“Improved Patient Care through Quality Health Information”

I usually keep my blog agnostic of M*Modal, and try to make it of interest to anyone in the health information space, regardless of the technology they use. But since the HIMSS conference about a month ago, the resulting follow-up conversations and news from the HIT world made it more apparent to me why I came to work for M*Modal – and why we’re all in this business in the first place. So I thought I’d stray from my own rules a bit.  The blogger’s prerogative.   I also hope to use this as a jumping-off point to an ongoing discussion – what is quality health information?

At HIMSS this year, there was, as you would expect, a tremendous amount of talk about meaningful use, health information exchange, adoption, you name it. The exhibit hall was full of vendors whose products will solve all of a health care provider’s problems. There were “transformative” solutions everywhere you looked.  Since HITECH ARRA announced its meaningful use requirements, HIT has exploded with new products, new technologies, and a scramble to help the provider (or perhaps capitalize on the need to?) achieve compliance.

But as I talked with people who came to the M*Modal booth asking, “what is different about M*Modal”, it forced me to think about that myself. Why is M*Modal different?

My two cents:

  • We aren’t a “vendor”.  Yes, we sell technology. But with our technology comes our people – a partnership. The service we provide can’t be separated from our technology.
  • We aren’t about the revenue cycle. We’re about health care. Yes – documentation plays a big part in revenue cycle management and our technology certainly helps with that – but “Improve your revenue cycle!” isn’t our mission.
  • Our founders have been using the terms “health information universe” and “meaningful clinical document” for years – as evidenced in a slide from an early presentation that is still relevant today. A universe of meaningful clinical documentation has been what M*Modal is about since its inception.
  • We spend hours talking about how to improve the documentation experience for caregivers, and how to use information to build a more collaborative experience for the patient care team and the HIM. We talk to physicians, to HIM professionals, to technology vendors, to transcription service providers, to continuously improve not just their experience using our technology, but their ability to make use of health information in general.
  • Yes, our M*Modal team includes scientists and engineers, but it also includes health information professionals from MTs to transcription managers to coders to CDI specialists to RNs to those of us who have been in the business so long that we’ve done pretty much everything there is to do in HIM.
  • We honestly believe that health information can have an impact on the care of the patient – and on wellness itself. As our CTO Detlef Koll put it in his response to the PCAST report, ‘truly meaningful use of health information has the potential to transform health care.”

Do we have our challenges? Of course – we’re growing fast and we’re crazy busy.  But from the interns who frequent our offices, to our scientists, to our customer service personnel, to the people who keep our data center running, to our administrative and HR staff, to our marketing and business development teams, we’re all part of a team who works every day towards a vision of improved patient care through quality health information.  And at the end of a day, no matter how long, that is really all that matters.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be talking more about “quality health information” and what that means to business, to health care providers, and most importantly, to the patient.

I look forward to hearing from you about what “quality health information” means from your perspective.

All my best as always,


PS:  This post also appears at Excellence in Health Information.

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