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pMD Blog...

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.


The Post-Grad Job Search: Why I Chose pMD

Less than a year ago, I walked across the stage at my college graduation ceremony and subsequently entered the workforce. This moment was exciting, but as many other recent grads know, it was also accompanied by the fear of the unknown. What would I do next, and how would I make the right choice? Once I began my job search, I was overwhelmed by how many different routes I could take: private sector or public sector? Large or small company? San Francisco or Washington D.C.?

Three notebooks full of notes later, I began to narrow down the pool of companies I was considering to those who had a positive and collaborative company culture, placed a high value on continuous learning, and took on challenging but rewarding work. Looking back, it comes as no surprise that pMD became my top choice.

Before beginning the interview process at pMD, I did my homework and read that the interviews were very comprehensive and intense. Since I’d had quite a few interviews in the past for internships and fellowships, I felt I had a good grasp on what to expect. However, I was pleasantly surprised (and
exhausted) at the end of my first interview.

The interviewers wanted to understand who I was and what I felt passionately about before beginning to discuss anything work-related. I appreciated that the interview was much more of a conversation, rather
than a barrage of the same cookie-cutter questions that every interviewee before me had already answered. I also had plenty of opportunities to ask questions about each interviewer’s own experiences and why they chose pMD. What I appreciated about this was that, while each person had their own professional journey, all of their answers revolved around a similar theme: a desire to work in a driven, mission-based company.

Once I progressed to the in-person interview, I became even more excited at the prospect of working at pMD. First, I was provided breakfast -- anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with breakfast foods. Secondly, I had the opportunity to talk during that breakfast with many members of the team, not just my interviewers. I also felt a sense of community between the pMD team; they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company and were excited to add new members to the team (rather than begrudgingly add a newbie to the office). The warm welcome and sense of purpose I felt from each team member were some of the main reasons that I was thrilled to accept an offer from pMD.

During my pMD onboarding, colloquially referred to as “bootcamp,” I immediately noticed the pace and drive of the team. Not only do pMDers give their best effort on their individual responsibilities, but they
also contribute to cross-departmental projects and the overall customer experience. Because of this, it was apparent to me that pMD employees are extremely versatile and every day is a learning opportunity.

Forget online modules on the first day -- at pMD, new employees are engaged in hands-on tasks that teach important skills, which continue to develop throughout their career at pMD. I also worked on projects during bootcamp that incorporated team members from each department, not just those in my department of operations!

As someone who previously had little exposure to software, I was almost giddy with the opportunity to learn something new that I will build upon for the rest of my career. My manager listened to my feedback during our weekly meetings and tailored my projects to both suit my passions and make me a stronger contributor to the pMD team. To this day, my favorite aspect of pMD is that there is always more to learn, more to achieve, and new avenues to explore!

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.
• never set foot in a cubicle farm
• are a fast-growing private company with a small-company feel
• take each other’s ideas seriously and want to make them happen
• like to play with sleek machines named after fruits and robots
• inhabit a beautiful building in the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco
• stock beer, tea, and snacks in the break room
• love our work!

This text is taken from a pMD job description. Each bullet point is a peek inside what it’s like to work with the team here. However, as pMD’s Recruiting Manager I do a lot of interviewing and people will often ask for more detail about what’s so great about working at pMD. The question is undoubtedly a fun one for me; it sparks fun memories of travel with my colleagues, laughter, and success stories. I often answer the question, “What’s your favorite thing about working at pMD?” with an anecdote because the stories of who we are and what we do - and the fun we have along the way - are the most illuminating way to get beyond a job description and discuss what makes pMD so special.

I joined pMD a little over three years ago and was paired with a team member to help me through our onboarding process. Having joined the team with no health care or technology experience I was taking in a lot of information very rapidly. I remember very clearly having a morning check in with my mentor who asked me what was wrong. I told him that I was just so surprised that everyone at pMD was really so helpful! I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and for a team member to tell me to stop asking questions. I had never worked in an environment like this - where each person was so highly valued and invested in right away. I really had found a place that was supportive and encouraging.

