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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.

POSTS BY TAG | Clinical Communication



Chat with Patients: A Case for Secure Patient Text Messaging


Chat with Patients? A Case for Secure Patient Text Messaging

Recently, I was talking with a physician who is a new pMD customer. We were having a great conversation as she sought to satisfy her curiosity with how to get the most from the pMD software. Then I mentioned our new Chat with Patients feature, and she turned away from me, her previous openness instantly gone. She made a half turn away and laughed dryly, “Oh God. No.”

This was not surprising. The idea of patients having unfettered access to a doctor’s phone can seem like the loss of a last vestige of privacy, unfiltered patient needs adding to the cacophony of the many already trying to reach them.

So I shared a different story, one not filled with an endless interruption and immediate need. This type of communication can be better for both the medical provider and the patient receiving care. Surgery offers one compelling example.

Patient Text Messaging Before & After Surgery

Surgery represents a great opportunity to connect with patients via secure text for the following reasons: there is a clear episode of care, which includes a scheduled procedure, preceded by an instruction-filled pre-operative visit and followed by a post-operative period where concerns over pain, discomfort, new medications, and other follow up issues often emerge.

There are problems with other types of communication. Phone calls can offer endless rounds of telephone tag and voicemails, and email messages often are lost, misunderstood, or don’t have immediacy. Further, for patients who work, calls to workplaces and messages left can create privacy concerns. So, having a way to securely text and communicate in an asynchronous and timely way - texts don’t pile up the way emails do - can offer both better clinical outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.

Using Chat with Patients App Feature: The Process & Results

Below is the process for how a current pMD user is using the new Chat tools for text messaging with patients:

The scheduling coordinator invites patients who have a capable smartphone as part of their pre-operative process. She lets the patients know that pMD is a tool for them to have a direct contact as they go through their procedure.

She has found that younger patients have no issues with loading and using pMD and neither, to her surprise, did older patients. As long as they have a supported iPhone or Android, they have been able to easily download the app and get started.

Patient Text Messaging Helps Avoid Surgery Rescheduling

Prior to their procedure, patients commonly reach out to her with questions about the timing of the surgery, medications, and location of the facility where the procedure will take place. So far, at least one patient was saved from missing their surgery as they asked about a medication which, had they taken it, would have caused their surgery to be rescheduled.

Chatting with Patients After Surgery

The types of messages the coordinator receives after surgery often include those of the “what is normal?” variety, as well as questions about pain, medications, and the timing and location of follow up appointments. Having an easy way for patients to ask these questions helps avoid readmissions and missed appointments and allows the practice to stay on top of patient outcomes!

Secure Patient Messaging with pMD a “Real Life Saver”
The scheduling coordinator reports the following on using pMD as a tool to connect with patients:

"This has made such a huge difference in my contact with patients. They work, and texting them is so much simpler and more convenient than calling or email. I also love that it's not invasive. They don’t get my private info. This has been a real life-saver for me."

I also had the opportunity to connect with a patient using the platform, who reported more satisfaction with the care they received and a closer bond to the practice providing the care:

“Using the pMD app was a real anxiety reducer. If you have a question and something’s not right, you can get an answer through the pMD app. It’s immediate. You feel closer to the doctor and staff. It’s more personal. The app was very easy to download and use. I would recommend this to everyone! Doctor’s offices could really cut down on the number of phone calls. I would prefer practices that use this type of technology!”

I shared this story with the physician, and her demeanor quickly changed. Her practice is in the process of hiring a nurse to contact all their procedural patients, and pMD’s Chat with Patients would be a more effective way of connecting. With the right plan, secure patient text messaging offers unique and compelling benefits. Contact us and we will help you put a winning plan together!

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.


Design Thinking: An Empathetic Approach to Innovation article


Design Thinking: An Empathetic Approach to Innovation

The original Apple computer mouse. A children’s toothbrush with a fat, grippy handle. pMD’s secure chat with patients. What do they have in common? They are all prime examples of products born from a thorough design thinking process.

What is Design Thinking?

At its core, design thinking can be defined as a human-centered approach to problem-solving. The process of design thinking is often simplified into five steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.

