The pMD Blog

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Weekly Byte: Reusing Code to Improve Care Coordination
As a software developer, it’s always exciting to me when I can take existing pieces of functionality we’ve built at pMD and combine them together in a new way to produce something new and innovative. I like these situations because it means we’ve written the components of our system in a modular and reusable way, and also because it allows me to provide additional value to our customers without having to write a feature completely from scratch.

An example of this type of code-reuse occurred recently while working with a care coordination group in Anchorage, Alaska. Care coordinators in many ways are the quarterbacks of medicine. Their job is to help improve patient outcomes by coordinating with all of the providers involved in a patient’s health care, including primary care doctors, specialists, pharmacists, therapists, and insurance companies.

We like to think of these various groups as a health care community. In Anchorage, the community uses pMD to stay in-sync with one another around patient care. They share clinical notes and send secure text messages. pMD’s care coordinators, who are at the center of this data exchange, noticed that often times their patients would get admitted to the hospital, but the coordinators wouldn’t find out about it until a few days later, when perhaps a hospitalist, or the patient’s primary care doctor, or even the patient themselves, notified the coordinator.

We realized that we could provide a unique solution to this problem: when the hospitalist group admits a patient to the hospital, pMD could send an automated alert to the care coordinators, along with the other members of the community who provide care for the patient. We already had functionality in place to support other types of alerts, and we already had the Anchorage community connected to each other via pMD, so it was straightforward to add this new piece of functionality.

When we released this new alert feature we got immediate feedback, both from the care coordinators and the primary care providers. They were thrilled to have access to this additional piece of real-time information about their patients. For me, it was extremely satisfying to be able to identify this need and quickly release something that added a tremendous amount of value for a relatively small amount of effort. I’m excited to see what else we can do at pMD to make our care coordination software offering even more powerful.