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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 | COVID-19


This past year has brought on many challenges for everyone across the globe as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health care industry, in particular, has had to bear the brunt of those challenges because not only did the demand for frontline health care workers increase dramatically, but the conditions under which those workers had to treat patients required them to take adaptive measures to remain safe so as to not contract the virus or spread it to others. However, this begs the question: how can the health care industry adapt to these challenges in a way that reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19, and simultaneously keeps both patients and health care workers safe within such a high-risk setting? As it turns out, one of the solutions to that problem can be found in the use of patient simulator training. They can be used as a means to safely train and prepare health care providers, staff, and even medical students in not only the treatment of COVID patients but also in the procedures and processes of various other fields of medicine. 

Patient simulator training can come in a variety of forms, such as the use of life-like mannequins or robotic “patients” that are used in place of real human patients, or even in digital spaces such as virtual reality or online computer simulators. In the case of physical mannequins, these are often used to simulate the conditions of a real human patient, requiring the trainee to monitor the patient and take the appropriate steps to treat them based on what they’re able to observe. High fidelity models can be used to prepare health care workers on how to respond to emergency care situations, training for surgeries, or even just basic health care procedures such as administering an IV.

Due to COVID-19 necessitating social distancing and limiting physical interaction, especially amongst those who have been hospitalized because of the virus, being able to train with the assistance of real human patients is almost entirely out of the question. In fact, a CDC report from October 31, 2020 showed that 6% of adults hospitalized with COVID-19 were health care personnel. As the demands of the health care industry continue to grow during the pandemic, patient simulators have emerged as an invaluable tool for new and experienced medical personnel alike. Institutions such as UC Davis have embraced patient simulators as a means to help health care workers adapt to the changes in patient care caused by COVID-19. The benefits of patient simulators have also extended to health care education as well. With many hospitals and clinical centers restricted due to COVID-19, medical students have found ways to fulfill some of their clinical hours through patient simulators in place of time spent with real patients in a clinical setting.

Even looking beyond the pandemic, patient simulators are beneficial in how they eliminate the risk of harm on human patients, train health care workers for the practical application of medical equipment, and help reduce medical errors and increase the effectiveness of personnel. A research study conducted by BMJ Open in 2017 showed that high-fidelity patient simulators revealed higher effectiveness in knowledge and performance from nursing students, compared with other teaching methods. So even after we finally overcome the pandemic, patient simulators will still prove to be a viable tool in the training and education of our health care workers well into the future, and one that might show greater effectiveness than traditional teaching methodologies. 

Building software around automating the simulation training workflow for practices is invaluable. In addition, there is huge value in designing online virtual simulators that could potentially be used by health care workers who need to obtain new certifications in different fields and specialties. Patient simulators are an innovative way to effectively train health care workers in various specialties, and pMD strives to be on the frontlines of that innovation, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the health care industry.


To find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our charge capture and MIPS registrysecure messagingclinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.


There’s no denying this year has brought on enough challenges to last a lifetime. And those we usually turn to in difficult times are now the individuals to which we’re advised not to get too close. With Thanksgiving just around the corner to kick off the holiday season, it’s natural to want to spend time gathering and reconnecting with family and friends, and feeling even just an ounce of normalcy in what has been a topsy-turvy 2020. 

But with that feeling also comes the looming shadow of the surging pandemic and the worries of spreading COVID-19. You feel conflicted, and that’s completely understandable. In the midst of rising cases across the country, and at a time where many folks are thinking about getting together with loved ones, the CDC has provided some helpful guidelines for celebrating the holiday season safely. There’s a lot of valuable information on their webpage and I certainly urge you to read through all the essential recommendations in helping to prevent the continued spread of the virus. This includes avoiding air travel if possible, wearing a mask, continuing to social distance oneself, limiting gatherings to household members only, hosting get-togethers outdoors, diligently washing your hands, minimizing exposure to at-risk individuals, and more.

Why not consider more lower-risk Thanksgiving activities? What would that entail? The way I see it, this season is a unique opportunity to try out some fun, new traditions while keeping everyone safe and healthy. Here are just a few:

Virtual Thanksgiving… Where Pants Are Optional?

One benefit to not having to sit around a formal dining table? No one can call you out on wearing your nice holiday sweater while sporting some stretchy sweatpants or your favorite pair of shorts down below.