Design Thinking Model

(source: Stanford d.school)

In my discussion, I’ll take a deeper dive into the first two steps (and arguably most important): empathizing with the human and defining the problem.

Empathy and Definition in Design Thinking

What do empathy and problem definition look like in practice?

In 1966, designers were approached to reimagine a children's toothbrush. At the time, all children’s toothbrushes were fairly similar: shorter versions of adult brushes, which were skinny sticks with a brush head. The designers spent a large amount of time simply watching children and adults brush their teeth. What they discovered was revolutionary -- children, unlike adults, gripped the brush with a clenched fist. In contrast, adults displayed increased dexterity and balanced the brush between their fingers. To tackle this difference, the design team created a new toothbrush featuring a thicker handle lined with squishy gel. An adult might not care for the design, but to a child, the thick handle and colorful, grippy gel made all the difference. That model quickly became the best-selling toothbrush worldwide...for the next 18 months. Needless to say, the rest of the market caught on, and now all children’s toothbrushes still feature the same original design elements: a fat handle with grippy gel.

The reason for the success of the children’s toothbrush is that the design team first empathized with the human (“Why is brushing my teeth no fun?!”) before defining the problem they were actually solving (“Why is my toothbrush difficult to use and hold?”). Connecting with the customer is arguably the most important part of design thinking, because without the human connection, designs often miss the mark for real-life use cases.

Design Thinking at pMD: Empathy is #1

Empathy forms the basis of all pMD interactions with customers. In meetings and on support calls, before diving right into what might be wrong or how customers might need our help, we first make sure to check in and ask how their day is going or what exciting plans they have made for the weekend. Talking with customers about their daily life not only shows that we see them as real people with real lives, but these seemingly trivial conversations can also yield intriguing insights into how we can improve our products. For example, when talking with some of our users, we found their day was less than ideal due to an increased amount of time spent playing phone tag with patients. This led to an internal discussion about improving provider communication with patients and ultimately resulted in a new Chat with Patients feature available soon for all users of pMD. Through constant refinement and testing, we eventually created a solution that both providers and patients love. This positive response stems from a deeply-rooted passion for the most important steps of design thinking: empathizing with people and hearing their real problems. At pMD, we wear many hats, but the one that we wear first and most proudly is the hat of empathy. When empathy and design connect, wonderful solutions abound:

Customer Reviews of pMD Chat with Patients

I urge you to challenge convention and speak to your customers on a more personal level. Instead of viewing customers as numbers on a spreadsheet, see them as people that you can help in ways you haven’t yet discovered.

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.


Health Care Communication: Electronic vs Paper Follow-Up for Millennials article


Follow-Up for Millennials: Paper vs. Electronic Health Care Communication

I am 23 years old and, unfortunately, I have already had my fair share of injuries and medical mishaps. These injuries have led to plenty of urgent care and emergency room visits, several rounds of physical therapy, and even a couple of surgeries. Each of these encounters has been accompanied by some varying amount of post-visit instruction from my health care providers, most commonly in the form of a paper packet. For physical therapy there were exercises, for kidney stones there were instructions on prevention, and with surgery came a list of symptoms to look out for after the operation.

Problems with Paper Patient Education Packets

The paper packets worked fairly well in a couple of regards: I always trusted the information I was getting, I could reference what the physician told me if I had forgotten, and I often had access to helpful diagrams alongside the instruction text. I was, however, very prone to losing or destroying the important yet vulnerable packet and the information it contained. All it took was one spilled cup of coffee, a visit from the overzealous family dog, or a well-meaning mass recycling effort, and I was back to using the internet to guide me or calling up my doctor’s office for information.

These paper packets came with a couple of other flaws. In addition to the extra paper resources used (save the trees!), they didn’t cover every single question that I hadn’t known to ask when I was sitting with the physician. Also, in the event I wanted to share the information with a friend or family member, I would have to find a scanner, to which I normally did not have access. I would usually settle for a photo from my phone sent over text messaging, which was a cumbersome process with a low-quality output. In the end, these packets served a limited purpose for a short amount of time.

