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3rd Man on the Moon

The Third Man on the Moon…
By: Badri Narasimhan

Moon Landing

Practically every American aged 10 or more, and perhaps a good chunk of people around the world can name who the first man on the moon was. A search on Google for “first man on the moon” returns 809,000,000 results.

A much smaller portion of that crowd can tell you who the second man on the moon was – even though he was barely a few minutes behind Neil Armstrong. Yes – that was Buzz Aldrin. Can you tell me who the third man on the moon was? Don’t answer…you don’t have to. Pete Conrad may be ok if you don’t know him, but he was amazing and deserves a lot of credit too.

My point is this – in business, you have two choices. You can be a pioneer, a fast follower or a wanna-be who watches others innovate. Some innovations fail – no question about it. But if you let your fear stop you, sooner or later, there will be an innovation that will vastly limit the potential for you to regain your position in the market. Ask the folks in the Blue and yellow video rental company if they remember something about online movie watching when it first came out. P.s – the blue and yellow company is no more!

That is not to say that you jump on every new innovation and have a hap-hazard strategy. You do have a core business and sometimes, sticking to your middle of the fairway has a lot of advantages. I would caution you, however, that there are exceptions to every rule. When there is a threat to your way of doing business, that makes it substantially easier for your customers to access similar services, be very careful about wanting to be a fast follower.

Sure, you do not have the kind of budget that NASA does to be the pioneer. However, there are a lot of ways to experiment. Yes, there are a lot of competing projects, but if your customers leave you in droves because someone else made it easier to do business with them, you will be left without money to fund those cool projects.

The business gurus and strategy think tanks that write about innovation go back to a world where the next operational challenge does not encumber them. You have the real world where you have to balance your budget and weigh where you spend the time and energy of the organization. Even so, access to your customers, the front door to your business has to be a crucible of innovation.

If you have to tell your customers that you are trying something because you want to learn how to make it easier for them to do business with you and you fail, your customers will, in all likelihood pardon you for miscues. If you conduct 17 meetings to decide on the color of the wall paper and very rarely take a chance on being ahead of the pack, it is unlikely that in today’s world of fleeting customer loyalty, you stand a chance in the long run.

I say this from personal experience – I am in the business of taking a new method to increase patient access to health systems. That industry, not unlike many others, has innumerable challenges. Some would argue that the challenges are more now than ever, they are unique, there are pressures, regulations, etc. I agree with all of them. However, that which holds you back also holds your competitors back. If you take a chance and innovate, you will be setting yourselves apart even better.

The competition to healthcare delivery is unlikely to come from another health system with a different color building across the street. It is more likely to come from an entity that has made it easier for the patient to do business with the system. The competition for taxis did not come from a different color taxi. It came from individuals who took the power of wanting a taxi on to their own phone. The taxi industry had as much (some would say more microscopic) regulations as any other mainstream industry. The power of a large number of individuals took down the barriers. I know you can name the biggest app-based ride-hailing company. I am going to guess you can name the second biggest one as well…who do you think is the third? Don’t worry about trying to Google to find out. I have hopefully made my point again.

This brings me back to the 3rd man on the moon. Pete Conrad did not have the ability to buy his own rocket to get to the moon ahead of Neil Armstrong. You, as a health system, have the opportunity to find small innovations to experiment with patient experience. You have the capability to think different. Don’t be the third health system to innovate inpatient experience in your market. Frankly, second place is no good either. I hope you go out and try things and fail and learn and try again. Your patients demand that you do – they are constantly looking to make their lives easier – you better offer that experience to them. Or you will be like the 3rd largest ride-hailing company in your county that no one knows about.

Contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com and make it easier for your patients.

PCCA will offer intensivist services at Hendrick Health via AlertMD

PCCA signed up with AlertMD to improve efficiencies while offering intensivist services at Hendrick Health via AlertMD®. AlertMD's CASSIDI® Computer-assisted Document Interpretation is an intelligent agent who looks at clinical documentation and presents actionable information to providers and coders alike.

Speaking of intelligent agents, here is the latest one from AlertMD...called Margie® Machine-Assisted Recommendation and Guidance Engine

A $6 pizza has a website where you can watch the pie being made, $100 car insurance is sold to us by a lizard, a lady in flowing-white-robe or a dude called Jake. In the meanwhile, $20,000 surgeries are coordinated via fax, an old phone system and sometimes, a web portal where a patient leaves a message on a Friday and has no clue if you have read it by Tuesday AM and calls your switchboard and waits for 17 minutes.