Recipe Swap - Fewer Cooks in the Kitchen

How to engage with friends and family without being able to see them in person or getting Zoom fatigued? Share some of your favorite recipes ahead of Thanksgiving! It’s almost as if they’re right there in your kitchen telling you that you’re folding in the cheese all wrong.

Don’t Be A Stranger, Send Food to an At-Risk Neighbor 

I’m sure we all know of at least one friendly neighbor who is isolated from family this season and could use a nice home-cooked meal. Safely deliver contactless traditional turkey day meals to a friend or neighbor and remember to sanitize as you prepare!

Take a Hike, Literally.

Why not try swapping out chaotic airport travel, sitting in neverending traffic, attempting to quell yet another heated family debate, and being forced to eat 4 days of leftovers, with a touch of the great outdoors? Your mind and body (and pup) will thank you.

So, as we go into the holiday season, let’s all remember to share the love but not the germs. We are all feeling the pandemic fatigue, but we can all still partake in slowing the spread of the virus just by making a few adjustments to our traditional plans. Stay safe and healthy out there!

Happy Thanksgiving from the entire pMD family!


To find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our charge capture and MIPS registrysecure messagingclinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.

Proof of vaccination

Amid this pandemic, vaccines are a topic that is at the forefront of health conversations and news. Everyone is looking forward to the day that a COVID-19 vaccine is available to help us start returning to “normal”. However, there’s another aspect that perhaps only some have considered: proof of having received the COVID-19 vaccination.

2021 May Be the Year More People Need Proof of Vaccination

Typically, the only situations requiring vaccination records are grade school and summer camp attendance, being a member of a sports team, military enlistment/deployment, and employment in the health and safety industries. However, 2021 could be the first year where average people need a way of presenting proof of vaccination in situations ranging from attending a game at a sports venue to boarding an airplane. There is even historical precedent of the U.S. government mandating vaccinations. Even employers have the legal right to enforce vaccination requirements for their employees. It’s not farfetched to imagine a future where employers make proof of COVID-19 vaccination a condition of new or even continued employment.

Empowering Patients with Easily Accessible Vaccination Records

This possibility fits neatly into the health care industry’s trend of encouraging patients to take a more active role in their own health care. One way patients can take a step towards that goal is to know if they are up-to-date on their vaccines and maintain an easily accessible vaccination record. The CDC’s vaccination schedule for adults is more involved than most would think, e.g. specifying repeated doses of vaccines like TDAP every 10 years. Personally, I would like to know I’m up-to-date on my vaccines without having to sift through old paper records or contact multiple health care providers such as pharmacies and general practitioners. 

Electronic Records a Better Solution than Paper-Based

Even in this day and age of technology, one of the CDC’s official recommendations for recording your vaccinations is to use this PDF. You’re instructed to print it out, take it with you every time you are vaccinated and have your provider fill it out. This inherently comes with all the downsides of a paper-based solution, ranging from the potential for human error when recording the information to damage or loss of the entire record itself. The vast majority of health care providers have incorporated some form of electronic health system for storing patient data, often with a patient portal. This gives patients the means to more easily access or even download copies of their health records. These copies can then be viewed at any time by using cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox or Apple’s iCloud Drive, which allow access to those files from whatever device is on hand. 

pMD Makes Requesting & Receiving Records Easy for Patient & Provider

pMD already has the capability to assist patients with retrieving their vaccination and health records. Patients can securely message their practice from the app and request for their records. Practices can then directly send health records to their patients in a HIPAA-compliant manner using the attachments feature in our patient messaging platform. Even obtaining access to the patient portal of providers’ electronic health record systems can be simplified through pMD via chat communication, allowing login information to be shared securely. With such an easy tool available to get a handle on your vaccination and health records, why not start today?

Related Articles:
Patient Compliance and Empowerment
Patient Communication Tools for Better Patient Care
Supporting Telehealth Patient Adoption & Experience, Any Way They Want It

 

To find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our charge capture and MIPS registrysecure messagingclinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.


The year 2020 has had no shortage of culture-impacting events—that is for certain.  We’ve had heartbreaking celebrity deaths, devastating natural disasters, polarizing political happenings, monumental social justice movements, and of course—COVID-19.  So impactful the events of the first half of 2020 have been, that one could say that we have entered a whole new era, and in many ways, we definitely have.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Era


The impact of this new era is readily visible in our health care system.  In addition to dealing with the strain of caring for an influx of COVID-19 diagnosed patients, care must be provided for patients battling a plethora of other diagnoses but under severely restrictive safety protocols and operations. More than just adequately treating patients, it’s also ensuring safety for health professionals and also supporting the emotional needs of the patient families. All in all, perhaps more than anything, this era we’ve entered into has challenged the human connections and relationships that are essential to treating patients and saving lives.