Electronic Health Care Communication is Easier for Millennials

What form of communication would have been easier for an injury-prone twenty-something? In my opinion, the top priority is to deliver the information electronically, preferably on a smartphone. That way, I wouldn't lose the information provided by the medical practice and could easily share that information with others. Ideally, I would also have the ability to reach out to the physician in the event of a complication or additional follow up questions.

Of course, it is important that any health care communication tool does not become a hindrance to the physician or inhibit their ability to complete their daily tasks. In the end, I was looking for a mobile application that I could use to reference and share files that also gave me the ability to contact my physician.

Benefits of Communicating Electronically with Patients

The electronic delivery of information has more benefits than simply preventing someone’s dog from eating their post-surgery instruction packet. It also allows patients to access information more relevant to their needs, as well as make information more accessible and more portable. Patients can also have direct access to a knowledgeable health care professional, rather than turning to the dubious activity of searching their symptoms on the internet.

At pMD, we are dedicated to helping overcome communication barriers wherever they exist in health care. We are similarly dedicated to building software, including HIPAA-compliant text messaging with patients, that is up to the usability standards of modern websites and mobile applications. This dedication to quality ensures that everyone is able to use pMD’s software with ease, regardless of their comfort level with technology.  All in all, our goal is to provide more effective communication between patients and health care providers, ultimately resulting in better health outcomes for patients.

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.


Secure HIPAA-compliant Communication


Lately, it seems that more and more health care providers are increasingly interested in secure communication and the different platforms available to them. These providers and their support staff want to improve communication at their practices while still remaining HIPAA compliant.  

As a member of our sales team, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many of the interested practices who reach out to pMD to learn about what we have to offer in this space. pMD has two different communication products: our Free Secure Messaging and our more robust Clinical Communication option. If you just did a double take to see if you misread “free,” no, you were not mistaken!

Are you curious about when our free option is the best fit for a user or when they might benefit more from our paid option? Continue reading to learn what I listen for when I speak with potential clients and help them decide which product will best suit their needs!

When I have the opportunity to speak with someone who is looking into the options they have for secure messaging, the first question I ask is, “What are your needs, and how many people do you need to message?” If the prospect tells me, “My colleague and I want to be able to message with each other about PHI (Protected Health Information) on our phones while remaining HIPAA compliant,” that is generally a cue for me that they have fairly simple needs and are most likely a good fit for our more basic Free Secure Messaging. Generally, groups with under five users that need to communicate basic information in a HIPAA-compliant and streamlined fashion are a good fit for our free product, and I suggest that they go to the App Store or the Google Play store and sign themselves up for pMD’s Free Secure Messaging. They can then get started right away!

I also often speak with groups who tell me about how much time they’re wasting trying to keep PHI out of their text messages by using cryptic symbols or hieroglyphics, and they end up having to just pick up the phone and call to find out who and what the message is even about! They recognize that they’re wasting even more precious time in their busy schedules and want a better solution that reduces inefficiencies. For larger groups who have complex workflows and more users needing to communicate about patients or securely send PHI, I suggest they evaluate our Clinical Communication product. Clinical Communication users can securely message using pMD on either their mobile device or the website, so they can stay compliant whether they’re on the go or stationed in front of a computer. pMD Clinical Communication also includes patient-centric messaging, allowing users to store a variety of information and message history. This removes the need to search through hundreds of messages to find one specific conversation with Dr. Smith about patient John Doe’s condition three weeks ago.

Another great use case I often hear is the need to message with patients. This is a feature of our Clinical Communication product, which allows users to easily send messages to their patients while keeping their health information secure.

pMD is always innovating and working to meet the needs of our customers. We very recently released our new Video Chat function, so if you prefer a more face-to-face interaction with your colleagues, feel free to give it a try!

We hope that by allowing providers to communicate in a more streamlined and efficient fashion amongst themselves and their supporting staff, we can give them back more time to be doctors and provide care to their patients.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Free Secure Messaging or Clinical Communication products, please submit your information here and we’re happy to help you evaluate which product would be the best fit for you! Don’t miss out on our signature text tone: the goat squeal!