Now, I get to work with folks joining the team and experiencing those same feelings. And I still love to learn and ask questions about health care and technology. The atmosphere that we foster internally is the same atmosphere that is conducive to learning more about our customers and how our evolving product can fit their changing needs; you’ve got to be curious and really listen to your customers. That’s how our charge capture, secure messaging, care communities, data exchange, and PQRS registry products came to be!

Mentorship and support is important at pMD. We hire amazing people and promote from within. That means you get pushed outside of your comfort zone. For me that push came in the form of my first sales presentation. I had the amazing experience of being able to shadow our CEO presenting to customers before taking the lead on a sale of my own, so I had seen a very high bar set many times over. I obsessed over the details of our customer and exactly what he was looking for in a charge capture product. I pored over notes. I studied recordings of other sales presentations of other pMD team members. I crammed for this presentation like I was going to do this on live national television because - even more daunting - I would be presenting in front of two of my pMD colleagues. I got through the presentation and things went okay (of course there were things to improve!), but I got a high five from my teammates. I had conquered my nerves and delivered in an arena that was previously foreign to me. What a thrill. At pMD those new challenges pop up all the time.

Health care and technology were new to me when I joined pMD. The other new frontier for me was private aviation. My first flight on a private plane was heading out to the east coast for a series of meetings hop, skipping, and jumping around the map. Yes, there were definitely some nerves at first, but breaking through the clouds for the first time was amazing. And the legroom kicked the butt of any commercial flight I had ever taken. Private aviation highlights how pMD works - quickly, efficiently, and in very cool style. In one week I visited eight different customer groups in six different states. It was a week filled with new sights, some great discussions about our new-at-the-time secure messaging functionality, and so much fun. You can’t visit six different states without trying some fun local foods - or even smoke a cigar.

At pMD we all pitch in wherever and whenever we can. Developers work directly with customers. Sales people maintain ongoing relationships long after sales close. Everyone has a voice and can make an impact. I felt this first hand while we were implementing our charge capture product with a large nephrology group in Dallas. There were a lot of difficult logistics to work through, plenty of details, and enough moving parts to make my head spin. Thankfully, we had a team made up of six team members, from our CEO to our newest employees, and everyone was fully engaged for a week jumping in to make this a great experience for our customers. I don’t think I heard someone from pMD say ‘no’ all week. It was an impressive, inspiring showing of heads coming together to accomplish something great. Rolling out our charge capture application to many doctors in Dallas was one of many bricks on the path we took to growing our customer base by 30% year after year. This team can do amazing things together.

When we travel, there are always memorable dinners and fun times with coworkers, but our customers are the reason we travel. I get to see first hand what an impact pMD makes. Recently I was in Minneapolis, working with the billing office of a large oncology group. The group had been rolling out pMD in waves. I was exiting a training session in the billing office when a member of the group pointed to a large interoffice envelope of billing slips that spanned several months of service. I was told that the billing information in that large paper stack represents several days of work for the coding staff and in contrast the same amount of billing would take just a few hours to process using pMD. Shaving days of work from someone’s plate is a huge accomplishment! Seeing the impact of my work in person is such a great feeling.

There are lots more stories to tell and more colleagues to praise, but these few anecdotes hint at the amazing people and experiences to be had working at a company that promotes supportive mentorship, where we push past old comfort zones and product boundaries, and have a lot of fun along the way. The final bullet point from the job description above is really the most important and the sentiment that echoes through the office.
• love our work!

How being a pMD intern doesn't mean doing coffee runs.

For the past three months, I’ve had the pleasure of interning at pMD in their San Francisco office as part of their engineering team. Over the course of the internship, I’ve learned about the field of health care, improved my development skills, worked on some really cool projects, and, most importantly, come to know the pMD team. The summer flew by and now as I wrap up my internship, I’ve had a chance to reflect back on my time here.

