally. Remember that your employees have to eat too. In between meetings. During that time of day called lunch. And one of the best things you can do to nourish your team while they work towards company goals is to provide them with catered meals, healthy snacks, beverage options, and treats for special occasions. Not having to decide what to bring for lunch or venture out for 30 minutes to stand in a long line for a $15 salad makes my time (and wallet) that much more efficient. One of my favorite pMD food perks: birthday treats. We celebrate every single  team member’s birthday with a treat hand-selected by the birthday person and shared with the entire team. It’s getting harder and harder to come up with unique ideas after options like s’mores, pies, milkshakes, root beer floats, churros, ice cream sandwiches, cronuts, cupcakes, and your classic birthday cake have already been taken!

Stress the Importance of Wellness and Family

Namaste. Wellness means more than just providing a place to meditate. The term wellness can encompass everything that leads to a balanced life. There's financial wellness - providing your employees with a robust retirement plan and annual bonuses. Physical wellness - employees receive exceptional health benefits and a private meditation, lactation, or yoga room. And even mental wellness - providing your team with the assurance that taking time off work to take care of family or personal matters is not frowned upon. All of these are essential in creating a stress-free, balanced work-life environment. Our team is like our family and their family is like our own. And there’s nothing more we'd want than to ensure our family is well and happy.

Finding that balance and knowing that you're part of a team who can all sit together at lunch, build strong bonds while traveling alongside one another on business trips, create an extensive bank of inside jokes, celebrate each other's differences and similarities, sing karaoke together until 1 in the morning, and just overall have the best time, is what makes any company the best place to work.


Want to join our Best Place to Work family here at pMD? Contact us at careers@pmd.com!

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




Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  You might want to think twice before ordering that fifth beer at the bar. A new study found that death rates from alcoholic cirrhosis and liver cancer have soared among people in their mid-20s and mid-30s.  If you're unfamiliar, alcohol consumption is one of the many causes of Cirrhosis, which is the irreversible scarring of the liver that can lead to its cancer or failure, and ultimately can be fatal. So, what was that about another round?  Read More

•  Patient safety is important. Super important. One would think that with all this new technology, health care systems should be able to address patient safety. Well, in order to improve it, hospitals need to optimize their Electronic Health Records by strategically pacing the rollout of new features and functionalities. Basically, be realistic about rolling out new functionalities because if user experience suffers, so do the patients. Doesn't take much!  Read More

•  Ever felt like decisions were being made for you? That's exactly how many Medicaid patients should be feeling or at least aware of when being prescribed drugs by their doctors. That's because drug options under Medicaid are heavily influenced by drugmakers, even to the point where drugmakers use payments and perks to get doctors to prescribe its drugs, among other tactics. So what'll it be? The blue pill or the red pill?  Read More

•  Lower health care costs? Sounds like an oxymoron, right? Policymakers are pushing the agenda of value-based care payment models, which they believe are the key to lowering costs in health care. These models center on patient outcomes and incentivize providers for the quality of care they provide as opposed to the traditional fee-for-service payment models.  Happy patients. Happy providers. Lower costs.  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, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.





I greatly appreciated Dr. Daniela Lamas’ perspective in her New York Times article, You’ve Detailed Your Last Wishes, but Doctors May Not See Them. Much ink has already been spilled about the failures of the electronic health record to solve the biggest problems facing patients and health care providers today. This article described a particularly tragic failure: a small piece of absolutely critical information was present in the patient’s record, but it was buried in an ocean of text. Nobody saw it during the chaos of an Emergency Department (ED) admission.

Since then, Dr. Lamas has heard about many other “situations in which last minute ‘saves’ through extreme diligence or chance, such as the one I experienced, had led to a good outcome.” This problem is indeed widespread. A 2016 study in the Journal of Patient Safety estimated that medical errors caused between 210,000 to 440,000 deaths per year in the United States, and that total Preventable Adverse Events due to medical errors occur between 2 to 4 million times per year. It’s a staggering number, accounting for up to one sixth of all deaths in our country last year!

In her article, Dr. Lamas proposed some ideas for fixing this buried information issue. The ideas included:

1. “standards for sharing [...] across all electronic records”
2. “all health systems could require identification of a health care proxy for all patients”
3. “patients should be able to access their health records through a patient-facing interface, send in their own directives, or even update related notes”
4. “all related advance care planning documentation should be in one place in the medical record and accessible with one simple click of the mouse”

Interestingly, three of these wouldn’t help with a situation like this where the information was already present in the record, yet buried out of sight. And the fourth - putting advance care planning documentation in a single place - had already been done at Dr. Lamas’ hospital. The physicians just didn’t use that screen because “habits are hard to break, and without a clear set of incentives, training, and ongoing education, doctors (myself included) continue to record information about end-of-life conversations in progress notes, where they are not readily available”. When the EHR documentation burden is already so heinously high, it’s easy to see how caregivers wouldn’t rush to embrace yet another screen added into the mix. After all, it’s not reasonable to expect the Electronic Health Record to transcend or change its nature, which is, in Dr. Lamas’ words, “a clunky online version of a paper chart”.

