CareCloud Blog

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By JC Gallegos MSHIMS, BSN, RN

As a product manager at CareCloud, my job is to listen. I listen to clients, identify their needs, and bring different perspectives together to build something new. So, when my team was invited to rethink our electronic health record (EHR) system for ophthalmology, we did just that. We listened for approximately 300 hours between calls, on-site clinic visits, text messages, and emails with top ophthalmology medical groups. We approached our product development process as a collaborative effort between our designers, developers, QA team, and the front-line clinicians, including physicians, mid-levels, front-desk staff, billers, technicians, and practice executives. What we heard, learned and experienced on this year-long journey is useful as the health technology sector continues to improve the functionality and usability of EHR systems.

One of the things I enjoy about working with medical providers is their bluntness. They’re incredibly busy physicians that don’t have time to sit there and play semantics, and I appreciate that. Our process starts by asking, “What are you trying to accomplish and why is that valuable?” to help get to the root of what they really need in a new system.

I have an unusual background for this role, coming from a career as a nurse in cardiology before switching to the tech sector. This medical experience helps me better understand much of the jargon physicians use — and also helps me consider a broader workflow across every member of the medical practice. I’ve used other EHR systems where I’ve worked as a nurse previously — systems where they didn’t put much focus on the user experience itself. I know that just because you build something, that doesn’t necessarily mean medical professionals are going to use it. It’s very important to get that level of understanding from a user experience perspective. The science behind why they would want to do this action versus that in the system. Working in this role as a product manager has provided me with an incredible amount of insight and appreciation as to what occurs behind the scenes in development.

Our requirements gathering kicked off with our product management group meeting onsite with the practice physicians. We then reached out to more ophthalmology physicians we had within CareCloud’s client network. It was amazing to see the level of dedication from physicians wanting to provide their input on this new system. I respected that because they were working full-time doing their jobs but still carving out so much time for us. Often, we would connect either really early in the morning before they started seeing patients, in between lunch, and then in the evening when they’d be done with their clinics.

During site visits, our professional services team and I met with people representing every role in the practice. Anyone who would be using the system in any way, we made sure that we understood their workflow and their exact requirements. We also used site visits to start validating what we were hearing from other practices across the country and other roles within the specialty.

Throughout the course of that 300 hours, we learned so much about the workflow of high-performance ophthalmology practices. Here are just a few things that are included in CareCloud’s new ophthalmology EHR because of our partnership with this high-performance medical group:

  • Face View: We were able to cut 5–10 minutes of time from each patient encounter for physicians by building an easy-to-read, customizable facesheet into the new ophthalmology EHR. It had been taking the ophthalmologists several minutes with each visit to open up a PDF view of their previous encounter notes, review the information, and return back to the day’s note with their previous EHR system. With our new facesheet, each user in the practice can build a customized layout of information. Each time they pulled a patient’s chart, the past note data is arranged in a way that makes it easy to see exactly what they want every time.

  • A different record for each eye: Before this process, I hadn’t realized that ophthalmologists treat your right and left eyes so distinctly, almost as if they were two separate patients. Each eye is treated very differently, and the EHR system needs to be set up to reflect this. We configured widgets in our ophthalmology EHR to keep the left and right eye records distinct.

  • Bill-ready charting: It was interesting for me to hear that the physicians were very engaged with the specific, and changing, billing requirements for their specialty. They wanted a note that made it efficient to document data and also ensure compliance with payers. We introduced functionality that allows physicians to utilize structured data to quickly pull in previous information from their specific time with that patient, in certain sections of any encounter where it makes it relevant to pull information. We built in billing logic so that, based on the rules that have been configured and set up by the payers, we have the ability to help improve their reimbursement. It saves time because the biller isn’t having to send that note back and sifting through all that to make the appropriate charges. It prevents rejection from the claims that will go out.

  • Imaging studies: We introduced a quick and easy way for technicians to preload patient imaging studies based on the practice feedback, too. When the provider gets a note, they can quickly review and add their interpretation, and it just moves forward from there automatically. We introduced logic where the appropriate modifiers would auto-append to the procedure code based on whether they interpreted the right, left or bilateral eyes.

Once we had an early version of the ophthalmology EHR ready to go, we went back to the medical practice partner for initial user acceptance testing. We had a good mix of different staff utilizing the systems — technicians, MAs, ophthalmologists, optometrists — as they were coming in and out, seeing patients, they were providing crucial feedback to help us polish the developing EHR system.

We implemented the new ophthalmology EHR in beta first across their 60 facilities. Later that year, we went to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) conference in Chicago to demonstrate our product there and to further validate everything we built for the specialty.

Our process of developing this new ophthalmology EHR continues today. I’m still listening to our existing and new ophthalmology clients. With our cloud-based platform, we’re able to make enhancements to our system in a short period of time in order to support regulatory updates.

What’s great about our work at CareCloud is the fact that we’re dedicating our time and efforts to making sure that we’re developing the software specifically for ophthalmology by working with experts in the specialty. This is an EHR designed for ophthalmologists by ophthalmologists — not only from an EHR perspective, but in seeing how it fully integrates with the rest of a practice’s practice management (PM) and revenue cycle management (RCM) applications. It’s very common to find ophthalmologists are utilizing two different systems for the PM and EHR solutions which sometimes presents some challenges with interoperability. It’s been great to be able to build a single system that addresses both the PM and EHR needs.

