Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)’s IL Chapter publishes article recognizing AlertMD's own Badri Narasimhan.
The article discusses the future of healthcare and technology with also stating Badri as an "innovator shaping the future of healthcare." The interview with Badri covers a wide range of topics including where mobile technology is headed in healthcare and how it can help hospitals. The full publication can be found here. An excerpt of the interview is shown below:
Innovator Shaping the Future of healthcare
Interview with Badri Narasimhan, President & CEO, AlertMD, LLC
By: Dan Yunker, VP & CFO, Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council
DAN: All of us have experienced mobile technology change in our daily lives - everything from buying movie tickets to depositing checks in a bank by taking a picture. How has it impacted the physician?
BADRI: The impact on the routine tasks of a physician is yet to come. Most of the applications that are available for a physician today are reference applications. Instead of carrying a book or a "cheat sheet," a physician may access apps to evaluate the scores for various risk assessments or look up codes for billing. Some use mobile apps to access their office network and then turn around and launch a full-fledged desktop software via a mobile device or tablet. All of these are in the infancy of mobile apps to come.
There are products with the ability to take a picture of the barcode on the bracelet of a patient and from that gather the necessary demographics of the patient (through an interface with the hospital) and digitally send the facesheet to the practice, register the patient and enter professional fees in seconds. Whereas this sounds futuristic, when done well, it is the simplicity of the process that drives adoption. Instead of taking a picture of the check to deposit, the physician takes a picture of the barcode and enters charges -- it can literally be that simple.
DAN: Why would a hospital want to provide an interface to enable this kind of billing?
BADRI: The are several reasons. For one, an easy billing process for physicians makes it incredibly easy to do business at the hospital. If I as a physician practice at a few different hospitals, I am going to gravitate my patients towards the one where it is the easiest to do business. Technology is certainly not the make or break factor in such a decision, but a lot of little things add up to a decision and such technology becomes yet another factor in making a good hospital great.
DAN: We have seen many hospitals focus on their physician relationships. How inclined are hospitals to implement technology to increase ease of doing business?
BADRI: Great question. Products that only improve the lives of physicians are likely to meet with resistance. If a product can both cater to the physician group and be beneficial to the hospital, there is a good opportunity to provide value to all. For example, a highly efficient process for the hospital to make the ICD9/ICD10 diagnosis codes in the employed and independent physician's professional fee process consistent with the hospital's DRG-based billing process may be delivered by a technology that also makes it easy to do business at the hospital. This is a win-win. Today, the hospital employes several documentation specialist nurses who either round with the physician or round separately to identify opportunities for improving documentation, identify DRG changes, review it with the physician and complete the review. This process is ripe for innovation. As we move from fee for service to fee for value, documentation becomes king and any inconsistency between physician offices and hospitals become the enemy.
DAN: Now that you mentioned ICD10, what, if any, are ramifications of ICD10 on software at the hands of physicians today?
BADRI: The changes are dependent on how the software vendor chooses to tackle ICD10. The physician should be spared the effort of training in billing. Physicians should search for the codes in plain English (e.g., hip pain) and the complexities of which code it maps to behind the scenes are dealt with by our product. For example, pain in the left and right hip are one and the same in ICD9 but the physician should not need to know or care about it. The same should hold in ICD10. Where there are additional questions or clarifications, technology should walk the physician through them in English and keep the complexity away from them.
DAN: When will mobile technology start impacting other staff members around the hospital such as nurses, pharmacists, etc.?
BADRI: Pioneering work is being done by many players there as well. Nursing labor is one of the top three expense items for a hospital P & L and yet the budgeting for that follows a crude algorithm of counting the number of patients in the bed at midnight on a day. The activity during the day when there were 50 admissions and 50 discharges compared to one where there were five and five are not even comparable... but based on today's industry metrics, the expectation would be that the costs for both days are the same! This metric (nursing labor per patient day) is ripe for innovation as well.
Some day in the future, each nurse may carry an app that will be like a weather forecast. Instead of showing how likely it is to rain in the next four days, it will show how likely it is that this particular nurse with be called in over the next few shifts.
DAN: Any closing comments?
BADRI: We are in the new age of shared hospital and physician interests. What is good for the hospital is now good for the physician and vice versa. There are several technology solutions that cate to extracting maximum value from this reality. Hospital administrators should seek to find the best solution for this needs. The time is now for leaders. The followers may lose market share and may be forced to adapt trends instead of gaining competitivity advantage by moving early.