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.


Healthcare communication


Coordinating a patient’s care is complex. Professionals from a variety of disciplines deliver care to a single patient at various times throughout the day. Specialists may be traveling from several different locations from across a city to where this one patient is receiving care. And all of this complexity limits the chance for care teams to reliably connect with each other regarding the current plan for a patient’s care.  This is when inefficiencies and medical errors arise.

Ineffective Healthcare Communication Causes Medical Errors

The growing body of research on medical error prevention reveals that ineffective or insufficient healthcare communication among care team members is a significant contributing factor to adverse events. Ineffective communication is at the root of nearly three of every four medical errors. Industry studies have classified communication errors that led to inefficiencies and medical error into a few buckets:

1) Communication that was simply too late to be helpful for the patient.
2) Failure to include the whole care team in communication about a patient.
3) Communications that proposed an action where that action was not completed.

Thus, access to a common healthcare communication platform that can link up multiple providers and support clarity in communication during the critical seconds of need must be implemented to help stop avoidable medical errors.

Reduce Medical Errors with pMD’s Healthcare Communication Platform

At pMD, we’re passionate about reducing those avoidable medical errors and saving lives. pMD’s HIPAA-compliant clinical communication and free secure messaging platforms are one key way we’re doing just that.

1) We know that texting is a quick, easy method to connect a team and convey information that can save lives. So, we’re proud to provide a proven, secure communication platform to support healthcare teams - for free.  

2) Sending images securely, including labs, diagnostic images, skin conditions, or wounds post-surgery, can link internists to specialists, residents to attendings, and patients directly to triage nurses.

3) We know that with text alone, a message can lose the inflection, emotion, or intensity intended by the sender.  So, we’ll be adding the ability to send and receive voice memos, giving messages back the volume, pitch, rhythm, and speed that can help convey a clear message.

4) And we know that verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication can be vital in ensuring clarity. Therefore, we’ll also be adding HIPAA-compliant video communication capabilities, even to our free secure messaging platform, to execute care team huddles from anywhere, to facilitate the integration of specialists, and to even host telemedicine encounters directly with patients or medical decision-makers.

At pMD, we know a text, picture, voice memo, or video encounter can vastly improve the clarity of communication. By utilizing a common secure healthcare communication platform which includes the right individuals at the right time, we can reduce medical errors and save thousands of lives.  For more information, or to easily sign up for free pMD® Secure Messaging™, please visit us here!

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.






At pMD, we have a foundation that has been built from over 20 years of experience working with employees with various backgrounds and working with customers from varying specialties and experiences. Throughout our 20 years in the industry, we’ve established a structure to ensure that our process to obtain new customers and keep existing ones happy is standardized, effective, and as efficient as it can be. Even after 20 years, we continue to stay open to learning new and better ways to improve our already proven process. This leads me to the question: what happens when an idea or plan doesn’t go the way you expect? Does it mean you’re set up for failure? No. In fact, sometimes when things don’t as planned, it might actually be for the better. So make lemonade with those lemons.

Recently, I was involved in an implementation that didn’t go as I had originally planned and it turned out to be one of the best implementations I had ever been a part of. One of our customers had been using pMD for a number of years for one of their many specialties. And for the past two years, we have been trying to expand our usage to other specialties within this large organization. As a team, we discussed what additionally we could provide to the already existing specialty to ensure their continued success with pMD, providing more leverage to expand to their other groups. We set out a plan to do some heavy customer outreach and made sure we spoke with not only the administration but, more importantly, with the providers themselves to get their feedback on how pMD was working for them so far. After all, they’re the ones who would know best on how the system is working. Through close account management, we were able to implement new, robust features to the existing group and get our foot in the door to finally expand to a new group.