When I joined pMD, I was placed on the “Goatworks” team - a sort of subteam within the engineers that focuses on special projects. Throughout the summer, I worked closely with my manager and mentor, Clayton, the Lead Software Engineer on that team. In addition to weekly chats about anything that was on my mind, Clayton suggested books that helped me improve technically, guided me through each of the projects I was assigned, and gave me advice on career development. I think that having such a great mentor as the “go-to” whenever any questions came up was one of the keys that made this internship special. But Clayton wasn’t alone in his mentorship; the entire development team acted as teachers at different points during the internship. Whether it was talking through architecture decisions, pairing up to work through a tough problem, or just grabbing lunch, the team supported me throughout the summer and the collaborative environment helped me to be more productive and have more fun!

Over the course of the internship, I was able to create a new version of the app for Primary Care Physicians, fix various bugs, add new features on both the web and iOS, and add filters to the report section of pMD where administrators and supervisors can gather valuable data on their practice with ease. I also worked on patient tagging and custom field filters that allow doctors to see groups of patients with specific attributes.

The technical project I am most proud of is the ability to securely message with patients using pMD’s HIPAA-compliant messaging product. The project was a little intimidating as it spans across every platform and touches many different aspects of the codebase. But with the support of the pMD team, I felt confident in tackling it. Taking this project from the design stage to a beta version was a long process, but it has also been very rewarding. Being able to experience the development process in its entirety - from the idea stage all the way through to the final release and seeing your work live - is an incredible feeling.

Throughout the summer, I felt like my opinion was appreciated and I felt like a full-fledged member of the team. I found that pMD’s culture is very people-centric. Every person I’ve met at pMD understands that improving real people’s lives is at the core of what we do, and this core value shines not only through our amazing customer service, but also through how the company treats its employees. pMD cares about their employees and invests in their success, and each employee is passionate, motivated, and hardworking.

Since we’re a small team with customers all over the country, employees travel often. I was lucky enough to join the team on a trip to Anchorage, Alaska, and it was during that trip that I got to know many of my colleagues. While we hustled every day to make sure we could see as many of our customers as possible during the trip, the team also took time to hang out and have fun in the evenings, whether it was hiking to a glacier, sharing a delicious meal, or riding a mechanical bull.

The internship program at pMD is unique because it is customized to the individual’s strengths, interests, and experiences. I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve been able to contribute in such a short time thanks to the mentorship of the development staff and how much fun the work has been. pMD gives you the best of both worlds: a nimble, lean, startup that’s moving and growing quickly and the security that comes with a business that’s established (and shipping!) for over a decade. For any prospective interns, pMD should be on the top of your list.
At pMD we describe our working style as fast, efficient, and fun - like a German engineered car. If we work that way, we should travel that way, too! We have an incredible resource available for getting our team members to all of the different nooks and crannies on the map: a private plane! Using private aviation cuts down on overall travel time, allows for our team members to have meetings on board the plane, and eliminates the pesky need to take your shoes off while going through airport security - or watch as the person in front of you in line thinks that the whole no water bottle, no belts, no shoes thing is for everyone else but him.

For many folks, private aviation is viewed as a luxury reserved for Real Housewives and rock stars. However, at pMD we’ve been introduced to private aviation as a great way to travel efficiently (we leave the champagne at home). It’s been fun for me to learn along with my teammates about how private aviation can help maximize our time on the road. My colleagues, Chris and Ryan, recently took a trip using a small, private plane to visit with customers and prospective customers. After reviewing their itinerary, it’s illuminating to compare what this trip would have looked like with commercial flights.

Here are all the stops:
• Cincinnati, OH
• Gallipolis, OH
• Charleston, WV
• Macon, GA
• St. Petersburg, FL
• Miami, FL
• Naples, FL
• Birmingham, AL

The trip started from our southern office in Birmingham, AL on Monday and wrapped up back there on Thursday. 8 cities in 4 days?! Thanks to private aviation, it’s totally possible. Reviewing the total travel time for the week, you get a comparison that looks a little something like this:

Travel time alone clocks in at over 33 hours on commercial travel compared to private aviation's breezy total time of just over 8 hours. Chris and Ryan benefited from several perks that come from flying privately that led to the overall huge time difference throughout the week. One big win is not having to navigate airport security; they saved hours of time with every flight. They also got to fly to destinations that aren’t served by commercial aviation. When it comes to the choice between flying directly to Macon, GA or flying to Atlanta, GA and then driving the rest of the way, the efficient choice is very clear.