She did reference another approach to solve this problem, “clever patient apps that work outside the electronic record”. For an app to help in such a situation, it must not live only with a single person. The patient may be unconscious or may not have their phone with them when they’re admitted. Their health care proxy may not be reachable right away, or perhaps the patient didn’t designate one. So to make absolutely sure that any health care provider who sees the patient can access this information, the app must live with everyone possible who is involved with the patient’s care. The patient, their family members, their health care proxy, each of their physicians, and perhaps most critically of all, their care navigator.

Many of the very sick patients such as the one in Dr. Lamas’ story already have a care navigator assigned to help them navigate through our fragmented health care system and to quarterback the communication among different care teams at different institutions. This person is like the patient’s health care guardian angel. In most cases, they know the patient better than any one physician.

As long as the care navigator finds out immediately when the patient hits the ED and which doctor is seeing them, they can spring into action and make sure the really important information gets to the right person in a timely way. With pMD® Care Navigation™, care navigators can find out instantaneously when the patient is admitted to the ED and have easy access to a concise summary of the truly critical information about the patient’s care plan and decisions.

If care navigators have critical information at their fingertips, are empowered to intervene with exceptional communication software, and find out automatically when patients have their moment of crisis, then we can let the Electronic Health Record go back to doing what it was always designed to do: being the digital filing cabinet. It’s time to move forward to the next generation of software for patients, families, physicians, and especially care navigators.

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



Image: Thn Rocn Khosit Rath Phachr Sukh /EyeEm via Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  After a video showing a sea turtle with a straw stuck up its nose went viral, the move to ban plastic straws has swept the nation. While trendy campaigns like #StopSucking have gained considerable traction in an effort to rid the ocean of straws, not everyone is on board. For many people with disabilities, being without plastic straws can be a matter of life or death. Alternatives such as paper or reusable metal straws often pose safety risks to those with disabilities.  Read More

•  According to a new report, health care startups benefited from $10.6 billion in venture capital investments in the first half of 2018. If this pace continues, health care investment will reach a record high this year. The health care sector has already made its way into second place among industries attracting VC investments.  Read More

•  The Justice Department's efforts to combat the epidemic of opioid abuse is expanding to drugmakers. A proposal from the Drug Enforcement Agency may require drugmakers to cut back on the amount of drugs produced in a given year if their opioids are being misused. The hope is to reduce the availability of potentially addictive drugs and for manufacturers to become more aware about how their drug is being used.  Read More

•  Some studies have suggested that spending time in lush forests might reduce stress and blood pressure, improve heart-rate variability, and lower cortisol levels. It has also been shown to improve one's mood. So, next time you're feeling stressed, indulge in a forest bath and take in the smells, sights, and sounds to boost your mood!  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, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.





Summer is here. While everyone is making vacation plans, I find myself reflecting on my time and history with pMD and how I’ve had such great opportunities to travel, find myself, and grow alongside this company.

When I first started working at pMD, I was an intern finishing up my studies. I’d chosen to intern at pMD because I could tell they were interested in helping me grow into an integral part of the company as opposed to just a summer pastime. My internship was engaging, challenging, and really pushed me to discover many of my strengths and what I had to offer. I was given the opportunity to work on some of the most important projects central to the success of pMD. This materialized into a full-time position and I made such close friendships and relationships with my colleagues which are now akin to family.

When it was time, I had moved on to work at other organizations in different industries and environments. I wore many hats and explored different roles. While these were very rewarding and amazing experiences, I missed the sense of family and personal investment I felt with the organization who first took a chance on me.

I was at a point where I wanted to try something different - living in another country. I was ready to pack my bags and head out with no employment or source of income. I’d stayed connected with my pMD colleagues throughout the years and was able to connect with them before leaving. They were interested in hearing about my story and where I’d planned to take my journey next. More than that, they thought of ways pMD could once again be a part of my journey. I was given another amazing opportunity with this organization, to work alongside pMD remotely from Israel.

Normally, this would be a radical and unrealistic proposition, but given our history and the levels of trust established from working so closely together over the years – we knew we could make it work. As expected, they found a role for me that fit perfectly given my strengths and circumstance. I can say I’ve once again grown a ton in a short period of time, both as a person and an integral part of this company.

