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To Combat Physician Burnout and Improve Care, Use Clinical Communication Software for Patient Hand-off





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.


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