Acute Care Express
medical practice" In Georgia
Acute Care Express is the
brainchild of Dr. David McMicken, an emergency
physician who helped "write the book"
on the Emergency Medicine knowledge base of the
Kurzweil voice dictation EM system (currently
owned by Dictaphone) when used by InPhyNet Hospital
Services, currently a Team Health Affiliate.
McMicken is a Regional MedicalOfficer for InPhyNet
Hospital Services. He has written articles / chapters
for the Annals of Emergency Medicine, Journal
of Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine: Concepts
and Clinical Practice, Principles and Practice
of Emergency Medicine, and Emergency Medicine
Clinics of North America. Physician's Practice
Digest recognized his urgent care center, Acute
Care Express, as the "first paperless
medical practice in Georgia".
Dr. McMicken applied his emergency medicine knowledge
and urgent care insights into the design and operation
of Acute Care Express (ACE), a freestanding Occupational
Medicine and Urgent Care Center that he developed
from the ground up as a real-time, paperless,
medical clinic. He researched this concept for
two years before committing to its development.
In 1996, his concept of a patient friendly, state-of-the-art
Urgent Care Center materialized in the form of
a beautiful facility that had every element from
the building and staffing through to the Practice
Management System (PMS) and Electronic Medical
Record (EMR) integrated into his urgent care delivery
was selected as ACE's PMS after an exhaustive
two year, national selection process. Dr. McMicken
is no stranger to computer systems, and with the
assistance of some technical advisors, he selected
ProtoMED for its sophistication, ease of use,
and integration capabilities.
"I wanted a company who understood how to
be a partner with us. This was a big endeavor
to me. I needed data entry as close to real-time
as was possible. I needed a seamless interface
with our Kurzweil EMR product. The entire PMS
had to fit into the flow of our unique design.
Most of all, we required responsiveness and assistance
from our PMS vendor - support at the times that
we needed it, not at the convenience of the vendor.
ProtoMED has proven to be precisely the PMS product
and vendor support that we require. Six years
after we made the decision to go with ProtoMED,
I remain pleased with the product's reliability
and "uptime", as well as the performance
of the support team. ProtoMED has been managing
our billing from the moment we opened our doors
- after all this time, I know that we made the
right decision when we choose ProtoMED over the
more recognized PMS vendors." - Dr. David
Evans is the Administrative Director of ACE -
she has over seventeen years of healthcare management
experience with previous positions such as Chief
Operating Officer, Horizon Physician Network;
and Director of Physician Practice Operations,
Columbus Regional Health Care System. Ms. Evans
was accustomed to relying heavily on quality practice
management systems to accomplish her management
goals. She brought a wealth of experience with
her from managing large practices with two of
the largest PMS vendors in the nation: SMS and
Malinda was used to managing with PMS reports
and tools provided in multi-million dollar systems.
She recalls being somewhat shocked to see ACE
running this little desktop system called ProtoMED
- a system that she had never heard of before.
Her first inclination was to replace this "no-name"
product with a national PMS vendor. She soon discovered
the value of all the PMS research that Dr. McMicken
and his team had conducted many years before -
the value of this "little system that could",
to Multi-million dollar systems:
We asked Ms. Evans her opinion of ProtoMED, anticipating
a favorable interview and some type of comparison
to the larger systems that she was familiar with.
We were astonished to learn the details that she
was able to offer regarding ProtoMED's value to
the ACE operation. The following bullets provide
a re-cap of ProtoMED features that Malinda likes
with comparisons to counterparts in the "big
systems" that she has used.
to Malinda, an IDX demographics screen required
eight separate screens of data entry - and
to her surprise, all of the same elements are
provided on only one ProtoMED demographics screen.
took over seventeen minutes for staff to prep
new patient data in IDX compared to only four
minutes in ProtoMED!
Evans used to require at least one solid week
of supervised data entry training with her SMS
and IDX systems prior to allowing new staff
to get into a production mode. She now subscribes
to on-the-job training, placing staff into production
during the first day on the job because ProtoMED
is so "intuitive and easy to learn".
"Every new user that I have brought onto
the ProtoMED from either Medical Manager, IDX,
or SMS has marveled at ProtoMED's ease of use."
