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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 | telehealth


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.

Accessible health care has been a challenge for individuals living in rural and underserved communities for decades -- barriers like transportation, social determinants of health, and the lack of insurance coverage have been major roadblocks in providing rural communities with the access to health care that they need to live longer, healthier lives. While these underserved communities often fly under the radar, it’s important to recognize just how many individuals are at risk because of their lack of available health care resources. In fact, individuals in rural areas have a 23 percent higher mortality rate than urban residents and a much higher rate of readmissions to both inpatient facilities and emergency room visits. The lack of access to specialty care also accounts for a dramatic percentage in what could be preventable hospital visits.

So, how does telehealth play a part in improving patient outcomes for rural populations? In the wake of COVID-19, telehealth has stepped up to the plate, stood its ground, and proven its worth to providers and patients across the country. While COVID-19 continues to be one large hurdle to overcome, it also presents rural communities with a silver lining: surges in telehealth deployment. As efforts and funding for the implementation of telehealth grow in rural areas, it’s presenting health care providers with the opportunity to bring specialized services and accessible health care to these areas in a more affordable manner and that is something we can all get on board with. 

Who Can Telehealth Help?


The Navajo reservations throughout the southwest region of the United States, an area that frequently goes unnoticed, is a notoriously underserved population. Home to roughly 20 percent of the nation’s Native American population, the Navajo population consistently scores poorly in overall health. In fact, Tribal communities are amongst the poorest and most vulnerable in the United States. On some reservations, life expectancy is lower than in some third world countries because of the lack of resources to access health care.

Not only is the life expectancy of Native Americans much shorter than other Americans, but they are also known to have a significantly higher mortality rate. This alarming statistic also includes higher rates of death from chronic illness, such as diabetes, chronic liver disease, depression, and more. And just to bring to light how bad the general health throughout these communities truly is: Indigenous peoples are likely to die of heart disease at a rate 1.3 times higher than all other races, and diabetes at a rate of 3.2 times higher.

What do these have in common? Both illnesses are reliant on constant monitoring and upkeep, but without access to affordable resources, many of these issues go unseen and untreated. Can telehealth alleviate some of these pains? Does telehealth truly have the opportunity to improve the outcomes for the patients by making health care more accessible?

Barriers to Entry


Now that telehealth is becoming more prominent in rural areas, providers will have the ability to tailor their telemedicine programs to best fit the needs of their patients, while eliminating many of the barriers that make it difficult for these individuals to receive care in the first place. 

Though the availability of telehealth services continues to grow, it is not without a few speed bumps along the way. Broadband access has been a constant concern for telehealth implementation. However, 63 percent of rural areas now have access to high-speed internet, and we can anticipate that number to continue to rise. Now more than ever is the time to consider a value proposition for these communities and how telehealth can serve these patients and ultimately lead to longer, healthier lives. 

pMD Solutions


pMD is constantly striving to improve the lives of both patients and providers to make an everlasting impact on health care. Now that telehealth deployments are surging, pMD’s clinical communication and care navigation platforms are creating an environment that allows providers to track the progress of their at-risk patients within these rural communities while ensuring that the communication between themselves and the patient will be seamless.

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.

"Love without conversation is impossible." This quote by American philosopher, Mortimer Adler, embodies a fundamental pillar of pMD design - something we'll call "love injection." Ever since the beginning, building software that is as intuitive as it is useful has been a core component of pMD product development. My previous post highlights empathy as the first and most important step of our design process and this post will focus on the upsides of a love injection and how it plays a part in our empathic design process. Love injection is our design team's internal call-to-action whenever our users encounter a scenario that leaves them feeling lost and unloved. Learning how we used it to overcome our missteps in product design will hopefully encourage your health care design team to leverage even more conversations with customers in the future.

The Backstory


Back in the early days of pMD telehealth we had far fewer patients on the platform. Then COVID-19 spread, and everyone was sent home, told to stay there, and attend medical appointments remotely. In the span of a couple of weeks, we suddenly had over 36,000 new patients using pMD for video calls. The deluge of new patient users - many of whom had never used telehealth services before - increased the customer support volume to unexpected levels. Questions we may have previously seen a few times over the course of a week resurfaced several times an hour: "What do I need enabled on my phone to have a video call?", "When will the doctor call me?", "What do I do now?", "I have a question for my practice...", etc. 

