Physicians interact with a vast amount of technology on a daily basis — over 4,000 clicks’ worth, just within electronic health records (EHRs) during a 10-hour shift.
According to MIMIT Health Founder, Chairman & CEO, Dr. Paramjit “Romi” Chopra, the status quo in healthcare has for too long been resigned to EHRs and various other technologies existing in a separate, siloed state, made worse by faxes, which still proliferate healthcare.
Dr. Chopra recently joined Josh Douglas, Bridge Connector Chief Technology Officer, for a webinar, “Patients Over Paperwork: Through the Eyes of a Physician,” to both point out industry norms and how Dr. Chopra challenges and overcomes them by focusing on patient-centered care.
“By the numbers, it’s hard to argue why a physician should only be able to spend 17 to 20-something minutes with each patient,” said Douglas, “when, for each hour of direct patient contact, physicians spend an additional two hours — double that time — working on reporting and desk work.” Not to mention, bureaucratic tasks contribute the most with physician burnout, which continues to be a challenge across the industry.
“My passion is taking care of people, and people don’t go to a building for care. They go to a person and then a team of people who need to solve their problems,” said Dr. Chopra. “Everything in the past was always physician-centered, where the doctor has a thousand systems to go through before they can get to the solutions.”
In such a fragmented ecosystem, the demand on physicians is high, and the systems don’t support it, Dr. Chopra says, resulting in a physician-centered way of thinking where the patient often gets left behind.
“I got frustrated and said I wouldn’t treat my own mother in this way, so why should this be good enough for my patients?”
Dr. Chopra has practiced medicine for over 30 years, beginning in India, where he became the youngest chair of a large academic department and a tenured professor. He leveraged these experiences as well as his work with hospital systems to found his own practice, MIMIT Health, a nine-practice, multi-specialty endovascular group in the Chicago metro area. Under Dr. Chopra’s leadership, MIMIT has consistently grown around 40% year over year on the principle of patient-centered care.
Dr. Chopra’s process of digital transformation has been almost as lengthy as his career, however, which he discussed with Douglas.
The digital transformation began with digitizing paper, literally scanning faxed documents into PDF files, followed by Dr. Chopra’s implementation of Medstreaming, the vascular-specialty EMR. But his office was not receiving any “real actionable insights from that information” in the early days. His quest for more structured data led to the need for analytics for better insights, which led to, “How do I do this better, faster, cheaper? I call it the Amazonification of healthcare,” said Dr. Chopra. “Amazon is totally based around the customer, and as customers, we’re addicted to that convenience. In healthcare, it’s the patient whose loyalty we need to earn.”
Dr. Chopra was an early adopter of Salesforce, the customer relationship management platform, and he now considers MIMIT Health’s current-day portfolio of solutions as “wall-to-wall Salesforce,” which Bridge Connector integrated with MIMIT Health’s EMR, delivering patient-centered care and a more holistic view.
“What used to take me hours to access — I had to go look for everything on paper — I now have all of that information available on our handheld devices. And that has changed the paradigm completely,” said Dr. Chopra. “Not many large systems have been able to accomplish what Bridge Connector and we have done in the last year, and we did it on budget, on time, ahead of everyone’s expectations.”
MIMIT Health also employs: enterprise Box for HIPAA-compliant cloud storage and collaboration; DocuSign to capture electronic signatures; TaskRay for project management; Einstein Analytics to surface insights about their patient population; Evernote as their “second brain” that also has AI built-in; Vonage voice solutions, as well as the HIPAA-compliant WhatsApp for patient communications.
Dr. Chopra was a 2018 recipient of a U.S. Congressional Medal for Outstanding Contributions and Excellence in Patient Care and Teaching and is a published author with triple digits in academic speaking credits to his name. He credits much of his success with MIMIT Health to thinking more like an entrepreneur — leveraging technology solutions to provide more patient-centered, “enlightened” care, as he calls it, which also blends his experience in both eastern and western medicine to apply meditation through AI-based solutions for his patients.
Dr. Chopra referenced a young patient with a life-threatening disease who messaged him on WhatsApp as she was headed to the ER one evening. Within 20 minutes he had connected her with his team who scheduled her for a procedure in his office the next morning, saving her the ER trip. He mentioned a patient who travels to see him from Eastern Europe, another from California, both of whom say they will only work with Dr. Chopra and the team at MIMIT Health.
“We care for our patients from the spiritual angle, all the way down, which is why I call it enlightened care,” he said. “We have incredibly loyal patients, and these are the kinds of endpoints we get because of the technological tools we have in place.”
Douglas and Dr. Chopra discussed other efficiencies that MIMIT Health has gained as a result of Bridge Connector’s integration and MIMIT’s extensive use of Salesforce: saving over two hours a day per patient by eliminating data entry; patient care plans that used to take 8-10 hours to create are now down to one hour; and labor production has improved by 30%. Most importantly, the ubiquitous transfer of information is now accessible from anywhere in the world.
“In healthcare, which has traditionally been about 20 years behind other industries, it was always presented as if technology was a problem,” Dr. Chopra said. “Technology’s here to stay, and we need to help people lead better lives, thanks to the technology, and all of the valuable information that comes from it.”
For more information, including additional recommendations from Dr. Chopra that providers and provider groups can follow to achieve similar results, listen to the webinar on-demand.