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Healthcare industry invites digital technology

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Billions of dollars are being used to enhance and elevate the healthcare industry out of its current state of affairs. Lucky for us, this translates into hundreds of start-ups that may come up with the next greatest answer to improve our nation's health.

Some companies are coming up with medical apps while others are inventing digital devices that help diagnose. Government and private investor funding is pushing the healthcare industry forward to make solid improvements in every facet.

One such company, OmniMD, has become a leader in electronic health records (EHR) and practice management software solutions that is primed to help the medical community and patients alike. We contacted CEO Divan Dave to hear more about how this company made it quickly to the fast track and continues to grow.

Faleris: What inspired you to start this business?

Dave: Our company core competency was always providing IT services and custom programming to many businesses which included some physician offices. As we got further into this area, we realized that most medical practices were still on paper and having problems managing their administrative, clinical and billing functions and running inefficiently in staff, storage, delayed reimbursement, missing charts, expensive transcription cost and duplication of routine office functions.

The medical offices with technology were using obsolete client server systems and out of date billing software. In 2001 (long before government mandates), after speaking to our customers and analyzing the healthcare IT industry, we predicted the importance of Electronic Health Records (EHR) to minimize inefficiencies, reduce cost and increase reimbursements for medical practices. OmniMD was a pioneer cloud based Electronic Health records (EHR) solution provider with committed focus on ease of use, speed of documentation, measurable reporting and mobile computing.

Faleris: What is the current state of EHR -- the new law, the roll-out dates, the acceptance by physicians and other providers? Why is the current dissatisfaction rate so high?

Dave: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, commonly known as the “Stimulus Package,” was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009 with an allocated $19.2 billion to encourage the adoption of EHRs by providers and hospitals. This part of the bill is called the “Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act”—the HITECH Act. Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are the most recognizable ways to realize a monetary gain from EHR. These programs offer incentives or penalties, related to the usage of electronic systems.

By using a certified EHR eligible professional can register and attest for Meaningful incentives. Unfortunately, many EHR vendors have been preoccupied with backlogged implementations and selling existing product so new and improved development issues have been neglected as a priority.

As far as EHR systems meeting the expectations of various medical specialties, nephrologists reported the highest rate of discontent, with 80 percent saying their EHR systems fail to meet their needs. Providers in urology, ophthalmology and gastroenterology also reported high rates of discontent. Speed of clinical documentation capturing, unintuitive user interface and lack of data analytics and reporting have been the biggest reasons for discontent for physicians currently using EHR.

Faleris: What is OmniMD doing differently?

Dave: OmniMD understands that "one size fits all" EHR created a high rate of discontent among physicians. OmniMD has developed specialty specific EHR solutions which automates the workflow for specialty practices such as: cardiology, OB/GYN, oncology, ophthalmology, etc. Our solution offers a comprehensive and quick data-capturing system, based on an ontology platform that provides customizable data analytics and reporting. Our physician employees and advisory board members helped guide us all along the way.

Faleris: How important has it been to have physicians on your workforce and advisory board?

Dave: Having physician experts has helped us understand the importance of specialty specific EHR and practice management systems. We have seven full time physician employees in our R&D department who work very closely with 25 advisory board physicians to develop the most comprehensive and easy-to-use systems.

Faleris: How does your software help patients with improved healthcare?

Dave: More than 60 percent of Americans use the Internet as of source of health information. Patient portals have proven to be a great tool for preventive healthcare. The aim of OmniMD Patient Portal is to bridge the gap between healthcare service providers and patients by allowing physicians to offer high-level service and convenience to patients anytime, anywhere through a secure medium.

The portal allows patients to login securely and then request appointments, update their records, view automated health alerts, view patient-education, requests refill, view prescriptions and lab results. The Omni Patient Portal is integrated with the OmniMD EHR and can also act as a medical kiosk solution for patients who want to register via a tablet, laptop or touch screen monitor at the practice’s waiting room area. These functions empower the patient with information available any time of the day, while at the same time reducing the workload of the practice or hospital staff.

For more information on OmniMD's solutions for patients, doctors and other medical professionals, see their website.

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