"Alexa®", I need an MRI" - be part of that new reality or get Margie'd. Your patients don't care about ACOs, population health or whether you have the EMR with the blue button or the red button. They care about whether it is easy to work with you - PERIOD. Do not wait until your practice gets "Margie'd" by competition. Contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com and make it easier for your patients.

About Margie® - AlertMD's ambulatory extension, Margie® - is a persona for your health system. She talks to your patients via the web, phone and Alexa®. No more elevator music for your patients on your clinic phone line. Margie® is a Machine-Assisted Recommendation and Guidance Engine that you configure to meet your needs. Watch this 2-minute video for a preview of Margie® here.

Note - Only 16-23% of patient interactions come through your portal - even in a well-oiled practice. 50% of your daytime calls should not even require human intervention. Margie® digitizes the remainder, guides more patients to your portal as you see fit and creates a centralized switchboard for all your locations. And oh, we are thinking that your patients would rather text you than call you - texting my doctor's office is so 2019.

About AlertMD®: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Metro South Medical Center Makes it Easier to Practice Medicine

Quorum Metro South Medical Center has signed up to improve efficiencies via AlertMD.

A $6 pizza has a website where you can watch the pie being made, $100 car insurance is sold to us by a lizard, a lady in flowing-white-robe or a dude called Jake. In the meanwhile, $20,000 surgeries are coordinated via fax, an old phone system and sometimes, a web portal where a patient leaves a message on a Friday and has no clue if you have read it by Tuesday AM and calls your switchboard and waits for 17 minutes.

"Alexa®", I need an MRI" - be part of that new reality or get Margie'd. Your patients don't care about ACOs, population health or whether you have the EMR with the blue button or the red button. They care about whether it is easy to work with you - PERIOD. Do not wait until your practice gets "Margie'd" by competition. Contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com and make it easier for your patients.

About Margie® - AlertMD's ambulatory extension, Margie® - is a persona for your health system. She talks to your patients via the web, phone and Alexa®. No more elevator music for your patients on your clinic phone line. Margie® is a Machine-Assisted Recommendation and Guidance Engine that you configure to meet your needs. Watch this 2-minute video for a preview of Margie® here.

Note - Only 16-23% of patient interactions come through your portal - even in a well-oiled practice. 50% of your daytime calls should not even require human intervention. Margie® digitizes the remainder, guides more patients to your portal as you see fit and creates a centralized switchboard for all your locations. And oh, we are thinking that your patients would rather text you than call you - texting my doctor's office is so 2019.

About AlertMD®: AlertMD is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

Margie® comes to the Colorado Rockies to improve patient satisfaction

Colorado Springs Cardiology has signed up to improve refill efficiency and patient satisfaction via AlertMD.

"Alexa®, I need an MRI" - be part of that new reality or get Margie'd. Your patients don't care about ACOs, population health or whether you have the EMR with the blue button or the red button. They care about whether it is easy to work with you - PERIOD. Do not wait until your practice gets "Margie'd" by competition. Contact sales@alertmd.com and make it easier for your patients.

About Margie® - AlertMD®'s ambulatory extension Margie® - is an intelligent physician office agent. She talks to your patients via the web, phone and Alexa®. No more elevator music for your patients on your clinic phone line. Margie® is a Machine-Assisted Recommendation and Guidance Engine that you configure to meet your needs. Watch this 2-minute video for a preview of Margie® here.

Note - Only 23% of patient interactions come through your portal - even in a well-oiled practice. 50% of your daytime calls should not even require human intervention. Margie® digitizes the remainder, guides more patients to your portal as you see fit and creates a centralized switchboard for all your locations. And oh, we are thinking that your patients would rather text you than call you - texting my doctor's office is so 2019.

About AlertMD: AlertMD® is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about Colorado Springs Cardiology can be found here.

Anchorage Fracture & Ortho Clinic Picks AlertMD to innovate.

Anchorage Fracture & Ortho Clinic has signed up to improve operational excellence via AlertMD.

"Alexa®, I need an MRI" - be part of that new reality or get Margie'd. Your patients don't care about ACOs, population health or whether you have the EMR with the blue button or the red button. They care about whether it is easy to work with you - PERIOD. Do not wait until your practice gets "Margie'd" by competition. Contact sales@alertmd.com and make it easier for your patients.

