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Doctors Go Solo With Lonemedic

EntrepreneurCountry Global Thursday, 17 October 2013.

Gabriel Alvarez has over 30 years of experience as a plastic surgeon, having operated in hospitals including the Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street and University College London. Mr Alvarez also takes a keen interest in technology, beginning when he published a CD ROM course on plastic surgery. 

lonemedic-healthcare-database pic2This CD ROM would become an integral part of the Royal College of Surgeons’ E step™ Surgeons in Training Education Programme and the E step™ Foundation course at the same institution. This interest led him to begin building his own FileMaker database to hold and organise patient records. Over the following years, Mr Alvarez built his database into the system that has now become Lonemedic, Mr Alvarez’s FileMaker based administrative system for doctors operating independently.

The challenge:

On a day to day basis, doctors are faced with a range of administrative tasks necessary to ensure their patients get the most appropriate care. This ranges from maintaining patient records to booking operating theatres and sending referrals.

Doctors working with private patients experience an even greater workload as they must deal with each patient’s insurance system in addition to their other day-to-day administration.

For doctors in a practice of any size, this can prove a huge load, making the recruitment of ever growing administrative staff necessary, and even when that is done, decreasing time spent with patients.

The FileMaker solution:

Over the past eight years, Mr Alvarez has built up a fully automated FileMaker database that handles every aspect of his administrative duties. He has now made the solution available to other doctors as Lonemedic.

At its core, Lonemedic is a medical records and billing management system, allowing doctors to manage a patient’s entire treatment from end-to-end. As a patient arrives, Mr Alvarez can access their patient record including examination history, x-rays and patient notes. If Mr Alvarez decides to refer a patient to another specialist, the system will automatically fill a template letter for the referral with the appropriate patient details, and if he chooses to book the patient in for surgery he can book an operating theatre directly from Lonemedic.

When working with private patients, the system will automatically record treatments and consultations. Different insurance companies use different coding systems and different pricing. By simply inserting the name of a patient’s insurance company and the treatment they have received, the FileMaker system will auto-generate the treatment’s code and the quotation to be sent to patients or insurance companies.

Lonemedic also increases oversight when doctors gain consent from a patient. Whenever treatment is administered doctors are required to verbally explain the procedure and possible side-effects. When entering a treatment to the FileMaker system, it produces a tailored list of points that need to be covered and ticked off before the doctor can move forward. The list is then printed as a reference document for the patient. Every document is also time-stamped to provide a paper trail for treatment and consultations.

Notable benefits:

The use of FileMaker has massively lightened the load for both Mr Alvarez and his secretary who also has access to the database.

Thanks to Lonemedic, Mr Alvarez operates all his patient contact and management from a single system, meaning information is easy to find and readily accessible. FileMaker’s automation features mean billing mistakes and issues with surgery bookings are minimal, and patient referrals are processed faster. All of Mr Alvarez’ consultations and referrals are also now fully trackable and, because they are contained within the single FileMaker database, secure.

Mr Alvarez’ secretary has also taken well to the system, using it to schedule the doctor’s appointments and reduce her time managing billing, as quotes and costs are automatically generated. With just five minutes of training, she has become a highly adept day-to-day user. The system’s automated billing functions have also allowed Mr Alvarez to move away from his previous specialist medical billing system, significantly reducing overheads.

Having used FileMaker to revolutionise his own day-to-day work, Mr Alvarez is currently BETA testing a version of Lonemedic that he will make available to any lone doctors.

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