In an interview, Dr. Stephen Parodi, an infectious disease specialist, and executive with The Permanente Medical Group, the physician group associated with Kaiser Permanente, told the New York Times "the use of telemedicine is going to be critical for management of this pandemic.”
pMD was founded over 20 years ago with the mission to reduce medical errors and save patient lives; and in the midst of a global health crisis, the company finds itself able to do just that by offering free, reliable, and secure communication tools to health care practitioners and patients.
Telehealth has emerged as a viable option to help slow the spread of the virus while continuing to provide patients with easy access to care and a high level of reassurance.
“pMD is such a blessing for us. My husband has severe heart and lung issues,” said a patient’s wife. “If he gets this bug it will be fatal, so we feel much relieved to be able to talk and see the doctor without the challenges of getting him out of the house and lifting the wheelchair, as well as the exposure [to the virus]. This is literally helping to save my husband's life.”
pMD reported significant telehealth adoption by both patients and providers in March, including:
“In light of the profound disruption caused by the pandemic, we are hearing from practices around the country that have a need to offer telehealth services and are scrambling to do so,” said Ted Ranney, vice president of business development at pMD. “We are committed to supporting the health care industry and those fighting on the front line to flatten the curve by making it easier provide routine care, safely triage patients with symptoms, and keep vulnerable populations or those with mild symptoms in their homes; all while maintaining access to the care they need.”
pMD Customers Using Telehealth
Different specialties and practices often require unique workflow considerations. As such, there are many ways to implement telemedicine services depending on the practice and patient population. pMD works with all specialties and provides a comprehensive analysis and consultation to customize the workflow in the best interest of the practice. Example telemedicine workflows implemented by pMD groups include:
Renal Hypertension Center, a 25+ provider nephrology practice headquartered in Hudson, Florida is letting patients opt for, and often encouraging, a virtual visit via pMD in lieu of an office or home dialysis visit. Patients who opt-in are invited by the staff to download the pMD app. At their scheduled appointment time, a staff member messages the patient to check them in and document their self-taken vitals. A physician then initiates a secure video call with the patient from either their mobile device or computer. Once the visit is over, the staff member completes the checkout, schedules the next visit, and follows up through pMD® Secure Messaging™ regarding labs and prescriptions.
“Using pMD for telehealth has not only made care accessible, safe, and easy for our patients but for our physicians as well,” said Nickolas Picardi, billing manager at Renal Hypertension Center. “Nephrology patients are already at higher risk to COVID-19 because of underlying chronic conditions. pMD makes it easy for us to conduct virtual telehealth visits on our phones, tablets, and computers. Patients really appreciate having the option to stay at home while still receiving the same level of care they are accustomed to. In fact, their family members frequently join, which makes the visit so much better! Our number one priority as a community is to keep our patients as safe as possible during these uncertain times, and pMD has an amazing, user-friendly interface to make it happen,” adds Dr. Mrinalini Matcha, a physician at Renal Hypertension Center.
Some practices have also made the tough decision to close their offices completely, relying solely on virtual visits for their patients. Such is the case for CritAcuity Medical Group, a pulmonology practice in East Norriton, Pennsylvania.
“Having pMD is giving us the ability to do telemedicine quickly in a time when we have to close our office to appointments due to COVID-19,” says Joseph Spanier, COO of CritAcuity Medical Group in Pennsylvania. “We are planning for longer-term telehealth, especially with the CMS restrictions being lifted, and I can’t say enough how much of a lifesaver this will be. It’s allowing us to not only continue to provide care to a very vulnerable population [pulmonary patients], but also helping us maintain revenue.”
Telehealth can also be used in a physical hospital setting to allow physicians to evaluate patients while limiting the dangerous exposure to providers. The Alaska Hospitalist Group, a 75+ provider hospitalist group in Anchorage, Alaska is using pMD to conduct virtual visits with patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 in the hospital. A nurse equipped with protective gear uses a tablet loaded with pMD at the patient’s bedside to launch a video call with a physician who evaluates the patient remotely.
No matter the size or specialty, pMD Secure Messaging and telehealth functionality enables practices to facilitate timely communication when it matters most through secure text, video, and voice calling. In addition to being HIPAA-compliant, pMD’s app-to-app communication allows physicians to continue to provide top-notch care without exposing their personal contact information and sacrificing their privacy.
pMD gives health care professionals powerful, intuitive mobile software that improves patient care. With pMD's mobile communication, data capture, and care navigation platforms, health care teams finally have an elegant and simple technology to maximize efficiency and collaboration, capturing everything right at the point of care. pMD interfaces with all major electronic medical records, hospital systems, and medical billing systems, enabling the efficient sharing of data and cutting down on medical errors. pMD is committed to developing the best solution and providing superior customer service. For more information, contact pMD or visit www.pmd.com.