A Belleville health care technology consulting company is on the grow and has won a new contract to provide Port Huron Hospital’s affiliate physicians with electronic medical records selection and implementation training.
ATMP Consulting Group was founded in 2007 by Joseph J. Dylewski, a Wyandotte native, Eastern Michigan University graduate and 22-year veteran of the IT industry.
Dylewski spent the majority of the first half his career at Flint Ink Corp. as a project manager, desktop computing manager, and finally as information systems manager for Flint Ink’s Wolverhampton, England-based European operations. Then he moved to VIA Information Tools as general manager of managed IT services, and finally to Compuware Corp. as health care business development director.
At Compuware, Dylewski said he saw a lot of pain as physicians, clinics and hospitals struggled with the conversion from paper medical records to electronic medical records.
He said that “a great deal of money has been spent over the past six or seven years on information technology at health systems, but not a lot of attention was paid to small medical practices. The Bush Administration in 2005 basically mandated that all medical records would be electronic within 10 years, and very few of them had started to be converted.”
The effort only accelerated with the election of Barack Obama, whose stimulus contained $19 billion for private practice physicians to buy and implement electronic medical records software. Depending on the amount of Medicare and Medicaid care in the practice, that amounts to $42,000 to $63,000 per doctor.
As usual, there are strings to that federal money — the software must be certified, comply with federal medical records privacy and security law, and the government audits the practice to ensure the software is actually being used “meaningfully.”
Having records stored electronically makes it easier for patients to move from one doctor to another and eliminates records redundancy. It saves time, dramatically reduces the paper trail and makes things easier for insurance companies, which will save everyone money. Most important: quick, comprehensive access to patient data will improve the quality of care.
But Dylewski said many doctors, accustomed to running their own medical practices and small businesses as they see fit, are frustrated and overwhelmed by the process.
“The big problem is knowledge,” Dylewski said. “For physicians to implement and move from paper to electronic form is a major, major undertaking, and a lot of doctors are saying they’ll retire before they take a single step. A lot of the problem is a lack of understanding of what is involved, and they really don’t know who to believe. They hear horror stories from peers, that the EMR company says ‘this will cost $10,000′ but the entire project ends up costing $150,000 because of the additional costs that are associated with application implementation projects. And there’s no voice of reason out there to tell them, don’t worry, if you go through this process right, it won’t be over-expensive and painful.”
ATMP — the name stands for Applied Technology Methods and Practices — currently has 10 employees, and is currently advertising openings for nearly that many more. Openings range from IT professionals familiar with health care systems such as McKesson and Epic, and Web developer positions.
Besides his engagements with medical practices, Dylewski said he spends a lot of time “on the education side, speaking at physician conference, writing articles for industry magazines.”
ATMP also has a partnership with the Southfield-based managed services firm Secure-24 Inc. to offer private and group practice physicians secure hosting and project management for their EMR applications. “I’ve been working with Secure-24 since their inception,” Dylewski said.
The award-winning Port Huron Hospital, meanwhile, aims to have every patient’s paper medical history — regardless of location, doctor, or insurance company — converted and stored electronically to meet the national EMR standard.
“Port Huron Hospital understands the need to support the physician community, as well as the patients,” Dylewski said. “There is no one single EMR solution that can help every physician so they are providing education around a successful selection and implementation that best meets the needs of a physician practice. Robust systems help organizations facilitate the highest level of health care.”
For the hospital staff training, ATMP is teaming with Reliatech Consulting LLC, which provides instruction to break down the complexities of healthcare information technology. The seminar, called HIT Breakthrough, will launch in September.
Physicians attending all three sessions of the seminar will earn up to five CME credits as they learn the potential of healthcare information technologies. Three sessions are designed to help practitioners and their management staff better understand the potentials of such healthcare information technologies (HIT) as electronic medical records (EMRs), physician health records (PHRs), computer order entry (COE) and other HIT products now in the market.
“Physicians also need a sufficient understanding of technology so that they can lead their practices confidently, knowing how to keep the effort on track and achieve their clinical and financial goals,” Dylewski said.
Attendees will learn how to define their needs and to identify a vendor that can meet their needs, including implementation pitfalls and approaches that assure success. It is also designed to clarify the federal EHR incentive Meaningful Use criteria, explaining it in the everyday language of practice administration.
More at www.atmpgroup.com.
Port Huron Hospital is a 186-bed, non-profit community hospital that provides a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient health care services to residents in St. Clair and Sanilac counties. Named one of the top 100 hospitals in the country for 2006, it has also received multiple Governor’s Awards for Excellence and is a past Michigan Quality Leadership Award recipient. It is part of Blue Water Health Services, which also includes Port Huron Hospital Industrial Health; Port Huron Hospital Medical Equipment; Port Huron Hospital Pharmacy Place; Marwood Nursing & Rehab; Port Huron Hospital Foundation and community health centers in Capac, Lexington, Marysville and Yale.
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