Why was this implementation then so special? It started at the top. Leadership was heavily involved in the vetting and implementation of pMD. We followed our best practice of learning about the group and their workflow as well as speaking with and presenting to leadership and their physician champions. We were on the right path to go live with this new specialty group by the end of October. They expressed interest in wanting to do a trial run with a smaller subset of physicians and provide feedback before going live for the entire group. This process lasted 1-2 weeks before getting the green light to go live with the entire group. We also received feedback and made the appropriate adjustments with the idea that we were still on track to implement the new group by the end of October. However, when we discussed the go-live date, the group wasn’t comfortable to move forward with that timeframe because of scheduling conflicts and additional questions they had about the system. While it was a frustrating time for our team, we eventually came to implement the new group officially in December (over a month after the initial target date of October 2018). Surprisingly, after all the prior obstacles, the implementation went about as smoothly as any implementation I had ever been a part of.

A smooth implementation isn’t a result of magic. Leadership with this group took those extra weeks to very clearly communicate to their providers and staff as to why they were making the transition to pMD. When we came on-site the first week of December, we weren’t met with surprised looks or confused faces. Everyone we worked with was prepared and understood the ‘why’ behind the process. In the span of four days, our team was able to successfully get over 30 providers using pMD without a hitch.

It takes strong leadership and clear communication for new ideas to mature and to be adopted. Much like this implementation, pMD does the same. When our strategy doesn’t always necessarily go as planned, we adapt, we communicate the ‘how’ and ‘why’, and then we move forward with those changes. This implementation was also a great example of how pMD continues to grow its brand, starting from a long-time customer and expanding into its surrounding community. Since the implementation, we’ve added several more providers and expanded the use of a new product, pMD® Clinical Communication™, within this organization. So when things don’t go as planned, remember that better results might even come out of it.

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.









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.









pMD’s culture promotes the importance of customer feedback, which we’ve discussed in previous blog posts. Through conferences, implementations, and support, we’re always looking for the best way to enhance our product so that our customers can focus on improving patients’ lives. So, it’s no surprise that since its launch in 2014, pMD’s secure messaging product has been molded by the feedback and input of our customers.

Recently, the pMD team has consistently heard that providers would like to utilize pMD® Secure Messaging™ to communicate with their patients using the same platform they already use for internal communication. As emails go unanswered and phone calls are forwarded to voicemail, messaging becomes the most effective and efficient choice when deciding how to communicate with patients.

With the number of Americans that own smartphones continuing to rise to 77% in 2018 (Pew Research Center), more patients than ever before can connect with their health care providers, so we asked ourselves: how can we make the process of communicating from both sides - patient and provider - as seamless as possible?

When engineering pMD’s system for messaging with patients, we started with everything that makes pMD’s current secure messaging system an optimal solution for health care providers: an easy-to-use interface similar to your favorite text messaging app, an architecture built around security compliance, and a system of robust and reliable notifications to ensure that time sensitive information is delivered when it matters most. We spent time improving our sign up process to remove clunky steps and make sure that new patients can be on-boarded and start messaging in seconds.

On the provider side, we added clear delineations between internal and external messages, so providers, office staff, and administrators will always be reminded when their communication is being sent outside the organization. We know how important it is for providers to maintain control of the conversation threads, so we designed a system that allows caregivers to open and close conversations, while still allowing patients to initiate conversations. Providers’ personal information is hidden from patients’ view, and messages with patients can be shared among all members of the care team so that providers can collaborate and patients receive the highest quality care. pMD® Clinical Communication™ is already helping organizations deliver better care, and this additional feature set will allow those groups to reach their community on a whole new level.

pMD is currently working with innovative health care organizations to transform the way they interact with their patients. If you’re interested in learning how we can help improve your patient care through custom workflows and communication tools, contact us!

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 a fun fact about me: before I started my career in health care technology sales, I was changing lives in other ways - I was a teacher. I hear a lot of shock when I talk about my career path, and how I could have made such a drastic shift. I mean, clearly the roles of sales and teaching are night and day, right? Well, not really, actually. I have found that the very characteristics that made me a great teacher - empathy, compassion, and being a good listener - really correlate strongly to my day-to-day sales role. There is one such trait that I have found to be even more critical in both my teaching role and my role at pMD: agility.

