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 | Secure Data


Can you recall the glorious feeling of getting immersed in the groove of an extra productive working session, or reading the best book that you just can’t put down, only to glance up for a quick second to check the clock and realize you're 20 minutes late for your next meeting, or dinner, or an appointment?

Generally, outside of the unpleasant initial shock of realizing how much time has passed in your trance, the effects of being late are usually minimal and easily remedied. 

But this isn’t always the case with certain commitments. Take doctor’s appointments, for example. Missing an appointment can not only mean that you have to wait another week or two to see your health care provider, but it can also result in dreaded no-show fees. With many in-person appointments being moved to telehealth visits, it can be even more difficult to make sure you’re on-time for your medical appointments when you’re not physically having to go into a doctor's office.

In my personal experience, my health care providers have used telemedicine systems that require me to log into a website or keep track of a link sent days in advance that I would have to click on at the time of my visit. There have been plenty of times I’ve looked up at the clock and realized I’m 15 minutes late to a telehealth visit and have to scramble quickly to find my login or video link, all while keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t get a no-show fee or have to reschedule. Even if I do make it to my appointment on time, I find that my internet connection might not be the best at my house, or the camera on my computer doesn’t always have the quality I’d like. 

With pMD’s telehealth solution, our team designed our product a little differently with patients and ease-of-use as top of mind. There’s no need to log into a website or search emails for a link that may have been sent days in advance. Our mobile app is easy to download on the patient’s phone, just like any other app, except that it’s encrypted, secure, and HIPAA-compliant. At the time of the appointment, the provider initiates a call to the patient through the secure app and the call rings directly to the patient's mobile phone - allowing the patient to use either wifi or cellular data for the best connection and video quality. So regardless of what patients are up to at the time, they’ll be notified right away of their appointment. pMD does all this while continuing to protect providers' privacy by not displaying their personal information. 

After the video appointment is complete, pMD also provides patients and providers a way to securely communicate via our chat feature, keeping the provider in control of how long the line of communication stays open. So say a patient has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and you want to make sure they don’t forget to receive the second dose. The practice can message them directly via the pMD mobile app, or better yet, set up an automated reminder, to remind the patient when it’s time to receive the second dose. By downloading a mobile app on their phone, patients not only have a secure and virtual way to carry out their appointment but they also have a more direct way of receiving important information from their providers about their health or updates from the practice. 

At pMD, we love providing a robust and seamless telemedicine solution that provides patients and practices with intuitive tools to better communicate about patient care. Submit your information here if you’d like to learn more about how pMD’s telehealth solution could benefit your practice.

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.

We released our secure text messaging product last week and our secure messaging video is finally complete! In this video we exemplify the importance of secure messaging and the consequences associated with underestimating its relevance.

It has been a few months since the pMD team and Belljar first started brainstorming ideas for the video. We had many long discussions as to what we wanted it to look like, what we wanted it to sound like, and even what we wanted it to feel like. There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that went into this messaging video, but good tears, not bad ones.

Throughout our creation process, there were plenty of ideas that led to hours of meetings and edits. At one point in our process, we had a lengthy conversation about our character, Dr. Fast Thumbs’, interaction with his patient.

There were R-rated variations of the interaction showing the patient in a vulnerable position that made any woman and most men who saw it cringe. We decided that we needed to tone it a down and were presented with a new version. But with the new G-rated version, we barely saw the patient, and there wasn’t much context as to the “sensitive patient information” that was being shared by Dr. Fast Thumbs. After another discussion, we finalized the scene somewhere between a PG and PG-13 rating, showing the patient head on, but above the patient's knees.

Whether it was the style of background music or the actions of our characters, we broke down each others’ ideas and created a cohesive and comprehensive story that explains what secure messaging means for health care practices. Not everyone may understand the significance of secure messaging, but to people in the medical field, they either know how serious it is, or they will after watching our segment. By sending unencrypted messages, you open yourself up to the possibilities of fines, lawsuits, and even jail time.

We hope that our secure text messaging video helps the medical world understand why encryption and HIPAA compliance is important. Without further ado, enjoy the video!

One of the best parts about making a video is letting your creativity roam free. We worked with our amazing partners at Belljar to come up with the perfect script and accompanying graphics for our video.