When Telehealth Becomes a Necessity


Another impact of the COVID-19 era is that some conveniences became essential necessities.  Take telehealth, for example.  Over the past several years, organizations had been incorporating telehealth to some extent at an increasing but by no means blazing rate. In 2020, telehealth has become an absolute necessity—in some scenarios being the only way to continue seeing patients.  And given the volatility of this pandemic, telehealth will play a significant role in the foreseeable future.  The CMS regulations are changing, insurance reimbursements are adapting, and health care organizations are creating new workflows to provide care in this new era.  But a question worth keeping in mind through it all is how does a telehealth platform impact the human connections and relationships between health care teams, patients, and their loved ones.

Prioritizing the Human Connection


As part of my work here at pMD, almost daily I assist patients in getting oriented on our platform for their telehealth encounters on pMD. Most patients don’t need any assistance and never reach out to us, but often it’s the patients most in need of care who are the least tech-savvy, or who are very apprehensive about having their first video visit.  I have had personal phone calls with hundreds of elderly patients who have never downloaded an app before and just need a patient-caring presence to walk them through the process. I have had more calls than I can remember where I’ve conducted test video sessions with family members who ultimately were just really anxious about their loved one being set up properly to have their scheduled doctor visit.  The joy and appreciation that these people express when their concerns and anxieties about their telehealth software have been put at ease are very rewarding.  It’s also been quite entertaining at times, especially that moment when the video connects and we “celebrate” our success and put faces to our voices.

These moments I’ve shared with patients are because pMD’s commitment to providing the best customer support is not just for the health care organizations we partner with, it also extends to their patients.  The fact is, some people just need more technical support than others, and in this COVID era where telehealth is sometimes the only option, we continue to give our best toward helping every patient have a delightful telehealth experience with their health care providers.

Partnering with pMD


We here at pMD understand that adopting a patient-facing technology, such as a telehealth platform, inherently incorporates supporting those patients who need more technical support than others.  More importantly, we understand that a health organization implementing technology to facilitate patient care does not magically acquire the in-house capability to provide the premium technical support that some of the most in-need patients require. And in many cases, I’ve noticed that patients don’t seem to distinguish their experience with me from their experience with their doctor’s office as a whole. So accordingly, I value the interaction and treat it as such.  The takeaway being that choosing a technology platform is sometimes more than just choosing product features—it is engaging in a partnership that impacts the overall experience of all those involved. This is why we not only provide round-the-clock personal customer support, we continue to evolve our products and release new features with the delight of both providers and patients at the forefront.  

A telehealth platform that offers round-the-clock personal customer support, video/voice/text communication, availability on iOS/Android/Web, and many other features, does indeed check a lot of the boxes on a typical product requirements list.  But in my experience, it’s how all of the parts come together to create the greater whole of fostering human connections, and the partnership between health care organization and technology vendor, that is most invaluable in defining a telehealth platform.  And in an era where telehealth adoption has become an essential necessity, and quality human connections in health care are needed more than ever, I’m proud to be part of a team that prioritizes real partnership and continues to create offerings that put people first.

To find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our charge capture and MIPS registrysecure messagingclinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.
Helping practices and patients navigate telehealth



When we speak about pMD’s history in the medical industry, we always note that we’ve been around since the late 90’s and have focused on helping providers capture their charges. Despite our longevity in the industry, pMD is always looking towards the future. With the more recent events in health care, we continue to learn how best to support our customers.

pMD Quickly Deploys Telehealth Using Clinical Communication Tool


Beyond mobile charge capture, we have developed a comprehensive clinical communication tool. As our customers scrambled to change their delivery model for care, we were able to quickly deploy telehealth and improve clinical communication for many of our clients. 

Our customers needed a way to continue to provide care to their patients in a time of uncertainty. Our customers rely on us to help them communicate seamlessly with their patients. Our relationship-based approach allowed pMD to provide collaborative and consultative support to our customers and swiftly implement telehealth into their workflows.

The need for telehealth not only strengthened our connection to our practices but also provided pMD an opportunity to support our customers and their patients in a new way and help them navigate a challenging time. We pride ourselves in providing our customers with full 24/7 in-house support that extends directly to their patients. 

