The pMD Blog

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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 | Health Care Technology






The vision and realization of interoperability in health care IT has been evolving and manifesting - slowly - over many years. Significant progress has been made in technology, health care policy, and the mindsets of the people and parties involved. In 2019, we are witnessing an invigoration around the topic, and here at pMD, we are excited to be a part of it.

New Rules Surrounding Interoperability in Health Care IT

In February of this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed new rules surrounding interoperability, which aim to improve electronic access to health information. The rules will require the industry to implement standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable electronic health records (EHRs) and other health care technologies to integrate and transfer electronic health information (EHI) between them by 2020. The rules also require that patient electronic access to this EHI be made available at no cost. These rules are not only directed at providers, but also payers, who must make their data available to patients and Health Information Exchanges.

This is great news! But before we drink the newest flavor of interoperability Kool-Aid, let us be aware that the call for patients’ access to their medical record has been sounding for many years. Back in the early 1970s, the legendary Dr. Larry Weed - the “father” of the EMR - said prophetically, “The patient must have a copy of his own record. He must be involved with organizing and recording the variables so that the course of his own data on disease and treatment will slowly reveal to him what the best care for him should be.” — Dr. Lawrence Weed, “Your Health Care and How to Manage It.” Dr. Weed was a tremendous force in evolving health care technology to where it is today. However, his work took decades to get to a point that, unfortunately, feels like a starting line today.

Speaking of decades, it has been 10 years since President Obama introduced the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) Act of 2009, which, along with “meaningful use” incentives of Obama Care, propelled the industry toward the use of EHRs by laying the framework for widespread, secure use of modern interoperability standards such as HL7, FHIR, and Continua. This often overlooked aspect of the HITRUST Act has been a tremendous catalyst to leverage technology for better patient outcomes.

Barriers to Progress in Interoperability & Data Openness

Although ideas of interoperability and openness have circulated for many years, progress in these areas has been relatively slow and not without obstacles. In his keynote lecture at the 2016 Connected Health Symposium, Dr. Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM (Professor of Medicine and Director for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Yale), describes one such barrier: the perceived conflict between individual business interests and the interests of the industry at large. In short, some data holders (i.e. hospital systems, payers, pharmaceuticals, software vendors) feel that it is to their competitive advantage to restrict access to the data in their possession and, in doing so, have presented major challenges to using all available resources to provide the best possible patient care.

Modern Technologies Attract Major Tech Players Supporting Data Openness

Luckily, corporate bureaucracy has not completely impeded the advancement of technologies that will enable new ways to deliver health care. The evolution of HL7 FHIR and other internet standards are laying the foundation for fast, secure open APIs and web services, key components to creating a patient-centric system in which providers can focus on what they do best - guide patients to better health outcomes. These modern technologies have drawn the attention of many big time technology players to health care (i.e. Apple, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon, Google), further supporting the drive for data openness.

Innovation & Cooperation in a New Era of Health Care Technology - It's Exciting!

This renewed spirit of cooperation is certainly needed as we continue to push for a health care world that is both patient-centric and provider-friendly. It is sweet music to our ears at pMD, where we have many years of experience integrating with different health systems and software vendors across the country. We’ve encountered our fair share of roadblocks along the way, but those obstacles pale in comparison to the many successes we've had in supporting doctors to improve patient care while streamlining business operations.

2019 may indeed be a milestone year due to a perfect storm of policy change, technology maturation, and the expectations of both patients and providers in regards to technology. The demand and opportunity for change at this scale is much bigger than any one company, and I'm personally very excited about what we (as a collective industry) can do for both providers and patients as we all continue to innovate and cooperate in this new era of health care technology.

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.
The Android mobile device community in pMD is up .09 percent this week. This increase comes on the heels of OpenSignal's latest fragmentation report released Wednesday, identifying 18,796 unique Android devices!


Señor Goat reports updates from the front lines of the iOS-Android wars. Each Friday, we report the current device breakdown of our charge capture physician users and identify the net winner for the week. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of the platform wars.