What does it mean to be agile? Quite literally, it means having the ability to move quickly and easily. As a pMD employee, especially on the sales team, it is imperative we are able to be agile. We must be able to shift our focus quickly, become product experts at the drop of a dime, relate what we know back to a practice’s current obstacles, and give our developers the ability to innovate while feeling confident the sales team will be able to show value in the new products they are building. Here’s an example of agility in action:

When I first started at pMD a little over 2 years ago, we really had 2 core products: pMD® Charge Capture™ and pMD® Secure Messaging™. It took me a while to understand and articulate the intricacies and value of those two products, but I eventually got into a groove. I was in my comfort zone. Suddenly there was talk of expanding our product line. Our customers needed more from us and we needed to rise to the occasion. Thus, we also became a MIPS Registry.

Now, if you aren’t sure what MIPS is, let me tell you that becoming knowledgeable enough to sell a MIPS registry product is no small feat. Many MIPS registries are exactly just that. They do not have other product lines they are selling simultaneously. At pMD, we were expected to know how MIPS reporting differed for an infectious disease practice versus a hospitalist group and so on, all while continuing to sell our existing product suite. Did the sales team complain and throw our hands up in defeat? Hardly! We were agile, quickly moving to learn all we could about MIPS, and providing our customers and prospective customers with the insight they needed to make an informed decision.

This agility has helped us to “go with the flow” as we continue to expand our product offering. A couple of months ago we added additional products to our product suite, such as pMD® Clinical Communication™, pMD® Care Navigation™, and pMD® Clinically Integrated Network™, to serve the needs of today’s health care market. We as a sales team have been at the forefront of explaining these products to our prospective practices and helping to communicate feedback to our developers. This allows us to grow as members of the pMD team, learn from industry best practices, and reshape pMD’s business priorities by listening to the market. While being agile can at times be challenging, it is also what keeps our day-to-day exciting because who is satisfied with the status quo?

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.









According to Becker’s Hospital Review, several experts from UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation have outlined their vision for a Connected Health Record. Aaron Neinstein, MD, Mark Savage, and Ed Martin proposed that “we need a connected health record” and defined it as follows: “the connected health record achieves true completeness by focusing on the dynamic conversation, teamwork, interconnections, and diverse data sources inherent in managing health and healthcare today.”

As a concrete example, they discussed the shared plan of care that “all care team members can update [...] electronically in real time with inputs and outputs to and from a multitude of systems.” Communication is also a critical aspect of the Connected Health Record. “Recommendations and changes in care plan from any one of those providers will be communicated to and accessible automatically for the entire care team.”

This all sounds great! But where should it live? Not, the authors rightly argue, within the existing electronic filing cabinets: “the construct of electronic health record as electronic filing cabinet remains deficient” and “a chorus of physicians and patients is crying out that EHR systems are already cumbersome and inefficient. Imagine how much worse this might become if EHR systems grow and grow to accommodate new use cases.”

Perhaps it should be some other piece of software that connects to the filing cabinets via APIs. That would allow you to view all of your information that is in different EHRs, without needing to copy it all into a single institutional health record. In fact, this software already exists today. It is an app called Health Records, and it was created by Apple.

Of course, the patient controls this app, not any institution. But isn’t that how it should be? Isn’t that necessary to achieve the goal of a connected health record that stands apart from all the institutional records and the various electronic filing cabinets? Why should an institution be able to view another institution’s data? This violates basic business principles - the incentives are aligned against it. Only the patient and their health care proxies should control the complete, connected record of their health.

So far so good, but what about the shared plan of care and the communication between the patient, their family members, care navigator, and all of their health care providers at different institutions? We’re still missing a critical piece of the Connected Health Record.

But wait, are those things actually a health record at all? A shared plan of care that lives with the patient and is visible to everyone in that patient’s care team… the ability for any providers from different institutions to communicate with each other, as well as with the patient… that’s not a health record at all. It’s a Clinical Communication app! And this, too, already exists today.

Connect the health records and create a single view of all the data that the patient controls. Then, empower the patient to selectively share that information with anyone on their care team. Finally, give all those health care providers a living, shared plan of care that they can update in real time. Now that is connected health care!

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.