As doctors, we are all familiar with the pain of writing patient notes and prescriptions. Pulling out records is a pain. We all wish we had our data in our tablets, laptops and mobile phones.
There are plenty of electronic medical records systems in the world, especially in the US, Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia.
I came across the relatively new Philippine startup called Serious MD.
Cue “why so serious?” memes here. But I will restrain myself. We’re here to focus on functionality.
Serious MD is a one-year old tech startup with a team of 15 developers. If you haven’t heard of them, it’s because they’re relatively new. They’ve developed a desktop and IOS platform for electronic medical records. For someone who knows the pain of handwritten charts and abstracts, I was curious.
I signed up and found myself in front of an interactive dashboard. Let’s say hi to Liz.
I found a pleasant looking guide in setting up my account and creating a patient profile.
I found myself in this window to set up a patient profile. There was a patient consent ticker at the bottom, so you’d probably have to make sure to at least inform your patient that their record will be inputted into the interface.
Right in the middle of the tutorial session, a support window pops up offering me to extend the free trial and a lifetime discount in exchange for a call. Probably as added incentive for me to use the software. The support looks promising if they’re actually willing to extend calls to customers.
Okay, time to see what this baby does. I’ve set up a clinic schedule on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in my hospital as a test. It shows me a nice calendar.
Let’s add this test patient to the queue. Here goes patient number one.
Now that’s done. Time to add another patient.
I was intrigued to see a nice list of Health Maintenance Organizations in my patient profile. It makes me feel like I’m using a hospital information system.
I poked around the software some more. I’ve made a patient record already, and I wanted to write notes for my patient. So I clicked on the pen on the right upper hand corner and found a list of EMR templates. Here’s one of the most vital things that a doctor would assess in the electronic medical record. I was pleasantly surprised to find a list of things I really needed.
They had SOAP, free text, Rx, lab results, freestyle, images, diagram, physical examination, certificates and clearances. Writing medical certificates would be much less painful with this.
I clicked on the physical examination box and found a list of things to write by organ system.
I found a nice format for the physical examination. Not sure if I could use custom templates over and over again though. But it looked very convenient. I checked out the Mental Status Exam section and was pleasantly surprised to find a full MSE template.
I checked out the prescriptions feature and typed in “dapsone”. There was absolutely no need to look up the drug in MIMS, because the dosage was there.
You could also set pricing for your services and bill them to an assigned patient.
There is a nice reports tab for billing. Probably lessens headaches for taxation if you’re used to keeping accounting books for your patients. It also keeps tabs on all the different clinics you go to. I suppose I would find this useful as a doctor who goes to different clinics on different scheduled days.
I’ll be adding an affiliate user, say for example, a secretary or a nurse. This function would be handy if I wasn’t the only one who would access my records.
Poking around even further, I found that I could edit user roles as the admin, and add more doctors, secretaries and nurses as I go along.
There was a template for importing a bunch of patients into a CSV file. For someone with plenty of patients, it would be easier to use the CSV file and input them all at once.
Alternately, you can also export your data in a CSV file and download it for backups.
On the iPad and iPhone, data is saved on the device, and synced automatically once internet gets back on.
I found that Serious MD can also text patients using SMS credits. It would allow me to toggle and text patients before the day and on the day of the appointment. You can also choose to be notified via text message. Updates to improve this would include customized text messages to patients for promotions and reminders. In a paid plan, there are 100 included SMS credits per month. Any additional SMS credits could be added either by Visa, Mastercard or Paypal.
You had a bunch of options whether to keep several aspects of the patient record or to turn them off at the Settings page.
Reports were generated by Appointments, Top Complaints and Revenue. Handy.
As for the price, Serious MD is free with a limit of 100 patients, and Php 1950 per month for unlimited patients. You can also increase your patient limit by inviting other doctors to sign up. For a clinical practice that would otherwise have to invest in time and money keeping accounting books, file drawers and prescription pads in the medical office, it’s a good investment. After all, there weren’t plenty of electronic medical records at this monthly price, with mobile interoperability and offline functionality.
Being the lazy person that I am, I personally like not having to write prescriptions and accounting by hand. I also like their hands-on support team with weekly blog updates. They have a Facebook support group too at www.facebook.com/groups/SeriousMDdoctors/
When asked about Serious MD’s trajectory, Co-Founder Dennis Ong mentions having a patient portal on the way so that patients can also access their medical records and will not have to request it over and over from the physician. They’re also working on an Android release as it’s initially on IOS. Other features are quickly on the way.
UPDATE (May 29, 2019):
– There are a bunch more template options and even libraries in the Settings area now
– There’s an ICD10 / Philhealth database
– Philhealth CF4 generator (the solution to the bane of our existence)
– Even more reports