Immediate steps were taken by our customer success team to create more patient-facing documentation, so our new patient users could feel comfortable using pMD. These updates drastically improved our team’s response to patients, but we knew more had to be done to reduce the reliance on documentation alone while maintaining scalability. This became the catalyst for a new round of updates from the design team to make the user experience as intuitive as possible. Prior to COVID-19, we had been focused on telehealth through the health care provider lens and now it was time to revisit telehealth strictly from the patient's perspective. 

A Solution


To design effectively for patients, we revisited our design thinking process and focused again on empathy and designing with love. I'm referring to the three "laws of love”:

1. Love starts with what you know - build familiarity into the design.
2. Love makes complicated choices simple - one choice means no wrong choice.
3. Love is spontaneous! - Make it fun; make it rewarding!

Instead of a traditional user research study, I embraced Adler's quote and joined the support team in fielding phone calls from patients. Effectively, I became tech support for several hours every day. Assisting the customer support team opened my eyes to critical areas for improvement, namely around the onboarding experience for patients. One missing link was to ensure patients enabled all the proper app permissions whilst reassuring those that had properly enabled permissions, that they didn't have to do anything else until the doctor called at the scheduled time. 

As I answered patient questions and took notes, I thought about what I would like one of my own family members to see when setting up pMD. From start to finish, the pMD design team ultimately came up with an onboarding experience that we would feel comfortable having our grandparents use - that’s when we knew we had succeeded in injecting more love into the product experience. A week after the new onboarding update was released, the number of support inquiries related to app setup and onboarding before they started their first appointment decreased significantly despite a steady increase in new patient users!

Improving communication amongst the medical care team has long been a focus for pMD. This experience has shown us that we can never pause for a moment from speaking directly with our customers (both providers and patients alike) and showing them some love! I encourage you to open up more conversations with your customers - even temporarily hop in the trenches with your customer support team - and learn how you can give your product a proper “love injection.”

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.

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak many health care practices were forced to implement telehealth as quickly as possible, and often didn’t have enough runway to deeply consider an ideal long-term workflow. If your practices’ initial reaction was to put something in place that was good enough for now but could be phased out in a few months when everything went back to “normal,” you are certainly not alone. 

The writing is on the wall; the use of telemedicine will not only be critical for managing this pandemic but will fundamentally change how care is delivered moving forward. In fact, some experts predict 20-30 percent of routine visits will continue to be virtual ones moving forward.  

Take an Integrated Approach


You’ve already invested time, effort, and money into your current systems and clinical workflows. Your telehealth solution should plug right in and work directly with those systems already in place, not outside of them. A virtual visit should be just as efficient, if not more than an in-person office visit. The more systems that integrate together, the less effort required of the practice and/or providers to onboard and manage. For example, why not interface your practice management system with your telehealth solution? Send automated appointment reminders based on the clinic schedule, conduct the virtual visit, and bill for the encounter, all from one place.

At pMD we strongly believe all systems should work in harmony together, which is why we interface with all major electronic medical records, hospital systems, and medical billing systems free of charge.

Have A Plan for Pre- and Post-Visit Communication


Just like a face-to-face visit, virtual encounters start well before the patient connects with their doctor and extends past when they hang up. Build a workflow that utilizes the office staff to frontload the onboarding of your patients to make sure they are ready to go when it comes time for their visit, and reduces the administrative burden on the providers. Reducing the burden on office staff is also a key consideration. For example, staff can enroll patients at the time an appointment is scheduled and set an automated appointment reminder to send 48 hours prior to cut down on manual follow-up. On the day of the appointment, a medical assistant (M.A.) can handle the check-in process and record any self-taken vitals, queuing up the patient for the provider. Once the visit is complete, staff can schedule a follow-up appointment or touch base regarding any outstanding items like labs or prescriptions via secure text messaging. Integrating key team members and all of the pre- and post-visit communication into your overall telehealth workflow will ensure virtual visits run as smoothly as your office visits.