Speed and efficiency is pretty clear from the graph above, but what about fun? With private aviation, Chris and Ryan could talk with each other about their work (yes, at pMD we’d call that fun). In contrast, on commercial aviation, work discussions and even work on laptops is limited by the proximity to other passengers. Fun also enters the equation when you think about the week as a whole: using private aviation, the guys spent very little time traveling compared to the same trip using commercial travel options. They had time left at the end of their days to grab a fun dinner in the different locations they visited - and hopefully got a little Graeter’s ice cream in Cincinnati!

With travel time numbers like these, it’s no wonder why we utilize private aviation to help with our sales and account management trips. Not using such a resource would be like using paper rather than an electronic charge capture program, or making lots of phone calls and emails rather than having a seamless and integrated care coordination product, or sending a carrier pigeon when you would send a pMD secure message. It just makes sense - and you get to roll like a rockstar.

What can a company with nearly 12,000 users do to ensure that each client gets the same unparalleled service and attention that they received during the initial sale and implementation? Make sure that each employee pitches in to manage each relationship and help with account management, that's what!

While most companies say they want to keep their customers happy, many times their ability to do so and follow through fall by the wayside. Not at pMD. Each employee not only is responsible for their own clients, but every pMDer also helps each other when it comes to account management. Everyone does a little (or a lotta) bit of everything. As an account manager, I get to not only build new relationships but also maintain those relationships.

We work with a wide variety of personalities and, like our product, every interaction with each client is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Beyond doing the proper research before any meeting, phone call, or email outreach, the one thing I thrive in doing is speaking to them like they’re human beings. What a novel concept! I don’t have a hard script that I read word for word from. I approach them just like they were my co-worker or a friend and the conversation is very organic. I want to make my clients comfortable and that starts with rapport.

Building rapport with your clients is paramount to maintaining their business. Being at pMD for only a few months has really opened my eyes on how important it is to build that rapport and to continually follow up with our clients; even when there isn't a true agenda in place for the follow-up. Last week while I was on site for an implementation, I was afforded some time to peek into the offices of providers that I had worked with months before. Some conversations lasted only 2 minutes, others were 20 minutes. We would discuss everything from new pMD secure messaging features, future requests that they’d like added to pMD, and what their summer vacation plans were. While the conversations varied with each person, there was one common theme… they were extremely appreciative that I took the time to stop by, answer any outstanding questions or issues, or just to say hi.

From charge capture to care coordination and secure messaging, each product for each client is different. So different that we don't have a user guide for each product. We treat each client uniquely. One thing that makes me proud to not only be an account manager for pMD but a pMDer in general is that we don't just make a call or send a mass email with yes or no questions. We have a quality conversation with each client. We believe that this is important to ensure they are getting the most out of our products and we can be a sounding board for any feedback or changes they would want to add.

An account manager at pMD is not like an account manager at any other company. We strive to build a relationship that is long lasting. We strive to ensure that each client receives unparalleled customer services that doesn't stop after go-live. We strive to not only make our doctors happy but everyone associated with pMD happy too.

The Bay Area is known for its many tech companies with amazing perks, like catered gourmet meals, nap rooms, free transportation, and unlimited vacation, to name a few. Each company is trying their best to attract and keep top talent, create an amazing culture, and maintain a positive fiscal growth path.

While perks are great, they can only go so far to craft a happy and productive workforce, which in the end is the ultimate goal, right? Research has found that the bulk of talent from Generation Y are ambitious, passionate about being passionate about their work, and thrive with transparent communication. What a great approach to how a person should want to spend a majority of his/her waking hours!

So I examined pMD with the mindset of a stereotypical Gen Y businesswoman. While pMD does have some great perks, I investigated a little deeper to identify some of the common themes among a ridiculously productive and fun team.

