I spent 3 years at a startup company that built a software application that helped Doctors and Nurse Practitioners provide point of care disease management. The company’s name was Isprit. They are still in existence, but are having a hard time getting Doctors to consider automation. It was a great system because it re-engineered the patient-Doctor encounter to be more efficient, informative and patient driven.
When I took the job, a former Pharmaceutical Executive laughed and said, “Doctors will not buy it.” Unless you can show them how to make money with it, or keep them out of jail, they will never buy it.” He ended up being right about it.
I had a Doctor that was using an EMR (Electronic Medical Record). He dumped all his patients and went into research. I signed up with a Doctor who was recommended by our pharmacists. His office is still using pen and paper. It really sucks because nothing is in real time. Data is collected during the visit, but I am always waiting for the lab results.
So, I attended the “At the Top” networking event last Thursday at the Skyline Club. (Best networking even in Indianapolis by far). Tom Godby, a local entrepreneur and businessman gave the keynote presentation. He talked about one of his companies that has a point of care medical device that measures cholesterol.
Why are more Doctors not using this device? The product is Cardiochek. You can buy it for yourself, or your Doctor could use it for your cholesterol checks when you go in for a yearly exam.
The way my Doctor works. I go into his office, they take my blood and then send it to a lab. We have our appointment, then I get a phone call a couple of weeks later. He has me come into the office to discuss the results. The cost to me and my insurance company is too much. Cholesterol is something that can be done real time in his office before I even see him.
How the encounter should work using a device like Cardiochek.
Dr. Elaine Habig is a internal medicine doctor in Lebanon, Indiana. Here is how she works with her patients.
- Patient gets their finger pricked using a device like Cardiocheck
- Nurse puts the results into their Caretrack system
- Dr. Habig reviews the results with the patient in the room on a screen that graphs out the current results and compares it to previous results.
- They discuss treatment options right there, or diet adjustments
- Patient gets a printout of the cholesterol readings right there.
No phone calls, no come back into the office and waste an hour of your time. No additional costs to the patient.
Why are more Doctors not doing this?
If we want real healthcare reform in this country, you and I need to become consumers of our healthcare. There is no reason my Doctor should not be using a point of care system or point of care device to measure basic blood work. They can provide better care with good data and be more consistent in their delivery, if they know the outcomes of their own work with patients. If data resides on paper only, it has not value to either the physician or the patient.
I was at Isprit about 3 years ago. With all the talk of reducing healthcare costs, it could start with a simple change in how we deliver it. Streamline patient encounters, use available technology for standard procedures, and make healthcare delivery as customer driven as other industries.
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