About Margie® - AlertMD®'s ambulatory extension Margie® - is an intelligent physician office agent. She talks to your patients via the web, phone and Alexa®. No more elevator music for your patients on your clinic phone line. Margie® is a Machine-Assisted Recommendation and Guidance Engine that you configure to meet your needs. Watch this 2-minute video for a preview of Margie® here.

Note - Only 23% of patient interactions come through your portal - even in a well-oiled practice. 50% of your daytime calls should not even require human intervention. Margie® digitizes the remainder, guides more patients to your portal as you see fit and creates a centralized switchboard for all your locations. And oh, we are thinking that your patients would rather text you than call you - texting my doctor's office is so 2019.

About AlertMD: AlertMD® is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about Anchorage Fracture & Ortho Clinic can be found here.

PrimeCare adopts AlertMD. More innovation to follow.

PrimeCare® has signed up to improve operational excellence via AlertMD.

"Alexa®, I need an MRI" - be part of that new reality or get Margie'd. Your patients don't care about ACOs, population health or whether you have the EMR with the blue button or the red button. They care about whether it is easy to work with you - PERIOD. Do not wait until your practice gets "Margie'd" by competition. Contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com and make it easier for your patients.

About Margie® - AlertMD®'s ambulatory extension Margie® - is an intelligent physician office agent. She talks to your patients via the web, phone and Alexa®. No more elevator music for your patients on your clinic phone line. Margie® is a Machine-Assisted Recommendation and Guidance Engine that you configure to meet your needs. Watch this 2-minute video for a preview of Margie® here.

Note - Only 23% of patient interactions come through your portal - even in a well-oiled practice. 50% of your daytime calls should not even require human intervention. Margie® digitizes the remainder, guides more patients to your portal as you see fit and creates a centralized switchboard for all your locations. And oh, we are thinking that your patients would rather text you than call you - texting my doctor's office is so 2019.

About AlertMD: AlertMD® is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

More information about PrimeCare can be found here.

Margie® makes it easier to be a patient at Kidney Care Center.

"Alexa®, I need an MRI" - be part of that new reality or get Margie'd. Your patients don't care about ACOs, population health or whether you have the EMR with the blue button or the red button. They care about whether it is easy to work with you - PERIOD. Do not wait until your practice gets "Margie'd" by competition. Contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com and make it easier for your patients.

About Margie® - AlertMD®'s ambulatory extension Margie® - is an intelligent physician office agent. She talks to your patients via the web, phone and Alexa®. No more elevator music for your patients on your clinic phone line. Margie® is a Machine-Assisted Recommendation and Guidance Engine that you configure to meet your needs. Watch this 2-minute video for a preview of Margie® here.

Note - Only 23% of patient interactions come through your portal - even in a well-oiled practice. 50% of your daytime calls should not even require human intervention. Margie® digitizes the remainder, guides more patients to your portal as you see fit and creates a centralized switchboard for all your locations. And oh, we are thinking that your patients would rather text you than call you - texting my doctor's office is so 2019.

About AlertMD: AlertMD® is a mobile health platform that saves 7 or more minutes for every minute our users spend on our platform. We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact Badri Narasimhan badri@alertmd.com

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

GI Specialists of Georgia signs on to AlertMD

GI Specialists of Georgia aims to improve efficiencies via AlertMD.

AlertMD's newest module Margie® - your patients can now text with your practice on their mobile phones instead of listening to your elevator music. Margie is a Machine-Assisted Recommendation and Guidance Engine that you configure to meet your needs. Watch this 2-minute video for a preview of Margie here.

Note - Only 23% of patient interactions come through your portal - even in a well-oiled practice. Margie digitizes the remainder, guides more patients to your portal as you see fit and creates a centralized switchboard for all your locations. And oh, we are thinking that your patients would rather text you than call you - texting my doctor's office is so 2019.

Our other world-class modules are as follows:

  1. AutoCode by AlertMD - Our artificial intelligence module Cassidi® automatically reviews clinical notes and saves time for the coders. It generates suggested pro fees when there are none. We reduce the time for the pro fee to be sent to the payor by about 9 days. We have also shown a 7% reduction in CBO expenses.

  2. AutoConsult by AlertMD - We interpret requests for consult via artificial intelligence. We use our call schedule and proprietary routing algorithms to automatically send a consult to the consultant and get communication or confirmation back to the requesting provider without additional manual steps. This saves staff about 15 mins per consult and also increases patient safety by making sure every consult is serviced.