If you have read our previous posts, you already know about secure messaging and why it’s important, so let me tell you about our story. Our video starts with a closeup of Dr. Mustachio. He’s working with a patient, performing an exam, and sending a message to a colleague using pMD Messaging. Shortly after, we cut to Dr. Fast Thumbs. Dr. Fast Thumbs is a physician, just like Dr. Mustachio, except he doesn’t use pMD Messaging. Instead, he uses unencrypted text messaging, and doesn’t realize the consequences associated with it.

Dr. Fast Thumb’s message gets intercepted, leaving his patient’s information in the wrong hands. HIPAA does not approve of his carelessness and he is forced to pay hefty fines and even serve up to 10 years in prison.

I want to highlight a few moments in creating our boards and script in order to give you a glimpse into our creative process. When we started thinking about how our video would work, our friends at Belljar mocked-up a few slides in order to get the look and feel just right. The slides are hand drawn in order to quickly and efficiently get an idea of how we were going to visually tell our story. I have included a few slides and pieces of the script below:

“Dr. Mustachio uses pMD Messaging to send and receive sensitive patient information in real time.”

“This is Dr. Fast Thumbs’ patient. She has a highly personal health matter she would prefer to keep private.”

“Unencrypted texts can have major consequences, Dr. Fast Thumbs.”

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our secure messaging video. In next week’s post, we’ll let you have a listen to our script, read by myself and Adam Kenney.
doctor-fastthumbs-thinking-whats-in-a-name

How is it that we name things? Whether it be a new product or even a child, what goes into the process of naming it? When we started thinking about our new messaging application at pMD, we went through a rigorous naming expedition, constantly brainstorming, coming up with the most crazy as well as some of the most simple ideas. Our names ranged from Soteria, the Roman goddess of safety, all the way to Bleep. In total, we came up with over 120+ names, some of them thoughtful and ambitious, others droopy and just a little too spontaneous.

I picked out some of my favorites for your reading pleasure:

- Bleep
- Can't Text This
- Odin
- Howdy
- SuperTube
- Safety Pigeon
- Soteria
- Lock & Key
- Bona Note
- Bleat
- Cryptext
- Flow
- Happy Text
- Avocado

At the end of the day, we knew we wanted to keep the name simple, precise, and to the point. Unfortunately, none of the above names seemed to fit those criteria, but that didn't mean we'd stop trying.

At pMD, our users consist of mostly doctors. Interestingly, that doesn't mean that the people shopping around for pMD are always doctors, they could be practice administrators, staff, and sometimes even family. We wanted to make sure that our name meant something to anyone who came across it and that also lent itself to our brand and already popular pMD charge capture application. So, we kept it simple and precise, naming our secure messaging application, pMD Messaging. In doing so, we kept the pMD brand, the name recognition and understandability, and our sanity for another day until the likes of Safety Pigeon take over.
As a patient, you should be able to assume that your private health information is safe and guarded from the outside world. Unfortunately, this may not be the case. Unknowingly, many physicians are using unsecured, unencrypted methods of messaging that leave your personal matters a little less private. These methods include, but are not limited to, text messaging, and even email.

As Jen mentioned in our last post, apart from your data floating around, your doctor could be fined thousands, or even millions of dollars for sending unsecured information! Imagine you are at the hospital with a broken arm. You have just sat down to look at your x-ray and your doctor decides that he wants to send it to your primary care physician. So, the doctor takes out his phone, takes a picture of the x-ray, and sends it over. That could cost your doctor upwards of $50,000 for one text! There has to be a better way to do this, and there is.

At pMD, we have found a way to solve this problem. We have created pMD Messaging, a secure, encrypted, HIPAA compliant messaging platform that physicians and patients can rely on. Other than its ease of use, one of the many features that makes our secure messaging so special is its integration into our charge capture solution (learn more). Having messaging directly incorporated into the software limits the amount of app switching and allows for quick access to patient records. Instead of two separate applications, you can find the patient and compose your message in the same instance. This is especially important for specialists whose time is very precious when it comes to patients. Specialists need to send and receive information about their patients very quickly, making an app that incorporates both messaging and charge capture the perfect match. Better yet, you can message physicians outside of your practice too!

To explain the importance of secure messaging, we are in the process of creating a video featuring our very own Doctor Mustachio and a new character named Doctor Fast Thumbs. In making this video, we are looking to show a serious situation with a humorous tone. Engaging an audience can be a very difficult task, especially with a topic that can be bland and boring. Over the next few weeks, we'll be posting updates on our progress and giving you a glimpse into the world of animated, video creation, and what it means to use secure messaging.