A physician-entrepreneur applies health technology to Continuing Ed.
MOC—maintenance of certification—is a dreaded acronym for most clinicians. While continuing medical education is an important element of medical licensure, the current systems for helping clinicians keep track of requirements and deadlines are manual, inefficient, and prone to error, relying on busy practicing clinicians to reply to emails from state boards, or, if they’re lucky, helpful reminders from administrators.
“CME is a box-checking activity,” says spine surgeon Ian Madom RES’08 F’09, MD, MBA, who practices at Ortho Rhode Island. “I do it because a regulator says I have to.” It’s a missed opportunity for knowledge enrichment tailored to how and when a particular clinician practices medicine, he adds: “What if there was a world where not only compliance was being achieved, but education was impactful?”
In 2017, after getting his MBA from the Yale School of Management, Madom founded Mocingbird, a start-up with two goals: to ensure that physicians remain compliant with CME requirements in a way that dovetails into their daily work of patient care, and to help them tailor the satisfaction of CME requirements to their own practices.
Soon after putting together the Mocingbird business plan, Madom received a sign that he was on the right track. “It was Memorial Day weekend and I got a notice that I had to do eight hours of opioid training by June 1.” His long weekend was ruined, but more significantly, “All I had time to do was just check the boxes.”
The company has executed phase one of the business plan—the workflow automation platform—and has 26 enterprise customers and more than 2,500 users. Mocingbird matches the certifications of each of its subscribers with requirements for compliance and CME opportunities to satisfy those requirements in such a way that subscribers might avoid duplication for licenses across state borders (an increasing necessity as telemedicine becomes more prevalent).
Madom estimates that Mocingbird saves health care professionals one hour a week, since they don’t have to chase down copies of licenses and look up requirements and the content that meets them.
The need to streamline these processes is more important than ever. Whereas in 1950 it took 50 years for the entirety of medical knowledge to double, and seven years in 1980, today’s estimates see a doubling of medical science every 73 days. Mocingbird aims to keep doctors compliant, while improving the quality of their lives.
“Maybe instead of going on a CME trip with my family, we just go on vacation,” Madom says. “And maybe on a real-time basis, based on my organization’s quality metrics, my patient-reported outcomes, and the ICD-10 codes of the patients I’m seeing, I will get a feed of the most relevant topics I need to know before my patient walks in the door.”