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Weekly Byte: Back to Basics With Mobile EHR
The industry-leading electronic health records (EHRs) were not designed with mobile devices in mind. Targeting the vast majority of physicians who are office-based and largely stationary, they fill a computer's screen with nested menus and rows of buttons. With the added requirements of Meaningful Use certification, there's simply no way to fit all their bells and whistles into a user-friendly smartphone user interface - nor, for the typical primary care practice, is there any great need to do so.

Meanwhile, certain pMD customers who see patients in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) or dialysis clinics have told us that their EHR requirements are actually pretty straightforward. They mainly want to have consistency in their clinical documentation across all the various facilities that they go to. These facilities use their own proprietary EHRs, or even paper charts in some cases.

The physician groups need the ability to do coding audits internally using the doctors' progress notes, and to respond to any external requests for documentation from insurance companies. It turns out that none of those things require a Meaningful Use certified EHR. These highly mobile doctors can adopt something more elegant and fast that has been designed from the beginning for the same smartphones that they're already using for charge capture. After all, the stimulus money is gone and there's a hardship exemption for groups who see most of their patients at multiple outside facilities.

As specialists, their templates can be small and specific to the type of encounter. Integrated quality measures that are highly context-sensitive keeps data entry to a minimum while preparing for 2019, when quality and efficiency will account for most of the MIPS program which will replace Meaningful Use and will include a value-based payment bonus from Medicare as well.

It's exciting to be working with our forward-thinking customers to build the lightweight, mobile-first EHR that meets the under-served needs of geriatricians, rehab specialists, and nephrologists. The first EHRs were designed by physicians simply to improve their record keeping and to reduce the administrative burdens on their practices. Returning to this idea, it's liberating that we can focus our energy on what the doctors actually need and want from an EHR rather than the bureaucratic requirements imposed by the government and by insurance companies.