Don’t Become Customer Support


You are not technical support, nor should you have to be. You have enough going on in your practice without having to troubleshoot technical issues with a telehealth platform for your patients. To reduce the risk of no-shows and rescheduled visits due to technical difficulties, it's important for patients to have easy access to fast, reliable customer service.

Our 24/7 live phone, email, and secure chat customer support extend to your patients too. We know how frustrating it is to not be able to get help when you need it. Let us reduce the burden of onboarding patients and providing technical support so you can focus on providing care.

Standardize Your Telehealth Workflow


There are numerous telehealth solutions available ranging in quality, security, functionality, and price, but when you find a solution that fits your needs, it is important for everyone to use the same system. Complexity and room for error increase when each provider is using a different platform, forcing the office staff to search within multiple systems for needed information. Not to mention managing multiple workflows and fielding questions for each disparate system - what a headache! When telehealth visits are all done on the same platform and tied to a patient record, you can ensure providers and staff are on the same page.

Don’t Bother with Single-Use Solutions


There is more to telehealth than just video communication. Why have multiple communication systems when you can use one that allows you to communicate internally, with referring physicians and colleagues, and also with patients? Care gaps happen when health care teams are forced to manage a complicated web of disparate solutions. You should be able to manage every step of the virtual visit process, from sending appointment reminders to patients, documenting and billing for encounters, and conducting post-visit follow-up, all from the same place.

Budgets are tight right now. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual visits may have represented the vast majority, if not all office visits, justifying the investment in telehealth as a standalone solution. As offices begin to re-open, telehealth will undoubtedly continue to play a vital role in care moving forward, but the percentage of virtual visits is expected to decrease. If virtual visits only represent a quarter of your total visit volume, it will become essential for telehealth solutions to drive value and revenue in other areas of your practice as well, such as secure communication, charge capture, or care coordination.

In addition to secure video, voice calling, and chat, pMD includes enough features to replace several standalone products, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.

Enable Transparent Reporting & Documentation of Telehealth Visits


The last thing you want to worry about is being able to provide adequate proof of your telehealth encounters, especially when payors start to implement restrictions. Accurate, detailed reporting and documentation features will be key to ensure you receive the maximum reimbursements. All calls should be time-stamped and associated with a specific patient profile, making it easy to provide proof of all encounters.

pMD provides the transparent reporting tools you need to run your medical practice effectively, including patient-based call logs and chat history. In addition, all patient chat transcripts are available practice-wide, further reducing the risk of miscommunications or care gaps.

Maintain High Levels of Security when Using Telehealth


Yes, it’s true, enforcement of HIPAA compliance has been temporarily relaxed under these extraordinary circumstances. But experts don’t expect that to last. Plus, why gamble with the security of your patient’s personal health information (PHI) information when there are other options? As the health care industry works to establish a new normal, practices know that any long-term solution needs to be secure in order to reduce the potential disruption and financial risk as policies continue to evolve.

With pMD you can rest easy knowing you have a signed Business Associate Agreement (BAA) and that all video, voice, and chat communication is always secure, encrypted, and HIPAA-compliant.

Get a Free, In-Depth Workflow Analysis & Consultation


We know COVID-19 has placed extreme burdens on health care providers and practices. Our team of experts is ready to provide you with free in-depth workflow analysis and consultation to determine the specific needs of your practice and patients. You can find additional information and resources about our telehealth product at the links below: 

Please do not hesitate to give us a call at 800-587-4989 x1 or email sales@pmd.com if you have any questions or to set up telehealth for your practice today. We’d love to hear from you!

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.
The not so new normal


It’s been about a million days since our unprecedented lockdown in the Bay Area. As the “shelter-in-place” begins to ease up and new social limitations come into play, eventually we’re going to inevitably transition from calling this the “new normal” to just “normal”.  As the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact the world, we’re all trying our best to continue to live life and move forward. To do so, we’re forced to rethink and redefine how we operate and how we live. 