  3. AutoCoordinate by AlertMD - Our care coordination module for ACOs and managed care organizations manages risk and sends notifications for case management and intervention from the market. Our customers have worked to decrease 1% in medical expense from the enhanced workflows.

We are based in Chicago, IL and have about 20,000 customers nationwide. For more information, contact sales@alertmd.com for a 20-minute webinar to learn more.

What Drives Patient Satisfaction?

We discussed the finding that patients appear dissatisfied even after many attempts by practices to do meaningful things to increase satisfaction. In conversations with multiple individuals, patients, practices and switchboards, what I found was revealing…

Patients want the following to feel satisfied:

  1. I want to know that I was heard. If I call your office, tell me that you know that I called
  2. Tell me that you will get back to me by a specific date – set expectations
  3. Meet those expectations – if you cannot meet them, tell me ahead in time that you will not be meeting them and set a new expectation – and meet that
  4. Give me a heads up when you are about to call and I will go to a private area to take the call

The argument for the above was quite simple…

When the patient wants an appointment with the provider, the provider asks the patient to set an expectation (an appointment date/time). The patient is then reminded of the appointment and asked to confirm. If they cannot make it, then the patient is asked to set a new expectation. The patient is expected to show up on time (meet expectation). If the patient cannot keep the expectation, they are asked to set a new expectation (reschedule).

Quite simply, the patient wants the practice to treat them the same way the practice wants to be treated.

Did someone say “Treat others the way you want them to treat you?”

What are your reactions? How do you manage your daytime calls? Hire more medical assistants and throw money at the problem? Do you keep your patients posted of progress? Does your portal solve all problems known to your patients? If a patient enters a message on your portal, do you tell them when you are working on it or set an expectation of a callback? What about a call during business hours? How do you handle that? The answers to these questions may drive far more patient satisfaction.

This is my humble observation from dozens of patient and practice interviews. Happy to hear your thoughts.

To discuss further, contact Badri at badri@alertmd.com.

Margie Example

“What satisfies my patients?” Thoughts from 16 providers across 9 specialties in 7 States.

It is a simple and yet very powerful sentiment.

With more and more of physician compensation revolving around patient satisfaction, the healthcare industry is left with what looks like an elusive goal – “What satisfies my patients?”. I was all the more curious about this question myself. I spent the better part of the last 5 weeks calling customers, non-customers and anyone else who was grappling with this question. Can patients ever be satisfied? Is it a perpetual train of more and more favors and an occasional thanks with bad online ratings the moment the waiting room does not smell of vanilla? May be send more portal messages and hope that counts for us keeping in touch? Another email campaign?

As I criss-crossed the country with physician practice interviews, what struck me was the amount of overhead employed to chase the elusive goal of a “satisfied” patient who will take a survey (well, one who is truly satisfied that they will share their opinion with others).

As I and several of our clients started unraveling the onion one layer at a time, we stumbled upon something quite obvious. A patient today has a dizzying array of information coming at them. Many of them may start at Google® before their PCP. Yet, the physician’s front office phone is one of the busiest pieces of equipment in the healthcare industry. It is not uncommon to have ½ FTE as medical assistants/front office staff for each provider in a practice. Why is that? Even with such a heavy-handed approach to providing patient care, physician practices get flak on online message boards for being less responsive. How can that be?

The FTE overload and even with that, online message board flak was prevalent across many specialties. Those interviewed for this article include primary care, orthopedics, GI, oncology, cardiology, pulmonary medicine and more. States in the country where the providers were based varied as well – IL, FL, WA, OH, LA, TX, NY and more. Throwing money at the problem seems to not solve patient satisfaction. The system seems like it needs new ideas.

As I started to spend more time on what keeps the medical assistants busy, it dawned on me. I kept notes at three practices on the number of calls medical assistants took and what the matter was during the call. I then tried to piece together when the patient called and when the callback was done. It was the day after Thanksgiving and I had to call a physician practice myself to make an appointment for a family member. I tried the portal and then the phone…and waited for a few days to get the matter resolved. A few patterns started to emerge as I put my own experience together with that of the interviewees.

Before I share what I learned, let me ask you…do you think you are a “satisfied” patient? What causes you dissatisfaction? To discuss further, contact Badri at badri@alertmd.com.

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