Check your ego and insecurities at the door. It is fairly obvious that an organization must have a clear vision with defined goals to be successful. But, the “how to achieve those goals” seems to be the piece that sets thriving companies apart from complacent ones. I see members of our management team step in to do seemingly menial tasks when we are nearing a deadline to make that final push to help meet the goal. This in turn motivates the rest of the organization to go that extra mile and push themselves to stretch past their comfort zone. The precedent is set that no task is too small or daunting since the team is counting on each other.

Make time for one another. Keeping open and frequent communication is a no-brainer. Taking it a step further to stop what you’re doing to help out a teammate is something else altogether. As a pMDer, we are unique in that we all do a little bit of everything, regardless of job title. That said, no one person knows everything, resulting in inquiries between people and departments. Regardless of how busy each of my colleagues are, I can count on being able to get a prompt response from an account manager on the road, or a few minutes of time with a developer to hash out a support question.

Connect with customers. We move past “the customer is always right” mantra to identify what the customer truly needs. Previous blog posts have touched on how each of us talk daily to the providers, supervisors, billers, and staff members who use our charge capture, secure messaging, care coordination, and HIE products. We get feedback and we take it to heart. Since we speak with our customers personally, solving their inquiries has an additional sense of priority. They aren’t just a ticket in our support log. It’s a great feeling responding to a provider to let them know that the functionality they asked for has been added in our latest release.

Don’t get me wrong, perks certainly do sweeten the deal. But having a purpose that is beyond one’s self is a fundamental need for most people. You can only eat so much free food, followed by a nap, and then a free ride to the airport on your next vacation before you feel at least a little empty. Knowing that you are part of a collective team making a difference for your customers and the medical community never loses its appeal.
Pictures play a key role in the way that we interact with information. They help us to connect with new ideas in a way that plain text can’t. Imagine apartment hunting without interior photos. Or online shopping without 12 different views of that new pair of shoes. Headlines become more powerful when accompanied by a cover photo. And when was the last time you tried a new restaurant without checking for photos of the menu? Visuals are really powerful.

I was recently checking in with our Account Manager at Glassdoor. I asked how could I make our company page appear more inviting and attractive to prospective candidates for roles at pMD. The AM’s suggestion for improvement was that we should add more photos of our team and office space. Photos tell candidates a lot about the workplace and help to showcase the culture and the work environment.

Just like candidates evaluating companies, health care professionals also seek to get a look at the software they’re evaluating; whether that be charge capture, secure messaging, care coordination or health information exchange. At pMD we’ve created a series of videos that help illustrate what can often be complex health care ideas. We also tailor customized demonstrations for groups evaluating pMD’s solutions.

Pictures are powerful. We use them to help candidates visualize the workplace that they may someday call home and allow our customers to see the impact software can have on their practice and their health care community.

We’ve recently added several photos of our office and of our team members on the road. It’ll take a good deal more photos to try and capture the collaborative, fun, fast-paced culture at pMD. If a picture is worth a thousand words, we’ll need to evaluate how many pictures it takes to represent a team of people.

After three days of a lot of customer visits, take offs and landings, naps, and weather changes, Anthony and I were excited that the skies were clear enough for us to fly out of Gary, Ind. and back to California.

Since our pilot let us choose our fuel stops along the way, we stopped in South Dakota and fulfilled our elementary school dreams of visiting Mount Rushmore. The mountain was carved to generate tourism in the state, and we were two of more than two million who will visit it this year.

Anthony helped pilot our plane to our next stop in Logan, Utah, and I helped to fly us over the Great Salt Lake and Lake Tahoe. We both got to hear fun stories from our captain and reflected on how much we had done over the last few days.

I am a strong supporter of staying busy and making the most of each day, but even I was exhausted. Each town that we visited had its own political landscape and personality, and we had to keep up with the changing conversations without forgetting where we were at any given time.

The trip gave me a greater appreciation for the country, aviation, the great Anthony Tsang, and people. Our customers and everyone that we met along the way generously shared their recommendations, expertise, and personalities with us.