On that fateful Tuesday afternoon in March, when San Francisco issued the stay at home orders, our San Francisco-based team had to pack up monitors, keyboards, etc. we’d need in order to be away from the office for what was projected to just be a few weeks. We all worked from home from time to time, but none of us were really set up to do this full-time. Thankfully, we had our remote staff who were “veterans” at working from home! Along with our DevOps team, they provided us with tips and tricks to get our home offices set up, along with best practices to balance the blur of working and living in our homes. As my colleague Veronica mentioned in a previous blog post, the blurred lines of home daycare, homeschooling, home working, and just being at home for literally everything is basically an hourly juggling act. The term “work/life balance” has never been more relevant to me. 

New Call Intake System to Meet High Demand for Telehealth Services


Aside from the actual physical set up, we also had to quickly figure out new ways to support our customers. We pride ourselves in supporting our customers directly, which translates to support calls now ringing our cell phones instead of the connected office lines. This challenge was exacerbated by our instantly high demand for our telehealth services. Our Ops team quickly realized the in-office model didn’t align with the current circumstance and shifted focus on new efficiencies to face these challenges head-on. The result was a new call intake system which dramatically turned our lives around and significantly increased customer satisfaction. 

pMD Moves Quickly to Successfully Handle High Telehealth System Use


But what about the platform? Just days into the lockdown, reports of Facebook servers getting overwhelmed hit headlines as millions of Americans had nothing else to do at home. We at pMD were well-equipped to onboard any number of new providers at any given time, but this world-wide lockdown drove demand for our telehealth usage beyond our expectations! Pretty much overnight, all of our customers needed to get their patients onto pMD’s telehealth system to keep their patient population safe while continuing to provide health services. Anticipating our customers would potentially connect with tens of thousands of patients virtually and instantly, our Director of Software immediately directed our developers to access and shore up our scalability. This became a multi-team initiative that executed around the clock on just a moment’s notice. Our Dev team’s ability to adapt and pivot so quickly allowed us to handle the viral demand with huge success.

Doing Our Part to Help Save Lives with pMD’s Telehealth Solution


I’m constantly impressed by everyone I work with at pMD. In spite of all the grim news out there, my pMD family continues to stay strong, tackling every new challenge with a smile and a fierce determination. I think this mindset is what has allowed us to successfully help our customers onboard thousands of new patients DAILY onto pMD’s telehealth solution in this new world of social distancing and flattening the curve. I’m proud to be able to say we are doing our part to help the health care community and save patient lives.


Related Articles:
Helping Practices and Patients Navigate Telehealth When They Need It Most
Balancing the New Normal: Support for Practices & Patients During COVID-19
pMD, the Most Valuable Player in Telehealth Platforms

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.
Your future in telehealth with pMD revealed

 

As the world around us changes, it’s interesting to think about what actions feel more or less accepted. For example, imagine now walking into a meeting, shaking each person’s hand, then immediately grabbing a pastry with that same hand and then eating it. Right now, that feels shocking, repulsive, and risky. But, back in December of last year, I might have done this without even batting an eyelash. 

It’s exciting to think about what changes are happening right now in health care that was once perceived as outlandish. One of the most obvious examples I’ve experienced is the implementation and adoption of rendering remote health care services - or telehealth. 

Thousands of Patients Use pMD Telehealth Platform for Remote Visits


pMD began building our telehealth capabilities into our Free Secure Messaging, Clinical Communication, and Charge Capture products over a year ago. Since March, with the advent of the global pandemic, pMD has now helped thousands of patients complete remote visits over their mobile devices from the safety of their homes. 

If you haven’t given telehealth a try yet, let me give you an idea of what it’s like to be one of the patients who has used pMD’s telehealth platform

After scheduling your first telehealth appointment with your practice, you receive a text message reminder a few days before your appointment with a link to download pMD’s application. Once downloaded, all you need to do now is wait until your appointment - it’s truly that easy! Your provider initiates the video call, which will ring through to your phone just as any other call would except that the video will be conducted through pMD’s encrypted, HIPAA-compliant app, so your patient information remains completely safe. 

After completing your call with your provider, you’ll be able to securely send photos of incisions, wounds, rashes, or even receive lab results via pMD. Any picture you take in pMD is not saved onto your phone's camera roll, keeping your information private! 