Claims Processing and Claims Management
claims processing is much easier (you can't get
much easier than one single push-button!).
"No other system provides the claims management
capability of the ProtoMED claims manager"
- Malinda monitors billing office follow-up activity
and general A/R from her office with our claims
Easier A/R management
from on-demand reporting
end-of-month batch processing is required to conduct
ProtoMED A/R analysis reporting - the time and
rigors of month-end is standard fare for most
Evans makes good use of the Collectability
Analysis Report, available under A/R Analysis.
She may be enamored with this report for a more
personal reason that goes beyond its management
value - it was designed with her direct input
and modeled after reports and custom spreadsheets
that she had developed to keep a grip on monthly
collectability - we thank her for her management
Reimbursement Analysis reporting provides
excellent measures of profitability by CPT codes
and insurance payer.
quality of ProtoMED upgrades ranks high on Ms.
Evans' list as compared to the down time experienced
upgrading her multi-million dollar systems. All
upgrades have always been accomplished via remote
access - the most recent being accomplished via
Easier data mining
Ms. Evans is a true manager - she is accustomed
to measuring all that can be measured and squeaking
out profit from wherever profit can be found.
This pre-occupation with managing the details
often warrants spreadsheet analysis. Malinda will
develop Microsoft queries from ProtoMED
and incorporate the data into her own spreadsheets
through our ODBC interface. She actually likes
writing queries. She couldn't begin to imagine
doing this type of custom data mining with her
SMS or IDX systems - not without some heavy
custom programming expenses and a protracted development
ACE relies exclusively on the ProtoMED Help Desk
team to provide technical assistance.
Evan's old multi-million dollar systems required
onsite technical staff and immediate telephone
support was not available!
ACE has a very nice T1 connection (full-time,
fast Internet access linking them to corporate
headquarters in Knoxville, Tn.), Malinda prefers
using our Web-based support. She is always impressed
with the quick turn-around for placing web-based
support calls. "I know that if I submit an
online support call, I had better stay put - I've
tried to step out of the office after submitting
a support call - I can seldom get past the door
without getting a call from the ProtoMED Help
Desk. ProtoMED's promise of immediate support
So, do all these
features and efficiencies actually contribute
to the bottom line? Ms. Evans, always aware
of improving the bottom line answered with the
following tangible examples:
start with the obvious - look at the savings comparing
purchase cost between ProtoMED, IDX, SMS, or Medical
look at the ongoing expense of system maintenance
- you could probably purchase a small ProtoMED
system for the monthly maintenance cost of comparable
get into specific operational details - we save
approximately fifteen minutes for every new patient
entered into our system compared to IDX.
save approximately four hours a day in billing
entry alone, vs. what any other system requires
just to enter charges.
would have to add at least one additional person
in the billing office to manage claims follow-up,
if we didn't have ProtoMED.
with the multi-million dollar systems that I am
used to, we would require one additional onsite
person for support.
can recruit good front office staff for significantly
less money because they do not require the advanced
understanding of medical billing typical of the
staff we recruited with SMS and IDX.
Aware that all PMS products have unique features,
we asked the following question: Would
you say that ProtoMED does 60%, 70%, 80%, or 90%
of what these "big systems" do with
regards to necessary management reporting and
accountability? Ms. Evans immediately responded
with an emphatic "ProtoMED does 100% of
what those other systems did regarding the management
reporting that I need - and ProtoMED is easier
to use and produces reports faster than most of
the larger systems".
We thank Malinda Evans and Dr. David McMicken
for their resounding endorsement.
Note: ACE still had one
more "endorsement" up its sleeve - they
have agreed to purchase our new ProtoCHARTproduct
to begin replacing their Kurzweil voice dictation
with our tablet-based system. We thank them
for their continued confidence in us.
