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One of the overlooked pitfalls facing physicians is after-hours calls. The information can fall by the wayside, queries can get lost in the shuffle or aren’t addressed in a timely way, or the on-call physician doesn’t have access to the patient’s chart at the time of the call. Another risk is that potentially crucial information from that call doesn’t get documented which can have serious implications in the event of a malpractice suit.
MedXCom was formed by a couple of physicians who lost a malpractice suit in part because they lacked the data from an after-hours call. CEO Henry Kane talked about the company’s approach to record and automatically integrate these calls in an interview from MedXCom’s Hoboken, New Jersey offices.
Ironically, Kane comes from the medical malpractice industry where he worked with large physician practices. He noted that most of the after-hour communication from patients is through a live operator service. He observed that these services tend to be national or regional and often use antiquated technology.
With MedXCom’s approach, patients decide whether to leave a voicemail for the office staff to be answered the next business day, leave a non-urgent voicemail for the provider, or connect with the physician at that time.
When patients want to speak with the provider after hours, they are identified by their number, the app automatically serves up relevant personal health information from their EHR, such as allergies, the medication they are on and last visit notes, Kane noted. The on-call physician can push a button to save the conversation, and their post-call notes, into the EHR.
Urgent calls are connected to the on-call provider in real time while the phone app displays the patient’s chart. After the call, a link to the call recording and any post call notes automatically flow back into the patients EMR record as an encounter.
The target markets are practices that take a lot of after-hour calls, specifically pediatrics, cardiology, OB-GYN, and surgical practices. The company is also endorsed by the American Academy of Oral and Maxiofacial Surgeons.
Two types of partnerships are helping drive sales. Athenahealth and AdvancedMD are the first major electronic health record vendors to partner with MedXCom and Kane said his company is talking to others. Medical malpractice insurers are also important partners.
“Medical malpractice carriers told us ‘if you integrate with EHRs we will support it.’” NORCAL Group is one such group. It incentivizes physician practices to adopt MedX by giving a 10 percent discount to those that use it.
Although many medical malpractice insurance companies offer discounts of up to 5 percent for taking a course or using a specific medical protocol, Kane claimed that MedXCom is the first automated tool to garner such a discount.
“I spent 20 years working in medical malpractice. We designed MedXCom after extensive conversations with the nation’s leading insurer. We asked them what features did they feel would substantially reduce risk in after-hours patient care. They told us if we could record every after hour call and then fully integrate it into the EHR, it would be a no-brainer.”
The business has also added the ability to display data from a patient’s chart in real time, created a way to enable HIPPA-compliant texting and integrates with 90 percent of the live operator services in the country. The rationale behind this move is to provide an option for people who still want the personal touch of a local operator with a value-added service to sell full integration with the EHRs, Kane said.
To date, the company has 3,000 clinical users across 48 states, according to Kane. So far, the company has secured investment from angels and has not yet needed to approach institutional investors for funding, but that could change next year as the company focuses on scaling the business.
Photo: LDProd, Getty Images