Ingenious Med’s Solution Engineering Tackles Anesthesiology

In this video, listen as Vice President of Solutions Engineering Krina Patel explains how Ingenious Med’s Solutions Engineering team acts as the subject matter experts to support sales and account management in finding answers to client questions and needs. Because the Solutions Engineering team has worked on implementations, as case managers and nurses, or on support teams, they know what will work and, perhaps more importantly, not work based on previous encounters with IM1 clients. The team also identifies problems and feeds ideas to the product team to determine if there is a viable solution that can be built into the One by Ingenious Med (IM1) platform.

Below is an excerpt from the interview about how Solutions Engineering got involved with developing an anesthesia solution for the company’s patient encounter platform. Becker’s ASC Review notes that “the top priority for anesthesia billers is to completely capture everything for the day” quickly and correctly. Because this is so closely aligned with IM1’s existing capabilities, Ingenious Med has made its anesthesia solution a priority in product development.

Question: What is Solutions Engineering?

Krina Patel: Our main job is to support sales. That’s our No. 1 job – support sales and account management. The reason for that is that sales people are good at what they’re good at, right? They are good at identifying needs, identifying opportunities and identifying clients who need a problem solved.

What we don’t want them to do is become so ingrained in the product. They don’t need to be subject matter experts. Let us focus on telling you the story of the application because our group is comprised of people that have done implementations on our side before. We have folks that have done the case management/nursing aspect. We have people that have ran the support team, so we know what is working and what is not. We use all of that to get in front of the process.

When the clients are going through the sales cycle, how can we tell you the story and successes that work and then how do we help identify the things that don’t work?

Q: How does supporting Sales feed into other Solutions Engineering projects?

Patel: That’s the other selfish part of supporting sales. We always want to know what the problems are and how do we then solve for those problems over time? What we end up doing is we feed that into our product organization. I think anesthesia is a good example. We say, “Hey guys, we keep hearing over and over again that most of the EMRs that are out there don’t end building out the anesthesia record.”

A lot of what we do is try to listen to the problems, try to come up with a solution and see if there’s a business value in it to pursue it and take it down the product development path. That’s the majority of what we spend our time on.

Q: Anesthesia is a big focus for the team right now. Why is it a fit for the IM1 product and its users?

Patel: So anesthesia was very unique, and it used to be a couple years ago we said we handle all service lines except for radiology, pathology and anesthesiology. It took a few clients that actually came to us and said, “Hey, will you help us do anesthesiology?” And, of course, the Solutions team and Steve [Liu] was like, “We’ve never really done that before but let’s look at the requirements.”

So we started looking at the requirements and decided we can do this. There is a start/stop time; there’s some nuances to anesthesia billing; but it doesn’t seem that complicated. It fits where we are.

So we went down the path, and we built out the charge capture portion. Then we started running it by are development partners that had asked us to build this. They said, “Well that’s great from a charge capture perspective, but we’re really not going to use that. We need you to figure out a way to extract the charge from the anesthesia record itself.”

Then we asked, “Wouldn’t that just be in the EMR?” But we learned that there were several places where the EMR actually doesn’t end up building out the anesthesia record because of the complexity. It’s a very unique workflow, and it’s not like all the other specialties where you just do the review of systems, the history of present illness, the typical progress notes for the initial H&P.

So we took a look at the vendors in this space. We ended up partnering with one of them and we said, “Hey, now let’s make it so that they can do their documentation inside of the application but let’s make it seamless to our user because our beta customers are saying, ‘Ingenious Med, you are so good at clinical workflow; you understand workflow better than any other system that we have ever used. So how can you help create that same concept around anesthesia that will not only help us with the revenue cycle but then give us the real-time metrics that you do for all of the other service lines, give us some data points for anesthesia, give us the coordination tools around it because we do want the surgeons and everybody to be coordinating on the patient as well?’ ”

We then took that concept and put it together. Recently we have taken it back to the beta partners, and they’re ecstatic. They’re saying, “That’s exactly what we’re looking for. We love that you know how to handle our ADTs, SIU feeds, and our scheduler feeds and then you marry that with your whole backbone of processing and being able to see and communicate, collaborate, review documentation and then send it downstream to the appropriate systems.”