More about Dr. McMicken - truly a resource regarding
Emergency Medicine, EMR, and Urgent Care:
Dr. McMicken has been active in professional
societies such as the American College of Emergency
Physicians where he served as Councilor and sat
on the Government Affairs/Reimbursement Committee;
the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians where
he served as President (1991-93); and the Medical
Association of Georgia where he has served as
a Delegate and was a member of the Legislative
Committee for several years. Dr. McMicken also
served as Medical Director for Evergreen Medical
Group (1998-01), one of three Georgia provider
sponsored healthcare corporations with 11,000
HMO and 62,000 PPO covered lives. In addition,
Dr. McMicken sat on the Physician Council for
Georgia First/Medical Resource Network, a consortium
of 22 Georgia hospitals and 2,500 Georgia physicians
ProtoFEATURES are NOT paid
endorsements - features are either informational
in nature, or candid interviews of successful
ProtoMED clients and are presented to promote
the exchange of ideas within the online ProtoMED
Further information (including the HIPAA Privacy
Assessment Tool) is available at www.mhcc.state.md.us.
You can also download the Privacy
Assessment Tool directly from this newsletter
by clicking on the title.
Other recommended sites are:
- Medicaid - great site with many cross references
to all HIPAA information presented in graphical
- The Medicare site where you can electronically
file for an extension (if you haven't already
- The definitive publishing source for HIPAA
This! - Help
Common Network Error
Common Network Error Messages
Two of the most common network related error
messages are the "Errhnd.prg" and "driver
or network connection not available". Clients
can save time by using the following protocols
to trouble-shoot these errors that appear to be
"ProtoMED errors", but are usually the
result of minor network issues.
does not exist
This error pops up when you first open the program.
There are 3 possible reasons for getting this
1. The server is not on or is locked up. This
message is stating that it can't access the information
which is stored on the server. RESOLUTION: log
off all workstations, re-boot the server, then
log back into the workstations.
2. One workstation is not accessing the server.
This might be due to your shortcut. It might have
been changed during the boot up of your machine.
If you ever get a message asking to fix a shortcut,
DO NOT SAY YES. If you do, Windows will assign
your shortcut to something else, thereby making
your ProtoMED unaccessible. RESOLUTION: You might
need to reboot your machine and try again.
3. One of the databases needs to be fixed. Sometimes
a database can become corrupted by an inappropriate
termination of open files, usually related to
network failures. RESOLUTION: If the other 2 reasons
don't appear to be the problem, call the help
desk. We will need to connect to your pc to fix
The Driver or Network
Connection is Not Available
This is not a program error but a Windows message
that comes up when you attempt to open the program.
This message is stating that you are having a
networking problem. Either your machine is not
on the network, or the server is off or locked
up. RESOLUTION: Logoff and reboot your workstation
first. If you still get this message, have everyone
logoff all workstations and reboot the server
- check the hub to see if all lights are on. You
might even need to check the network cable connection
on the back of your PC. If you still can't get
your machine to access the network, call the help
desk as we can provide direction or refer you
to a hardware specialist for assistance.
- Timothy Griffith, Training Specialist
Tie Muse Rambling
Thoughts From The Protoman
"I came to see,
in my time at IBM, that culture isn't just one
aspect of the game - it is the game. In the end,
an organization is nothing more than the collective
capacity of its people to create value."
- L. Gerstner
Lou Gerstner, recently retired CEO of IBM, has
a book out about the dramatic turnaround that
he directed. I couldn't get past the inside cover
without being struck by his quote regarding the
significance of corporate culture.I
found this quote so relevant to Protologics (not
exactly an elephant amongst PMS vendors). Our
marketing efforts are focused on our products
- unique features, new releases, and new design
initiatives. This marketing strategy seems appropriate,
since we have been able to consistently deliver
quality designs that are either unique to the
marketplace, or provide substantial improvement
over similar features offered by the competition.
Such promotion fails, however, to advertise the
true strength of this company - our commitment
to our clients - our corporate culture of "advocacy
to our doctors and their staff" - an asset
that cannot be manufactured, purchased, or easily
This issue's feature article compares our product
with a few of the top-ten PMS vendors. I have
often seen us in a "David & Goliath"
situation when competing with the "big players"
- we have consistently delivered the "next
slingshot", even though they have immense
resources and we are literally outnumbered by
odds of 1000::1 in both staff and economic resources.
Why do we continue to succeed? Our secret weapon
is not our design strength, but rather our "culture"
- our "collective capacity of our people
to create value" - in short - our secret
weapon is our team commitment to serve the ProtoMED
community. I'd like to share an "insider
story" regarding two recent incidents that
exemplify our commitment.