We’ve been able to help our providers complete tens of thousands of video calls and onboarded 108K+ patients since the onset of the pandemic. We at pMD feel honored to continue to support the changes in the health care industry, especially those related to telemedicine and clinical communication. pMD is proud to have a direct and positive impact through this pandemic.


Related Articles:
Balancing the New Normal: Support for Practices & Patients During COVID-19
pMD, the Most Valuable Player in Telehealth Platforms
Supporting Telehealth Patients Amid COVID-19, One Video Call at a Time

To find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our charge capture and MIPS registrysecure messagingclinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.
MVP in telehealth platforms

COVID-19 has spurred an unprecedented uptick in the demand for telemedicine. As of March 17, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that clinicians may even deliver telemedicine via technologies that do not comply with the requirements of the HIPAA rules. This temporary relaxation of regulations has allowed many new players to enter the game of telehealth. However, not all telehealth platforms are created equal. pMD’s HIPAA-compliant communication platform stands out as the telehealth MVP. What does it take to be an MVP? In the NBA, it requires that a player be on a winning team, have unprecedented stats on both ends of the floor, and consistently impact the game in all facets. These standards can also be used to gauge the stand-out performance of telehealth with pMD. 


Winning team

To win the MVP in basketball, individual excellence is not enough. Only one player in NBA history has ever won the MVP while playing for a team that did not make the playoffs. To add the most value, the MVP must do the most for his team. At pMD, we understand that our team performance is crucial to the success of our telehealth platform. 

pMD has again been named the #1 Best Place to Work in the Bay Area and received the #1 Workplace Wellness Award for the second consecutive year by the San Francisco Business Times. We also have thousands of customer reviews on our website gushing about the quality of pMD. To quote one of them, “pMD is the best software ever! I’ve been using pMD since 2013 for inpatient rounds and internal communication. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, our practice had to make a decision quickly to be able to support our patients at this time. Thank goodness for pMD because they responded quickly and helped our practice implement customized patient communication and telehealth. I do not know what we would do without them.” Across all of our product offerings, we aim to win.

Unprecedented stats

Every player who has averaged over 30 points per game on a 65-win team has won the NBA MVP. An individual’s stats can be crucial to MVP determination because they prove that a player is valuable, beyond the ‘eye test’ of what he looks like in the game. pMD certainly measures up.

pMD has enabled more than 80,000 patients to connect with their clinicians since the outbreak of COVID-19. In addition, over 75% of patients who are invited to use pMD by their practice have successfully downloaded the pMD app. That seems like the equivalent of a telehealth triple-double to me. 

Excellence on both ends of the floor

Rather than excelling at offense and defense, pMD succeeds in helping both patients and their providers. At pMD, we provide practices with the tools to seamlessly integrate telehealth visits into their existing workflows. We find this to be critical to our success because it has been named as a key priority by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to avoid fragmenting care and potentially impacting patient safety. 

Providers on pMD can coordinate care for a patient by communicating with everyone involved in the patient’s care all on the same application. This includes the patient themselves, support staff, referring providers, or specialists. We go beyond providing just a video chat platform. On pMD, providers can further connect with their patients via appointment reminders, follow-up chat routers, and secure voice calls. pMD telehealth is definitely a two-way player. 

Consistency

More so than in basketball, consistency in health care is critical to success. Telehealth with pMD works on all iOS and Android mobile devices to deliver consistent, high-quality video. 

At pMD, customer support is our #1 priority. If a provider or a patient has a question, they can call us 24/7 and always speak to a full-time employee. We also provide unlimited usage, no cutoff times or upgrades are required. Our consistency helps practices to establish long-term workflows that can extend beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that habits that practices form now will grow into preferences and default behaviors and that most patients won’t want to return to a pre-COVID-19, less-convenient form of health care. The pMD telehealth platform, which was created in 2018, provides the dependability that is crucial to a most valuable player. 

The Results: pMD's Telehealth Platform Really Stands Out

The results are in! Telehealth on pMD stacks up well with its winning team record, unprecedented stats, excellence on both ends of the health care space, and unparalleled consistency. pMD’s HIPAA-compliant communication platform, which offers secure chat and video and voice calling really stands out as the Most Valuable Player in Telehealth.


To find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our charge capture and MIPS registrysecure messagingclinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.