Why Use pMD’s Remote Health Care Solutions


So, why use pMD instead of one of the other video solutions that have emerged in response to the need for remote health care? Beyond pMD’s 21 years in the mobile health care space, below are a few additional reasons:

Video Quality

Video quality is really important when completing telehealth visits and pMD is extremely committed to great quality and reliability in our app. Crisp video quality is required in many cases to make sure your provider is able to accurately assess the medical situation. pMD was built to be used on a mobile device which generally has a much better camera than older computers, as well as the ability to choose between wifi or cellular data usage - whichever allows for a better connection. 

Ease of connection

Many other telehealth platforms require both the patient and provider to log into a portal at the same time to complete a remote visit. We know that might not always be the easiest, or the most private option, especially if your computer happens to be in a communal spot in your home. Because pMD communication is conducted within our HIPAA-compliant application, your information is secure and a video call rings right through to your phone via pMD’s app, so you don’t have to be logged into pMD to wait for a call. 

Ease of use

pMD’s app only requires a one-time download from either the Google Play store or the App store. Once you download the app, you’ll be able to log into pMD with your cell phone number and biometric scanning (think fingerprint scanning or FaceID) or a password. Once you’re logged in, your secure communication abilities are endless! Gone are the days of having to wait for one-use verification links each time you log in or constantly being rerouted in order to connect with your health care provider.

Exceptional workflow features

If you’re a practice using pMD, you can have pMD automatically enroll your patients on pMD® Secure Messaging™, as well as remind them of their upcoming appointment a day or two ahead. After patients are invited, anyone in the practice can initiate a video call via pMD’s secure website or app to complete a telehealth appointment. Once the call is completed, both parties will receive an automated call receipt that includes the call duration. You’ll then be able to continue communicating via chat, voice call, or video call moving forward, if necessary. 

As a patient, once you’ve downloaded the app, you are set to receive voice calls, video calls, file attachments, chats, and voice memos from your practice! Need to reschedule your appointment or send a picture of a medication that needs to be refilled? Don’t dial a number from a menu only to wait on hold for several minutes. Submit your question to the practice via pMD! You also have the ability to refer back to a message instead of trying to remember what the voice on the other line said about your pre-appointment instructions.  

So how do you feel about the future of health care? Is this a change that will stay for the long run? pMD thinks so! We believe there is great value in keeping communication easy, convenient, and secure for practices and their patients. Please let us know if we can help get your practice set up on pMD’s telehealth platform.

Related Articles:

Building a Long-Term Telehealth Workflow

Helping Practices and Patients Navigate Telehealth When They Need It Most

pMD, the Most Valuable Player in Telehealth Platforms

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.

I am certainly not the first or even hundred-and-first person to write about how COVID-19 has changed my working life, but I do hope to offer a unique or at least an interesting perspective on what it’s like to directly support and interact with patients, many of whom are participating in telehealth for the very first time.

Thousands of New Telehealth Patients Using pMD During COVID-19


pMD’s user base grew by nearly 300% from March 1 to May 1 of this year, due in large part to the highly increased demand for telehealth during the coronavirus pandemic. The vast majority of these tens of thousands of new users are patients. Medical practices are enrolling their patients in pMD telehealth by the hundreds and thousands, easily providing an avenue for patients to receive care even when it’s not safe or possible to come to their doctor’s office in person.

Supporting Telehealth Patients & Practices Ensures Uninterrupted Care


I am proud to be part of a team providing patient care tools during such a critical time, even though that means working harder than ever. We have quickly learned that a rapidly-expanding user base does come with some challenges, one of which is an increased volume of customer support.

Unparalleled, 24/7/365 customer service has been an integral part of pMD’s company culture since day one, and that has not changed even - or especially - during these unprecedented times. Being able to provide exceptional, real-time support to medical practices and patients ensures that health care is not interrupted despite the current situation.

What We’ve Learned About Providing Telehealth Support During COVID-19


The past two months at pMD have been even more fast-paced than usual, and our team has had the opportunity to speak with many patients and medical professionals alike. Here are the most important things we’ve learned: 

Be empathetic. 

