March 11, 2015
by Lauren Dubinsky , Staff Writer, DOTmed News
Medical Mime is a dictation-based EHR allows physicians to capture notes in a minute and a half and goes through three layers of accountability to ensure accuracy. The deadline for Stage 2 Meaningful Use is just around the corner and physicians can use all the help they can get. DOTmed News had the opportunity to speak with David Cooper, founder of Medical Mime EHR, about how the technology can assist specialists and mature practitioners in meeting those requirements.
DOTmed News: What is your opinion of EHRs on the market today?
David Cooper: We have entered into Stage 2 of ‘Meaningful Use.’ We have also seen an increase in the number of hospitals that manage physician practices — primary care and specialty care — and some of these hospital-owned physician groups are part of Accountable Care Organizations. It’s of great importance to the hospitals that these practices operating in ambulatory settings are highly efficient.
Generally, the field of ambulatory EHR vendors is narrowing because it’s very difficult to earn 2014 Stage 2 Meaningful Use certification. Many of the products originally certified for Stage I Meaningful Use have not attained Stage 2 certification. If those vendors can’t generate the necessary investment capital, or if they don’t have the programming strength or the clinical strength for Stage 2, then it’s quite a big hurdle to overcome.
As for physicians and physician groups, we have seen many of them reject using EHRs when Stage 1 Meaningful Use was the threshold. For various reasons, like ease of use and slowing down patient flow, initial implementation of EHRs didn’t take off. Lots of folks just failed at it.
Still today, in the ambulatory setting, there remain a high number of doctors who are rejecting EHRs as well as doctors ‘divorcing’ their EHRs. That’s resulted in a lot of shuffling in the market. So, in my opinion, it’s still very much a market in chaos with a high percentage of unhappy physicians.
DOTmed News: How does Medical Mime work?
DC: Our niche is catering to specialists and mature practitioners. For specialties, like interventional cardiology or orthopedics, the doctors are performing surgeries in a hospital setting on their non-clinic days. Obviously, these physicians want to perform as many surgeries as possible during the week, and this requires their office-based or ambulatory days to be very efficient for pre- and post-op visits, as well as their new-patient and follow-up visits.
Medical Mime is a dictation-based EHR, so it allows the practitioner to capture notes from patient encounters very accurately and very effectively — in about a minute and a half as opposed to filling out all of the information required of a template-based system.
Specialty practices have to maintain a fast pace. They have to keep the patient flow flowing. One of the cardiologists who uses Medical Mime told me that if an EHR was going to slow him down, he would rather take a penalty because he can’t afford to have his practice slow down. Since he started with MedicalMime almost two years ago, he has achieved Meaningful Use designation and has never had to slow his practice productivity.
For our more mature physician clients, who are used to dictating clinical notes, they simply don’t want to accept sitting in front of a computer all day long. They would much rather dictate their notes with as little electronic interaction as possible, and they can focus on encounters with their patients and staff.
If you have a doctor who is 60 years old and wants to practice another eight or nine years, but doesn’t want to sit and learn how to click buttons and tabs, this is a way for the practice manager to get that doctor to qualify for Meaningful Use incentives and avoid penalties.
DOTmed News: Does it hold the potential to help hospitals save money?
DC: Studies have shown that template-based systems result in about a 20 percent slowdown in patient flow for the first three to six months after implementation. And in many cases, these doctors never rebound to optimal productivity.
If an average level-three or level-four visit is reimbursed at 100 dollars, and the doctor is used to seeing 30 patients a day, then a 20 percent drop would mean cutting 6 patients per day. That’s 600 dollars a day in revenue.
It’s tough for the physician trying to manage a practice on shrinking revenue. Plus, it’s tough for patients who are trying to get on the doctor’s schedule. So we can help by not letting them lose money.
The clinical narrative is based on the physician’s unique dictation for each individual patient, which makes the clinical record less likely to fail an audit. So they also save money by not losing audits.
The process flow and clinical documentation developed by Medical Mime “mimics” the optimal flow that physicians already prefer to use for managing patient encounters. Where physician practices are part of a group operated or owned by a hospital, Medical Mime can absolutely help save money.