In this interview, we speak with Matthew B. Hillis, MD, FACC, FHRS from Marple Medical Associates in Broomall, Pennsylvania, about his experience with the MoMe® Kardia remote cardiac monitoring system (InfoBionic).
Describe your practice and your role within the practice.
We are a 7-physician cardiology practice. I am a cardiac electrophysiologist and managing partner. We offer a full line of cardiovascular services, including general cardiology, interventional cardiology, and EP. We have an off-campus office and imaging center, and are affiliated with 3 hospitals and 2 health systems.
Were you previously using an outside service to provide your cardiac monitoring? What interested you when you heard about InfoBionic?
Yes, we have used various services, both offsite and in-house, over the years. After evaluating several different services, I found that InfoBionic was easy to use for patients and staff, and provided high-quality recordings. The ability to manage patient information from multiple sites through the online and mobile interfaces was appealing and has been very useful.
A common concern is that there will be an increased workload for staff. What did you see in your practice using InfoBionic?
Other monitoring services that we used in the past were actually more time-consuming for the physician. We have 3 physician assistants in addition to our 7 cardiologists, and we wanted to integrate our PAs into the workflow of cardiac monitoring because physician workload is of critical importance to our busy practice. We really wanted cardiac monitoring to become more efficient for both our doctors and staff. We developed a workflow where our physician assistants review the daily monitoring data for all patients, and bring critical alerts to the attention of the physician, as well as do a little bit of the review and reporting online. We have found this makes much better use of physician time and it has also been convenient for our physician assistants. It’s very helpful that the physician assistants can do this from offsite, since they’re sometimes working from one of our hospitals and not always in the office.
Another common concern is too frequent calls for alerts on patients. What have you found with InfoBionic?
The ability to change alert criteria is simple and very useful. Alert criteria can be changed easily on a practice level as well as on an individual patient and physician level. We’ve used that feature to minimize our call volume for unnecessary alerts. At the same time, clinically important events are captured, and we have found the reporting system to be very helpful to reference when we do receive a phone call. Some of our physicians prefer email alerts, while others prefer phone calls, so we have both set up. We have an office backup alert system that is very user friendly and customizable.
How does your staff feel about using the InfoBionic service?
The staff feedback has been very positive. We’ve used several different monitoring systems in the past, and each has its advantages and disadvantages that our staff is well aware of and quick to recognize. After a brief learning curve, which required our staff to learn how to register patients, InfoBionic has become by far the easiest system we’ve used.
How has use of the InfoBionic service impacted your patient experience?
The patients have had positive feedback. Some monitors that we’ve used in the past have had problems with connections, wear and tear, and battery charging issues. We have not had those issues with InfoBionic thus far.
Can you give us an example when having full disclosure was helpful with a patient?
Sometimes PVCs can be miscounted or undercounted, and I’ve found the full disclosure helpful to get an accurate PVC count and review PVC morphology. Onset and offset of SVT is easy to locate and analyze. We’ve had a few patients that have bradycardia during both sleep and awake hours, which creates a fair number of alerts. It’s been useful to go back into the full disclosure information to see how long and when pauses and bradycardia occur, so that clinically relevant bradycardia while awake is not missed in the setting of a high burden of less relevant sleep-related bradycardia.
What else do you find beneficial with InfoBionic?
The workflow has been more efficient for us from both the staff and physician perspective. Customizable alerts, utilization tracking/inventory management, improved patient comfort, and compliance have been beneficial. The quality of ECG tracings is high, and we have found the business model to be useful as well.
You have used InfoBionic for about 8 months. What would you say are the most important things about this service that other potential users should consider when thinking about InfoBionic?
Many of the things I just mentioned are advantages with InfoBionic. In addition, the ability to change monitoring from MCT to Event to Holter online after the patient has left the office should be an important consideration, because there are times when the type of recording needs to be changed either because of the patient’s clinical situation or the patient’s insurance. That can be done very easily when the patient has already been connected and is outside of the office, which is quite helpful. It means that the staff uses the same monitor and the same system for every patient, and we switch the registration online so it doesn’t create any confusion for the patients or staff. Compared to other monitoring systems, the ability to monitor patients with full disclosure and to control alerts has been user-friendly for the physician and for our practice.
Disclosure: Dr. Hillis has no conflicts of interest to report regarding the content herein.