FINAL


iOS: 90.70%
Android: 9.30%
This week Apple took back .04 percent of the mobile device pie from Android. The rumors are flying around the iPhone 6, with more and more articles adding credibility to those rumors. With more screen real estate, a more durable display, and an improved camera, it's no surprise that Apple is ahead this week.

Señor Goat reports updates from the front lines of the iOS-Android wars. Each Friday, we report the current device breakdown of our charge capture physician users and identify the net winner for the week. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of the platform wars.

FINAL


iOS: 90.79%
Android: 9.21%
Android gained a solid 0.10 percent of the mobile devices from our health care providers this past week. Coincidentally, the release date of Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 6 was announced this week for Sept. 9.

Are health care providers holding out for Sept. 9 to get their hands on an iPhone 6?

Señor Goat reports updates from the front lines of the iOS-Android wars. Each Friday, we report the current device breakdown of our charge capture physician users and identify the net winner for the week. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of the platform wars.

FINAL


iOS: 90.75%
Android: 9.25%
Android took away a slim .02 percent of the mobile device pie this week. Such a small net change leaves room for speculation - will Android continue this trend into next week, or will Apple defend its dominance in mobile health care?


Señor Goat reports updates from the front lines of the iOS-Android wars. Each Friday, we report the current device breakdown of our charge capture physician users and identify the net winner for the week. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of the platform wars.

FINAL


iOS: 90.85%
Android: 9.15%
It's no surprise that Apple went up this week by 0.05 percent in light of their postive Q3 earnings report Wednesday. I predict we'll see Apple continue to dominate the mobile device scene among health care providers this year, especially with the iPhone 6 on the horizon.


Señor Goat reports updates from the front lines of the iOS-Android wars. Each Friday, we report the current device breakdown of our charge capture physician users and identify the net winner for the week. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of the platform wars.

FINAL


iOS: 90.87%
Android: 9.13%
This week Android ate up 0.07 percent of the mobile device pie among our health care providers. Considering the Galaxy S5's torture-proof capabilities, Android is proving it's here to stay!


Señor Goat reports updates from the front lines of the iOS-Android wars. Each Friday, we report the current device breakdown of our charge capture physician users and identify the net winner for the week. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of the platform wars.

FINAL


iOS: 90.82%
Android: 9.18%
In one week, Apple crushed Android with a whopping 0.18 percent surge in total devices. This is the largest weekly net change to date! How do you like them Apples?


Señor Goat reports updates from the front lines of the iOS-Android wars. Each Friday, we report the current device breakdown of our charge capture physician users and identify the net winner for the week. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of the platform wars.

FINAL


iOS: 90.89%
Android: 9.11%
As of last week, we released version 8 of pMD’s iOS charge capture application, which fully supports secure text messaging between providers and staff in and between practices. One of the inherent challenges in mobile development is trying to keep your user base up to date with the newest version of your app. Not only does this ensure that users get the latest features and performance improvements, it also helps keep the organization agile by not having to support and maintain backward compatibility with legacy versions. With fewer strings attached to the past, a small team of developers can deliver above their weight class.

Like many companies that support native applications on mobile devices, we always struggled with getting enough of our users to upgrade to the latest version in a timely manner. Last year, Apple helped alleviate this problem by introducing auto-update to applications. In the first few days after the update, there was an inevitable spike in upgrades, followed by a linear-like rate. A little more than a week after its release, over 58 percent of our user base is now updated to the latest version of the app, which is a much faster adoption rate than we had for previous versions.


There are several reasons, however, why this number isn’t higher: some users have auto-update turned off, haven’t used pMD since the app updated, are prevented from updating the app due to not yet having iOS 7+, or are simply afraid of change. So even though the problem of legacy app support is improving, it is by no means solved. There really won’t be a silver bullet other than customer education and building updates that persuade the most skeptical hold outs that an update is worth while.