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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






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.







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.







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.