The Protologics Tech Center is located on a main
street in one of the many "towns" that
remain within the zip code boundaries of Baltimore.
It is an old bank building converted into retail
and office space, servicing mostly tech and healthcare
businesses. Late last year, all businesses
along the main street corridor were devastated
by a week-long failure of all phone service for
the area! Road construction accidentally
ripped through telephone lines that serviced most
of the businesses in our area. We run a service
business - as with most businesses, our phones
are one of our most important business tools.
Why didn't our customers experience any "downtime"
regarding support? The answer is our "secret
weapon" - our staff, their resiliency and
We were still bringing clients online with our
new ProtoWEB Eclaims initiative. Our Internet
lines were protected, but how were we to perform
support when most of our clients use the phone
lines for support? Sue Germershausen (that friendly,
first voice that you hear when you call ProtoMED)
immediately had all of our lines forwarded to
her personal cell phone. LaMonte Odum (our
Operations Manager) sent the support team home
to perform service from their residences over
dial-up lines and their personal computers.
Intra-office communication links were maintained
via Internet Email and personal cell phones. Our
clients never experienced any delay of service
during the entire week that our business was stranded
without phones! Our ProtoMED team and
their commitment to service - their "never
say die" attitude and preoccupation with
providing value persevered to produce one of the
proudest ProtoMED moments that I can remember.
This team spirit is an excellent example of the
real strength behind our software.
Within the last few weeks, the Baltimore area
had a heavy snow storm and it was clear that the
roads were not ready to support morning traffic.
I called LaMonte at 7:30 in the morning to call
off work due to foul weather - a call that I've
only been made once before - over five years ago.
LaMonte was already in route, furthermore, half
the support team had already left for work to
insure an attempt at support. Harry Abramson,
our Northeastern Regional Rep had already forwarded
support calls to his cell phone, anticipating
that the office would be closed. The snow storm
was followed by one of the fiercest ice storms
that has hit this area of the country in over
twenty-five years - Protologics stayed open for
business - to serve clients in its nine state
These two examples are not uncommon, nor are
they limited to the names mentioned in the article
- there isn't a week that goes by without a member
of our team making decisions to go "above
and beyond" what they are "required"
to do. Resiliency and commitment truly exemplifies
the real strength of this organization. I'd like
to take this opportunity to say thanks to everyone
on our very special ProtoTEAM and to re-commit
our efforts to provide the very best service to
our clients in the coming new year.
and Happy Holidays
We look forward to serving you in the New Year!
CEO, Protologics Corporation
& Goliath -
Stories from the Sales Team
Personal Touch - Announcing Our ProtoMED 4.3 Road
The first ProtoMED 4.3 user group seminar took
place on October 8, 2002 in the Woodbridge area
of Northern Virginia and judging from the response
of the 17 users that attended it was just what
the doctor ordered.
DeDe Kruger from Dr. Peter Bryce's office couldn't
wait to write us and say, "Just wanted
to let you guys know the meeting was wonderful
yesterday. As you know, I will be taking over
the front office, and the upgraded system is perfect
for me. It is very easy to use and self-explanatory.
The guide book on the system is wonderful as well.
I was able to print out some reports for Dr. Bryce
this morning that we have been unable to do previously.
Thank you again for the upgrade and I'm looking
forward to using the on-line billing method as
The Road Show continues this November in Washington,
DC, the Eastern Shore of Maryland in January,
and the Baltimore area in February.
We look forward to meeting all of you one-on-one.
If you are interested in either hosting, or attending
our free 4.3 Road Show seminars please contact
If you are interested in either hosting, or attending
our free 4.3 Road Show seminars please contact
me at 800.648.4836, or you can click on this
text and Email me: Rgreenberg@protologics.com
Regional Director, Business Development
News - ProtoCHART Is HERE!
November 2002 - Protologics
and Medinotes Join Forces For ProtoCHART:
Protologics Corporation has joined forces with
MediNotes Corporation, an Iowa Electronic Medical
Records vendor with installations nationwide,
to sell Charting Plus, the Medinotes EMR and
to produce ProtoCHART - an Electronic Medical
Record with seamless integration into our ProtoMED
practice management system.