This truly is an unprecedented time for everyone. Medical practices are extremely busy, oftentimes trying to handle a distributed workforce and safety concerns in addition to patient care. Patients, whether they have an acute condition or need a routine follow up, are often anxious or overwhelmed, both at the prospect of having to go into a doctor’s office or the alternative (a virtual visit), which can be a daunting prospect for first-time telehealth users. When someone calls into pMD to get support, we aren’t just helping them log into an app on their phone, we’re also there to reassure them that they have all the tools needed to connect with their doctor and get the care they are expecting. Whether a user calls in initially feeling anxious, frustrated, or confused, after speaking with a member of the pMD team, our goal is to not only answer their question but to leave that user with a smile on their face.

Be meticulous (a.k.a. if you don’t log it, it didn’t happen). 

Our engineering team is hard at work continuing to improve the telehealth experience for practices and their patients. An accurate and complete list of the most frequently asked questions and common concerns is key in prioritizing these projects. If 100 users reach out with the same question about starting a video visit, we know addressing that concern will help at least 100 users right away! If 100 users call in with the same question, but only 10 of those conversations get logged, we have no way of knowing this is such a high-priority topic, and it likely won’t be addressed with the same expediency. 

Be grateful. 

Even at the end of my longest or most difficult days at pMD, I can finish up work feeling thankful. Not only is the pMD team lucky to be hard at work during this time, but we’re also able to serve as a partner to medical practices and a resource to their patients. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time in quarantine!

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.
Effective communication while working remotely



Like many around the country and the world, everyone at pMD is currently practicing social distancing by staying at home for all non-essential activities. While at home, the nature of our business has given us the ability to continue to support health care providers in caring for many of their patients. Tens of thousands of patients are now relying on pMD to stay connected with their doctors via our telehealth platform. As we all continue to go through this transition in our professional lives, I have begun to reflect on the importance of company culture in the new home office.

The challenges and opportunities of distributed work are nothing new to pMD. For many years, we’ve had colleagues working from all over the country. Yet overnight, like many other companies, we’ve had to transition to a 100% distributed setup. As an engineer based out of the San Francisco office, I was one of those whose daily pMD rhythm changed significantly. Yet for the most part, it’s been a smoother transition than I expected, owing to the fact that we were already using many of the collaboration tools with our colleagues who were already remote. I simply had to use them a lot more. 

Transition to Working Remotely Smoother Than Expected


There is a perennial debate, however, that digital collaboration tools can never replace in-person interactions. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been wondering how true this is in my own work, and if there are other variables that determine if a team succeeds or fails in a distributed environment.

Overcoming the Communication Challenges


Anyone who works remotely has faced communication challenges that aren’t present when they are face-to-face. No matter how perfect your technological tools are, there are interactions and information that cannot be captured by text, images, video etc. That’s simply the nature of compressing three-dimensional information into something smaller. This creates a gap, and in some cases a chasm, between intention and perception especially when attempting to communicate complex or subtle information. Yet from discussing this with friends in varying work situations, it still seems that this gap affects some organizations more than others. During this period I’ve become convinced that building a successful distributed team cannot be accomplished by only using more technology. A critical piece that can bridge the communication gap is as simple as it is difficult to implement.

Trust can fill in the gaps where communication fails whether that’s between two people sitting next to each other or across the country. It has the ability to self-correct for errors introduced during transmission. A misperceived gesture or tone in an electronic medium is less likely to derail the actual intention when it’s contextualized in a larger relationship. In the ideal scenario, trust reduces the demand for what information even needs to be communicated since the parties trust they are already aligned along many dimensions. 

Invest in Team Culture for Success


Building trust in an organization is never easy but is a core piece of the team’s culture. Companies that can find and retain people that share core values and are given a worthwhile mission to rally around will succeed when face-to-face communication is less frequent. This is why it's so important for organizations that are shifting to remote work to continue to invest in their culture and the mission of the company in order to thrive during transitions like what we are all currently experiencing. Trust has been a core part of pMD’s culture and a natural result of our focus on mentorship and has allowed us to continue delivering solutions for our customers during this period. As we all navigate this period together, remembering to continue to invest in your team’s culture can be the ultimate deciding factor in success.


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.