This is a testament to working for a truly people-centric organization. I urge anyone starting their career to work with a company invested in you personally. I’ve been fortunate enough to learn and grow here at different points in my life, and I now have the opportunity to mentor the next generation at pMD and hopefully pay it forward.

As we plan our adventures for the season, it’s important to remember our careers can work synergistically with our journeys. Enjoy your summer!

Want to join our team? Learn more from our careers page or contact us at careers@pmd.com.

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



Image: Antenna/fStop/Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In the summer "trauma season", emergency rooms are scrambling to find alternatives to much needed medications that are out of stock. Patients feel the effects of shortages the most as some must suffer through the pain or risk unusual reactions to the alternative drugs. The drug shortages have become severe enough that the Food and Drug Administration has allowed Pfizer, one of the main drug suppliers, to sell products that would normally have been recalled.  Read More

•  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently proposed a rule that would allow home health providers to include the costs of remote patient monitoring in the home health agency's cost report.  In the proposed rule, home health providers will not be directly reimbursed for installation and use of equipment, however, these cost reports will help CMS determine if home health providers are appropriately being paid.  Read More

•  More and more nurse practitioners are turning to voluntary residency programs to help prepare them in dealing with the growing number of patients with complex health issues.  Mentored clinical training is a major part of many of these programs and can also include formal lectures and clinical rotations in other specialties.  Read More

•  The American Hospital Association (AHA), among other organizations, have asked the FDA for standards and support measures surrounding medical devices. The AHA outlined steps hospitals take to improve cybersecurity, however, can be vulnerable to medical devices running on legacy systems. Some additional recommendations from industry organizations: creating a central repository of all device patches and requiring manufacturers to implement secure device configurations with a recognized standard.  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, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: Chiara Zarmati

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Water from a canal in the Yuma, Arizona region has been linked to the deadly outbreak of E.Coli that tainted romaine lettuce this spring and killed five. The romaine lettuce had been distributed across the U.S. and sickened over 200 people in 36 states, according the Food and Drug Administration. The outbreak is officially over now.  Read More

•  On Thursday, Amazon announced it is acquiring virtual pharmacy PillPack, a New England-based startup that delivers medications and coordinates refills and renewals. Amazon paid just under $1 billion for the startup, sources say, however the terms of the deal have not yet been released.  Read More

•  The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a new hospital payment rule that makes information sharing a "Conditions of Participation" (CoP). Many organizations support the proposed plan for the federal government to require data sharing among providers in order to participate in Medicare and include ACOs, insurers, patient advocacy groups, and health IT companies.  Read More

•  While much of modern life seemingly promotes connectivity through technology, it can actually have the opposite effect. Often times, these technologies can foster social isolation and loneliness, leaving many feeling depressed and anxious. The rate of persistent loneliness is not only high in young people but also affects more than a third of adults. What are some ways to combat loneliness in this age of modern technology? Experts urge people to engage in meaningful social connections such as joining programs and groups that pertain to your interests, simply meet a friend for coffee, or do something creative and nurturing to feel more connected and outside oneself.  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, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.





According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), the EHR honeymoon is over. The HITECH Act stimulus money is a distant memory, and now physicians and care teams are stuck with “user interfaces out of the mid-1990s” in which “clinical information vital for care decisions is sometimes entombed dozens of clicks beneath the user-facing pages of the patient’s chart.”

Fortunately, the HBR article proposes a solution. Among other changes, EHRs should add a new screen called the patient portrait. Here are a few characteristics of the portrait:

•  includes diagnosis, major clinical risks and trajectory, and specific problems the clinical team must resolve

•  written in plain English and has a discrete character limit

•  updated frequently, such as a change in clinical shifts

•  curated collaboratively

•  enables continuous communication among team members

•  functions as the “wall” on which team members add their own observations of changes in the patient’s condition, actions they have taken, and questions they are trying to address

I’ve seen firsthand how having such a “wall” greatly increases physician satisfaction and improves patient care because pMD has offered this feature since 2001, and physicians adore it. This vision is absolutely on-point in every respect… except for the conclusion that the patient portrait should be part of the EHR!

It’s very logical - after all, the EHR contains all the other information related to the patient’s care and only needing to use one system for everything is very attractive in theory. What could be simpler? But the same HBR article notes that “mashing up all these functions — charting, clinical ordering, billing/compliance, and quality improvement — inside the EHR has been a disaster for the clinical user.” So it’s bold for the same author to suggest that another function, patient hand-off, should be thrown into the mix.