Protologics selected the Charting Plus product
for its vast knowledge base (we can deliver
specialty specific content right out of the
box!), ease of use, Windows platform, relational
database, WYSIWYG templates, and E&M coding
wizard. Medically reviewed specialty templates
are available for: Primary Care, OB-GYN, Ophthalmology,
Optometry, Neurology, Dermatology, Orthopedics,
The ProtoCHART EMR product shall allow for
seamless integration of ProtoMED patient demographics
and billing information captured from the clinical
record. While billing information is provided
during the patient encounter by the EMR, charges
can be reviewed by the billing team before being
posted to a patient's account. ProtoCHART employs
the best of both worlds: real-time, compliant
coding from the EMR and batch review by the
practice billing team - all with minimal data
entry on a wireless tablet based system.
Schoen, CEO of Medinotes Corporation (left in
picture inset) is a pioneer of real-time data
capture. He had founded a company that produced
one of the first hand-held, real-time inventory
control systems. The company's growth made the
venerable "Inc. 500" list before Don
sold his interest to pursue the Medinotes venture.
Lawrence Walsh, CEO of Protologics Corporation
has stated that "the two companies share
a similar software development history, many
common values, and the same entreprenual spirit
- we look forward to a fruitful relationship".
Judging from the enclosed "proto"
photo, the CEO's share more in common than business
values - it appears as though they also share
the same hairstyles!
shall be available for in early January 2003
with the release of ProtoMED version 4.4
. Demonstrations are available now - call Protologics
at 800-648-4836 to request a demonstration,
or Email email@example.com.
October 2002 - Protologics
Publishes HIPAA Compliance Policy:
Policy Statement - ProtoMED
and HIPAA Compliance - October, 2002
Covered Entity or Business
Protologics Corporation has filed for an extension
regarding HIPAA compliance. The ProtoMED product
appears to fit better into the HIPAA 'BUSINESS
ASSOCIATE' model than the definition of a 'COVERED
ENTITY'; therefore, it has been argued that
we are not required to be 'HIPAA compliant'
as a 'COVERED ENTITY'. We have chosen to represent
ourselves as a CLEARINGHOUSE to CMS, instead
of a Practice Management Vendor, thereby placing
ourselves into the HIPAA 'COVERED ENTITY' model.
We have chosen to subject ourselves to the added
scrutiny as a matter of confidence and security
to our clients.
Most Practice Management Vendors will rely on
clearinghouses to translate their claims into
the HIPAA x12 transaction standards. As BUSINESS
ASSOCIATES they are not held to the same level
of accountability as a COVERED ENTITY. Most
Practice Management Vendors do not own their
clearinghouse operation, so they have no need
for further accreditation. Protologics Corporation
is currently in candidacy status for accreditation
by the Electronic National >>>>>.
This, we believe, should provide our clients
with additional confidence to no that their
PMS vendor holds itself to national accreditation
that is usually reserved only for national Clearinghouses.
Claim Submission Protocol:
Presently, ProtoMED exceeds HIPAA security requirements
regarding encryption for transaction processing.
Claims are passed through the Internet at a
128K encryption level - twice that required
by the HIPAA standard. We plan to further secure
the transaction channel by including a Secure
Socket Layer (already developed - just waiting
X12 Transaction Standards:
ProtoMED currently batches its claims into the
National Standard Format (NSF). The new HIPAA
format uses various transaction sets outlined
in the x12 specification. ProtoMED will continue
to rely on the translation of its NSF format
by its BUSINESS ASSOCIATES until later next
year. ProtoMED will produce and process all
necessary transaction sets within x12 specification
by the end of 2003. Protologics will, however,
continue to submit claims to Payers in whatever
format that is dictated by the Payer. Obviously,
if a Payer or Clearinghouse cannot process an
x12 transaction set - or is asking its BUSINESS
ASSOCIATES to retain the NSF standard, Protologics
will accommodate the ASSOCIATE to insure clean
claims processing and payment.
and Chain of Custody Agreements:
While it is up to each provider organization
as a 'COVERED ENTITY' to secure both the Business
Associate and Chain
of Custody Agreements with its trading
partners, Protologics is happy to provide both
agreements to our clients as a matter of convenience
and for mutual compliance. The agreements are
available via download by clicking on the appropriate
hyperlink, or from the client download section