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"pMD is a really intuitive app. I like that I'm able to send messages about my patients securely and the messages can be easily referenced. It's simple enough to enter in consults and admits right at the point of care."
Steven Houck, Physician Assistant, Texas Pulmonary & Critical Care Consultants
Feb
09
2010
The Case For The iPad: Mobile Charge Capture For Physicians
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Physicians know what they want from technology: simplicity, mobility, and automation. These three elements are the focus of all software development at pMD. It's why pMD has embraced new platforms such as the iPhone and BlackBerry, knowing that a great user experience is essential to achieving 100% adoption from every physician in a medical practice. Only excellent software can deliver the ROI that physicians expect from a mobile charge capture solution: typically a 10% increase in revenue from hospital rounding. But excellent software can only be written on an excellent hardware platform.

That's why pMD is so excited about the new Apple iPad. pMD's iPhone app has been such a great success because it employs Apple's best practices, so when the iPad was announced on January 27th, the development team was eager to find out what it has in store for us. After more than a week of intensive software development on the iPad, it's clear that its innovations will take the already-legendary simplicity, mobility, and automation of pMD's charge capture application to the next level. Here's how it will deliver what physicians want from technology.

Simplicity

Like the iPhone and iPod Touch, the iPad connects to the iTunes App Store, so more than 140,000 existing applications - including pMD - can already run on it without modification, simply magnified to suit the larger form factor. But pMD is going one step further by redesigning its charge capture application to take advantage of the iPad's huge screen, fast processor, and revolutionary user interface innovations.

In particular, two new user interface features on the iPad will allow pMD to condense its main, day-to-day functionality onto a single screen: split screens and popovers. It has always been extremely fast to enter patients and billing information in pMD; but with this radical change, physicians are saved additional taps and screen transitions each time a patient is seen. In aggregate, that translates to precious minutes that are returned to pMD's customers every day. Physicians can't afford to use any technology that's slower than paper, or that won't work reliably, or that they can't take with them when they round at different hospitals.

Mobility

The iPad will fill a void in the medical industry, where tablet PCs have already become popular. It takes the large, vivid, touch-sensitive screen of a tablet and adds great battery life (10 hours of continuous use, enough to last an entire shift at most medical practices); a single easy-to-wipe-clean surface; and a featherweight body (1.5 lbs). Plus, it removes the visual clutter of a typical tablet, devoting every inch of the screen to whatever application is currently being used.

By itself, the iPad could make a great replacement for charts, clipboards, superbills and hospital charge cards. It's an all-in-one device with the versatility to help the physician in the office as well as in the hospital. And for physicians who love the even greater mobility of an iPhone or BlackBerry, the iPad is the perfect complement, providing a bigger keyboard for entering data and a larger screen on which to view information.

Automation

The iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad have an amazing selection of mobile applications, so physicians who use these devices can provide better care because they are better-informed; and can be more productive because they are better-equipped. There is nothing stored in any EMR that couldn't be rendered beautifully on this device. Combine that with drug references, e-prescribing solutions, and shared hospital rounding lists, and the iPad starts to seem like the perfect tool to reduce or eliminate paper, and to increase efficiency by sharing information within the practice and automating time-consuming billing tasks.

Coming Soon

pMD for the iPhone has gotten great reviews from its users, but the company isn't satisfied with being the best charge capture solution on the market. "The release of the iPad has provided the perfect opportunity to save physicians more time and add more value for our customers," stated Philippe d'Offay, the CEO of pMD. "That's why we're committing, right now, to developing a version of our software that is completely optimized for the iPad."

The iPad complements pMD's existing iPhone, BlackBerry, and iPod Touch support. Physicians who have considered using the iPhone, but are not AT&T customers or already have a phone that they like, will appreciate having another mobile device option. Others will enjoy its big, easy-to-read screen and a huge touch keyboard that makes typing easy.

pMD is already writing software for the iPad, as evidenced by the attached screenshot. Stay tuned for more screenshots soon! If you want to be an early adopter or simply to stay up to date on the latest iPad news from pMD, please send an email to sales@pmd.com
February 9, 2010