We’re almost a year in since we first launched this ophthalmology solution, and it’s amazing to look back on the process in detail. We’re lucky to have outstanding medical practices as our partners and clients. Together, we’re setting a new EHR standard for supporting high-performance ophthalmology practices without any interruptions to workflow and revenue.

If you’d like to learn more or see CareCloud Ophthalmology in action, check out our web page at:
http://www.carecloud.com/ophthalmology/

Our mission at CareCloud is to help sophisticated high-performance medical practices grow, not just survive.

By Paula Richmond
CareCloud Vice President of Client Operations

Our mission at CareCloud is to help sophisticated high-performance medical practices grow, not just survive. We believe innovative healthcare leaders and physicians are defining the future of independent medical groups in the U.S. — connecting outstanding, modern care in their communities. To grow as a medical practice, you need a technology company that is a true partner in your success.
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Sarah Hughes, CareCloud Product Manager

By , CareCloud Product Manager. Join Sarah at The LAB Miami on Thursday, January 24th for the Product Council series to learn valuable lessons and insights from experienced product owners as they dive deep into the challenge, success and failure of product design. This is an open examination of how to execute an idea, exchange product stories, network, and learn valuable lessons from seasoned product veterans.

 

I consider myself to have a pretty unique background. When I’m asked what I do for a living and respond with, “I’m a product manager at a healthcare software company,” I receive some pretty interesting looks.


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Wellington Financial-Facebook

Today, CareCloud proudly announced an oversubscribed Series C funding round of $31.5 million. This striking show of support came from new investors PNC, First Data, and Blue Cloud Ventures as well as our prior investors, including Norwest Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Tenaya Capital and Adams Street Partners and a debt financing agreement with Wellington Financial.

Seven years ago, we started CareCloud with a vision to modernize health technology for physicians and patients. Today, our health technology platform is delivering on the promise of cloud technology — connecting fragmented clinical and financial data and making that information actionable through beautifully designed tools for both physicians and patients.
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Do you see your practice staff spending too much time working around your outdated practice management system?
Are you lacking the efficiencies of online appointment scheduling?
Could you do a better job engaging your patients in their own care?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these, it might be time to modernize your medical group practice management system.

Sounds great, but what’s it really like to make the move to the cloud and its modern tools? Find out from someone who’s been there and done that. Register for our practice modernization webinar on November 10th and learn from Matt Nachreiner, Practice Administrator for Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas.


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MGMA 2015 image

It’s no small occasion when medical group leaders from around the world converge for the annual Medical Group Management Association conference. This year’s #MGMA2015 in Nashville looks to be no exception.

With so much to see, learn and experience over four days, we’ve compiled a list of highlights to help you plan where you’ll want to be in advance. In other words, don’t just get carried along by the crowd of more than 5,600 medical practice administrators, medical group leaders and healthcare executives.

Choose Your Keynote Presentations

MGMA offers three this year:
“Better and Faster: the Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas” – CEO of TrendHunter.com Jeremy Gutsche offers tactics to help people manage change, adapt to chaos and innovate faster. Sunday October 11/3:00 – 4:30 PM

“From Cowboys to Pit Crews” — Harvard School of Public Health Professor Atul Gawande, MD, helps healthcare organizations boost teamwork, use data to identify success and failure and overcome a culture of resistance. Monday October 12/8:00 – 9:30 AM

“The Radical Leap — Extreme Leadership: Your Radical Leap Forward at Work and Beyond” — Founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute Steve Farber coaches on how to use fear to your advantage and how the LEAP framework to improve an organization and an individual. Tuesday October 13/3:30 – 5:00 PM


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Core Ortho Staff Interaction photo

Who doesn’t like a good story – especially one where you can learn from the success of a colleague?

The 15-provider CORE Orthopaedic Medical Center in Southern California was struggling with its local billing service in late 2013. Mired in cumbersome workflows, weak analytics and less-than-optimal financial results, they decided to take action.

CORE’s Practice Administrator searched for a true revenue cycle partner, transitioned her medical group to the cloud, and saw some great financial outcomes as a result.

How did the practice do it? Read the Case Study to learn how, and to learn tips to take your own medical group a more financially secure, efficient place.


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Cloud software questions

What happens when an Implementation Project Manager from a young growth medical tech company visits local college students in IT and office administrative roles?

They ask questions. Good ones.

First I explained how to integrate cloud technology into medical practices. Then I showed the Florida Atlantic University School of Business undergraduates a demo of how cloud software works.

Following the demonstration, they weren’t shy about wanting to know more. Their 3 main questions about cloud-based software were:

#1. Does it really check insurance eligibility automatically?


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Improving Revenue Cycle Performance image

During the first run of the Improving Revenue Cycle Performance: Expert Insights webinar, Gene Boerger, VP of Product Innovation at Emdeon, and Patti Peets, Director of Revenue Cycle Management at CareCloud, shared a lot of expertise on improving medical group finances.

Register now for the ‘summer rerun’ of our popular RCM webinar and learn more.

For example, they explain how to keep more of your revenue given these industry challenges:

* ICD-10 billing and collections
* More high-deductible health plans on the market
* Patients becoming primary payers for their own healthcare


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Whether you are a developer looking to connect the latest app on our modern, open platform or an innovative company looking to partner with us, we look forward to working with you!