The technological revolution has emerged as an enabling factor in the development of almost every sector. On a similar note, the healthcare industry is facing numerous challenges in today’s dynamic business environment, be it clinical, nonclinical or operational processes in hospitals. Hence, the industry is embracing digital transformation and making significant investments in processes and technologies to cut down costs, increase access to care delivery, and improve medical care. A team of information technology professionals and clinical experts, with an objective to improve medical business processes formed Med A-Z, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Koni Ameri Tech Services, Inc.
With 400 years of combined software development experience and 8 years of client feedback, Med A-Z has accumulated rich experience in supporting its worldwide clients with its process building tools. Its goal is to leverage technology in providing their services in a totally secure, reliable and simplified manner. The company targets ambulatory practices and outpatient clinics and is part of a 4 product strategy that targets the healthcare marketplace.
An Integrated Healthcare System
Med A-Z started with a simple vision, to help doctors deliver high quality care to the patients, while ensuring they get paid for everything they do. It helps healthcare providers manage their businesses by enabling them to concentrate on their patients. It has its elevator pitch for their customer which states ‘We help you in taking care of your business of medicine, while you take care of the practice of medicine.’
Med A-Z offers a fully integrated solution for patient care called ‘Med A-Z Complete’, which comprises of three modules including Electronic Health Records (EHR), Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), and Practice Management. The platform is designed around the concept of data interoperability, which creates the ability to link disparate health management systems, enabling healthcare providers to exchange electronic healthcare data with ease, and eventually improving patient care. The Med A-Z Complete platform is designed to address key challenges like data operability between systems, robust data security, and outcome based patient care.
In addition to these solutions, MAI®EDEN, an analytics and population health management software, is the company’s newly evolved platform. It combines cutting edge analytical tools with support and services to help the healthcare industry. It also delivers value-based-care, while improving clinical outcomes and provides cost effective care for patients. The other products includes MAI®EDEN for population management and clinical and quality benchmarks, MAI®REMINDERS for automated reminders by text, phone and email, MAI®PRACTICUM for recording and tracking, Practicum for nursing and other specialties and MAI®DOC for document management using latest digitization technologies for easy access like QR codes.
Ingenuity at its Best
It is ingenuity that takes particular person one step ahead of the others. After serving in parent company, Koni Ameri Tech Services as a consultant, Satish Kumar now hold the role of CEO of APAC in Med A-Z. Satish has played a key role in developing MAI®EDEN and rolling it out to the customers in US.
According to Satish, most EHRs are designed to work on the ‘fee-for-service’ model, whereas the focus is shifting toward ‘value based care’ model. The ground is shifting from cure to prevention. Med A-Z and MAI®EDEN help providers focus on just that. He states that the focus is now to take Med A-Z Complete along with MAI®EDEN across Middle East, South Africa with plans to roll out the products in India in early 2019.
From Challenged Sensed to its Solution
According to Vasu S. Iyengar, the Founder and CTO, Med A-Z sensed challenges in the healthcare industry which were on 2 fronts. First challenge was to provide quality care to the patients. The second challenge was of enterprises on handling revenues needed to run their business, in the form of claims and reimbursements. In his views, the second challenge is something; a healthcare provider typically does not need to focus on, but is forced anyway.
It was this inspiration that led Med A-Z come up with a solution that allows healthcare providers to concentrate on patient care. The company will take care of the rest, including claims and reimbursement, regulatory issues, guidelines etc.
Evolving with Hindrances
Med A-Z was started in 2003. In more than a decade, the company evolved from challenges with mitigating strategies employed.
Initially, educating clinicians on ROI as compared to devices like EKG machines was a challenge. To resolve this, the company started offering the E.H.R as a point of care tool to its customers to help reduce liability and increase revenues. After that, proving that the tool did not slow down its customers’ patient flow became the obstruction for the company. Thus, its internal clinical experts benchmarked the amount of time taken which was 6 minutes. They had to go back to the drawing board till they were able to simulate a flow that was comparable to the amount of time clinicians took to transcribe or handwrite notes.
Later on aroused the bandwidth issues, due to telephone modem based ambulatory environments. Thus, Med A-Z built high speed bandwidth into its offerings.
Additionally, the company also built HL7 interfaces with different diagnostic modalities like X-Ray, Nuclear Echos, EKG machines, etc. to ensure that the work was not duplicated while entering clinical or diagnostic test orders. The company also dealt with the obstruction of fluid change in technology for prevention of data loss that mandates technical expertise at practices by its Skinin- the-game approach.
It’s more than a Database
Med A-Z is not merely a database or a system that integrates billing, patient demographics or standard based patient disease information. Its solutions are an eco-system.
The development team at Med A-Z constantly monitors changes in the industry to keep its clients and itself up-to- date with clinical, regulatory and reimbursement changes. Issues brought to its year-round are addressed by its 24-hour support specialists. Through this, it ensures the continued enhancement of a unique fully integrated platform, which it is able to offer at accommodating pricings as practices and the industry continue to grow. Med A-Z was the first in the industry to offer Electronic Health Records free of charge as part of its billing services for clients.
The main strategy of Med A-Z was to create an interactive vision that’s about more than technology. It did this by encompassing the solutions around the policies, practices and continuously evolving processes of the health care industry. This allows its clients to seamlessly adapt to the changes mandated by regulatory controls and policies by reconciling information into a single customer resource that serves their changing needs.
Addressing Industrial Challenges with its Unique Qualities
Med A-Z believes in serving below qualities with its offerings:
Interoperability – With paper based records phasing out of the medical industry, data technology is becoming increasingly powerful and comprehensive. Patient medical records are now accessible than ever before and information exchange is beginning to occur in real time. However the challenges around interoperability between various healthcare systems remain. Med A-Z and MAI®EDEN have been built with interoperability in mind. Data sets are kept isolated in separate containers to share with other systems and data exchange layers have been built for ease of interfacing with third party systems.
Value based care – There is a notable change in health care industry, where a move from ‘volume-based-reimbursement’ to ‘value-based-reimbursement’ is happening. Focus is shifting toward value based care model from traditional fee-for-service model. Med A-Z’s analytics product MAI®EDEN helps in outcome based treatment for patients. It also helps to analyze different parts of an electronic chart so that the right information is presented.
Data Security – As more and more medical data gets digitized and transmitted electronically, the company end with vast amounts of EHR data. Keeping these data safe and secure is one of its primary areas of focus.
New Revenue Streams – New trend, which is emerging, is the quest for hospitals to identify new revenue streams, not just managing revenue cycles but creating new ones. Med A-Z works with several customers implementing new revenue streams.
Med A-Z is focusing on mobile enabled versions in North America and rolling out its Med A-Z Complete and MAI®EDEN solutions to customers in EMEA, APAC regions in the near future. The company is also focusing on the simplicity and mobility of its EHR solution. MAI®EDEN is constantly being updated with improved risk adjustment modeling and analytics, and continuing to adopt best practices in the healthcare industry.
Med A-Z has been working on a continuing education tool for doctors in developing economies, emphasizing on right mix of preventive and curative care. It is also looking to integrate its solutions with solutions from other companies that are complementary to its offerings.