Brian Yeaman, MD, has spent most of his life near the corner of Main Street and Peters Avenue in Norman. Now it’s where he goes to work most days as CEO of Yeaman and Associates. Their headquarters is the entire top floor of the recently refurbished Financial Center, 111 N. Peters Ave.
Yeaman & Associates contracts with medical organizations to develop, manage and implement strategies for continued improvement in health outcomes through the practical application of technology in medicine.
The information technologies they provide are designed to serve the needs of single doctor practices, long-term care facilities, hospitals or health information exchanges.
Yeaman is a nationally renowned expert in Health Information Exchange and Health IT. Much of that experience came from service as Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Norman Regional Health System starting when the field was relatively new.
He is a University of Oklahoma graduate and completed his residency at Tufts University in Boston which is ranked among the top medical schools in the nation.
Yeaman returned to Norman and was mentored by Harold Belknap Jr. MD and practiced for five years at the Norman Clinic. In addition to his business concerns he is presently also a primary care physician in Norman and board certified in Family Medicine.
When he implemented electronic health record keeping eight years ago in the Norman Regional Health System it was a culture change. That was among the most salient challenges.
“Anytime you significantly change a provider’s work flow, how you document and order things such as going from paper to electronic, those are big things,” Yeaman said. “If a patient has a complex set of conditions it’s difficult to juggle a lot of new things when you aren’t functioning as you did traditionally.” Moving forward with modernized electronic health records is one of the Affordable Care Act’s many positives and it’s mandated in the law.
“Norman Regional was really in the early adopter pool and actually one of the first health systems in the country to obtain funding,” Yeaman said.
Using a continuous learning cycle model is a key element of his organization. Yeaman learned its fine points form University of Oklahoma Research Division Director Jim Mold, MPH, MD.
“Essentially at its simplest it is a way of creating change in terms of technology or change in terms of practice,” Yeaman said. “So if we have a new best practice for treating asthma or diagnose pancreatic cancer then we put in one change at a time, measure that and report on it and continue to teach the provider and those who support the provider until they become proficient at that one thing. Then on to the next thing until we have a complete set of where we need to be with the best practices.” It’s a step-by-step method that’s both user-friendly and demonstrably provides evidence of desired outcomes.
Yeaman and Associates’ mission is to be a customer-focused organization that strives to offer physician vetted use cases and tools that allow their customers to reach those desired outcomes.
Their consultants are experienced professionals in the Health Information Exchange and care transitions arena.
Among numerous management and strategic services they provide are direct sales and implementation of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant direct email solutions and hub services through a sister company called Healthricity.
One of stated goals of health information exchange systems has been to drive down costs and improve service.
“There’s no doubt about that,” Yeaman said. “That’s one of the things we do better than any other health exchange in the nation. When we started up Coordinated Care Oklahoma just over a year ago we ran it like a business.
Ninety percent of the nation’s other health care exchanges were started on grants and with an academic purpose to serve a certain population within a state.
We run a very lean, cost-efficient organization versus our competitors. Our prices are some of the lowest in the country and we’ve been able to keep our interface prices down which is as it should be.”
In addition to Yeaman’s considerable technological immersion and business demands he still sees patients a couple of days a week.
“A lot of them I’ve seen since I started here in Norman,” he said. “Some I have known my entire life. A few from when I threw the Norman Transcript for around six years. Once when I got 10 new subscriptions they put us in the Transcript van and drove us down to Six Flags over Texas where we had a blast.”
Yeaman’s top advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one many have heard repeatedly from physicians and non-physicians alike. Whether spoken, e-mailed or entered electronically at a patient portal the wisdom remains the same.
“Moderation in all things,” he said.