It was a great trip with a great ending. Since we were contending with strong headwinds and were late getting back to California, our pilot “dropped me off” at the airport in Napa so that I wouldn’t be late to a Wine Country wedding weekend. I happily accepted a complimentary bottle of wine (or $100 bottle of wine if you consider the cost of just landing at the airport), and waved goodbye to Anthony who continued on to the Bay Area.
We started day three of our trip with a short drive to our meeting in Cincinnati, and we arrived early since hospitals are labyrinths. This hospital was especially bad, and we felt like Lewis and Clark when we finally found the right office.

Anthony and I met with Marilyn Orr, Dr. Christopher Orabella, and the staff at a pulmonary practice that uses pMD charge capture. They were excited about using pMD’s HIPAA-compliant messaging option in the hospital, and we talked to them about updating their providers’ phones and operating systems to iOS 7 so that they can take full advantage of messaging. We had a great discussion with the group, and it was motivating to see how many levels of the practice that pMD Messaging will help.

While we were in our meeting, our pilot relocated the plane to a nearby airport. We were back in the air about 15 minutes after leaving the hospital, bidding a fond farewell to Cincinnati and en route to Gary, Ind.

Based on the number of abandoned buildings, most people have left Gary. We did the same. We had a delicious lunch in Hobart, Ind. that left an unfortunately placed grease stain on my skirt before we went to meet a doctor for a charge capture training.

Hobart, Ind. This sign was posted outside of a physician’s office. We didn’t even consider driving on the sidewalk until they suggested that it could be done.

We enjoyed the people watching and WiFi in the doctor's office while we waited for him to finish seeing patients at the hospital. We knew that this neurologist wasn’t excited about pMD going into the training, but we still had a nice time working with him and hearing his story. Like most doctors who seem resistant to using mobile charge capture, he wasn’t trying to be difficult. He was just trying to make sure that he didn’t lose any time with his patients. This was great news for us since this is exactly why we are in this business.

From Hobart, we drove through a storm to Merrillville, Ind. to meet with one of our nephrology groups about Transitional Care Management (TCM) functionality and pMD Messaging. The group was excited to implement both of these features in pMD since it will help them increase their patient satisfaction, revenue, and communication.

Merrillville, Ind. We storm chased the Midwest, and the storm won. We delayed our flight out of Indiana to wait for the air traffic around Chicago to clear.

Some of the group was delayed because of the storm, so we worked with the first doctor from our car and stayed late to meet with the rest of the group. We ate a quick dinner that ended my 10-year streak of no Taco Bell before we found out that we would be spending the night in Indiana due to the lightning, wind, and rain in the Chicago area.

Merrillville, Ind. Anthony did his first pMD car training when we were locked out of an office. I risked getting struck by lightening to let Dr. Kadiyala have shot gun.

Health care is an industry that impacts everyone, and working at a charge capture company that helps doctors to save lives is important work. The pMD team cares very much that our product makes doctors happy and in turn helps to improve patient care. Health care providers who work with us and candidates hoping to join the pMD team often wonder, “What’s this team really like?” I hear this question frequently in interviews! We're a conscientious group, committed to providing a great product and great service to our customers in health care.

A recent article in Business Insider lists conscientiousness as a major predictor of success. Not only will conscientious people succeed in their careers, they will also “get better grades in school and college, commit fewer crimes, and stay married longer.” Not a bad profile! Customers also want to work with conscientious people - the kind of people who wake up at 3:00 a.m. to answer a call, the people who ask, “Is there anything else I can do to help?” and are really interested in the response. When recruiting and evaluating candidates, companies committed to customer service ask, “Why do you want to work here?” and hope to hear a response that matches the team’s shared intensity.

At pMD, we understand that the team supporting the product is just as important as the product itself. If you’re evaluating a charge capture or secure messaging solution, get to know the team behind the product and ensure that they are conscientious and share your values.

We’ll be taking a look at a day in the life of individual pMD team members in future posts. If you’re interested in joining the team, check out our Careers page.