Enough! These antiquated electronic filing cabinets with their mid-1990s user interfaces surely have enough Frankenstein bolt-ons already. How is it that we’ve reached the logical conclusion of trying to serve every user and every scenario with the same monolithic system: vital clinical information “entombed dozens of clicks beneath the user-facing pages of the patient’s chart” and “tens of thousands of scribes” hired to follow physicians around?

You would never expect a single app on your phone to meet every single need in your life. So don’t try to fix the EHR by adding yet another new function to what is already a catastrophic mess. Don’t try to make the electronic filing cabinet into something it was never designed to be. Instead, look to a company like pMD whose user-friendly, mobile rounding and patient hand-off app has served this function for almost two decades and works with every major EHR. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Our customers know exactly what problem we’re solving and have a lot to say about it on our reviews page. Here’s just a sampling of over 800 of our customer testimonials:

"Sign-out has been almost eliminated. Rather than calling my partners and having to deal with missed calls, and missed call backs, we can leave notes about patients - available immediately, right from the phone."
-Dr. Pierce Dotherow, Mississippi

"I think the census is visually appealing compared to others I have used and the clinical note works very well with Siri as a sign-out tool."
-Dr. Haneen Aibak, Washington

"We use pMD for our written sign-out and to share comments on patients. This is a very helpful feature."
-Dr. Shirley Jankelevich, Florida

"Having my list of patients in my hand helps me keep track of the 20 - 30 patients I see on a daily basis. [...] My colleagues sign out patients in pMD, so being on call is much smoother and it saves me a lot of time."
-Dr. Saud Butt, Ohio

"pMD saves us, on average, 2-3 hours a week just on sign-offs. We used to hand off by phone and it would take at least 1.5 hours with each physician."
-Dr. Nilesh Patel, Tennessee




 If you'd like to find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, care navigation, and clinically integrated network software and services, please contact pMD.



ImageCreditZephyr/Science Source

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) still continues to experience staffing shortages and faces challenges in recruiting and retaining clinicians. Some of the more common reasons include not having enough qualified applicants, high turnover, and non-competitive salaries relative to the private sector.  Read More

•  With the future of medical devices already trending toward the expansion of the internet of things, manufacturers and hospitals are ramping up in security, clinical integrations, and data management automation, all for the improvement of the patient experience.  Read More

•  Researchers have found that children who are held in migrant detention facilities may experience increased, long-term health care needs. The stress of being separated from a parent can play a big role in lasting physical harm to children, leading to reduced immune system functioning, increased heart disease, diabetes or other long-term, chronic health issues.  Read More

•  New research offers compelling evidence that two types of herpes virus might be involved in how Alzheimer's develops and progresses. These types of herpes usually infect most people as infants and lie dormant for years. Scientists believe they play a significant role in driving the immune system in Alzheimer's, which could pave the way to new treatments and ways of screening for the disease.  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, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.





pMD’s products put the patient at the center of everything we do. When we pair innovative products with the creative, consultative approach we take for every customer inquiry and then in turn see the value to our patients, it is truly a remarkable feeling. One example below may best illustrate the impact that a pMD solution can have when care teams have a common platform to collaborate around patient care.  

A group of surgical residents caring for patients across various clinical teams needed a way to capture shared rounding notes on patients. In addition, they wanted to be able to communicate between teams using a secure messaging solution to share patient details, update care plans, and send pre- and post-operative photos.

Few technology solutions are available today to support patient care for residents. Many organizations currently use paper rounding notes that can be lost in the rush of the day, shared spreadsheets where only one resident can access the data at a time, or non-secure file-sharing programs. None of these options truly meet the residents’ needs. Since clunky workflows that are currently in place still get the job done, these old methods have continued into 2018.  

Resident groups tell us that better communication can improve patient outcomes. Residents using pMD Clinical Communication™ can send messages about patients and update each other on care plans. They have the ability to securely send images to a chief or attending physician for a second opinion. Additionally, patient data can be recorded at bedside right from their mobile phone and can include updating medications, allergies, code status, and care plans. These are all kept up-to-date, in real-time, and stored on a shared patient list visible to the whole group.

HIPAA-compliant, health care messaging that’s easy to use paired with pMD’s customizable platform for mobile data capture is exactly what these residents and administrators were looking for to bring their workflow into the twenty-first century.  

We know that each practice or group faces a unique set of challenges. That’s why we approach every opportunity as unique, invest time upfront to understand workflows that support patient care, and build solutions that account for those challenges. This is also why we here at pMD work closely with existing customers to implement new products and product features as those challenges evolve.

At pMD, we are customizing solutions to help teams deliver better patient care. To explore these solutions for your group or for more information on how pMD can support your unique practice or patient population, don’t hesitate to contact us.




 If you'd like to find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, care navigation, and clinically integrated network software and services, please contact pMD.