EHR and Health IT Consulting
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Technical Doctor's insights and information collated from various sources on EHR selection, EHR implementation, EMR relevance for providers and decision makers
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 Integration of telemedicine visit data with an EMR 

 Integration of telemedicine visit data with an EMR  | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it
 

Telemedicine is a means of connecting providers with remote or undeserved patients. Proper telemedicine systems are necessary to be able to conduct clinical examinations on a patient remotely. These telemedicine systems typically include an encounter management platform, specialised medical devices and video conferencing network. Importantly, the best telemedicine systems also pair seamlessly with other IT solutions. In this way, treating patients becomes more efficient and dynamic, rather than a technological silo.

Working alongside some of the most common EMR platforms, a telemedicine encounter can smoothly integrate data from a check-up or appointment. Images, EKG reports, vital signs data and other information is saved easily and securely, without disrupting existing workflows.

 

Business as usual
Practice Fusion found that only a decade ago, roughly 9 in 10 doctors in the U.S. updated and stored patient records by hand. Since then, paper charts and color-coded files have been replaced by EMR systems that are more efficient and more powerful. Telemedicine systems are also being quickly integrated into everyday healthcare services, and the combination of the two is both cogent and seamless .


A telemedicine encounter is easy and simple to navigate for doctors and patients.

Images from a telemedicine encounter can be easily added to a patient's EMR following an appointment. The same is true of X-rays, CT scans and other images, ECG reports, or vital signs data.  By working with existing EMR platforms, telemedicine systems can adapt to a provider's specific workflow. Because saving data and images is so easy, something as simple as an HL7 configuration file can be used to relay information from a telemedicine software platform into and EMR.  This is very much like the way a proper HIE system works. In this way, little needs to be changed in integrating a telemedicine system. This reduces lapses in production when implementing telemedicine into a practice. 

The most recent technology advancement making a significant impact on the world of integration between telemedicine and EMRs is the availability of robust APIs from the best telemedicine software companies.  This means healthcare professionals can work on one platform without having to manage two separate windows or applications, resulting in a much smoother workflow and faster adoption process.

 

Security and ease of use
EMRs are already leveraged to reduce administrative overhead and the possibility of human errors.  Paired, with telemedicine, the two technologies make it easier for healthcare professionals to manage patient encounters, control privacy and reduce the possibility of data entry mishaps.

The UI during a telemedicine encounter doesn't just make it easy to store patient data, but also works to eliminate misplaced or lost documents during the charting process. That way a doctor can quickly prepare for the next patient without worrying about any mistakes. The best telemedicine platforms come with robust security measures to ensure the patient encounter is private and well-protected from third-parties or sources of compromised privacy. In this way, it is easy to exchange information in real-time and store the data for later reference in an EMR.

An integrated UI also makes it simple for a physician to draw from a patient's EMR during a telemedicine encounter. This makes care more targeted and personal. While a physician is treating a patient using an embedded telemedicine system, an individual's EMR can also be accessed. In this way, an individual's entire health history is available to doctors, even if a patient is dozens or hundreds of miles away. This access to data allows for high-quality care that is more efficient, accessible and coordinated.

 

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
 
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Dr Ray's curator insight, May 21, 2:55 AM

Integration with EMR is going to increase physician's adoption of telemedicine. Current Telemedicine environment reminds me of early days of EMR, late 1990 and early 2000.

 

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Accountable Care, Patient Portals Lag behind Expectations

Accountable Care, Patient Portals Lag behind Expectations | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

The slow uptake of accountable care reimbursement structures and the low implementation rates of advanced patient portals are among some of the top issues in healthcare over the past year, according to HIMSS Analytics, and present both challenges and opportunities for the industry as it moves forward into reforms that encourage patient engagement, individualized care, and higher quality outcomes.   While mobile technologies and telemedicine are enjoying widespread interest and use among healthcare providers, opportunities to increase adoption of health IT, improve patient engagement, and provide better patient care abound in the year to come.

“Patient engagement is more than just today’s hot topic – it is foundational to the future of healthcare,” said HIMSS Analytics Research Director Brendan FitzGerald.  Yet few providers who have patient portals have selected software that allows patients to truly engage with them, the organization found.  Sixty-two percent of hospitals are live on a portal, but just 23% can allow patient users to view their personal health record or lab results.  Without functionalities that encourage patients to visit the portal site on a regular basis or offer features that patients have expressed preference for, healthcare providers may find themselves struggling with Stage 2 meaningful use throughout 2015.

Despite the slow adoption of feature-rich portals, telehealth seems high on the agenda of many organizations.  Nearly half of organizations have adopted up to four different telehealth technologies, including two-way video conferencing, which is viewed as the best entry-level investment for providers looking to dive into the telehealth sphere.

“Organizations continue to strive toward a value-based rather than volume-based care model, and many telemedicine technologies can aid in that transition,” FitzGerald said in August. “However, the study found that organizational needs will vary based upon provider type while the numerous technologies under the telemedicine umbrella will add to the complexity of the market.  Regardless of these challenges, organizations will continue to look for and utilize technology to fill gaps and enhance initiatives in patient care.”

But adoption of those value-based principles continues to be slow for the majority of the industry.  Only a quarter of providers have a clear and defines strategy that centers on accountable care.  While the number of accountable care organizations is growing by the day, organizations may be more focused on attempting to successfully attest to Stage 2 meaningful use instead of shouldering more financial risk under a value-based reimbursement structure.

Instead, they may turn to mobile technologies as a simpler way to coordinate care, improve communication, boost efficiency, and cut waste.  “It’s one thing to state that mobile technology is cool; it’s another to determine what value it brings to the healthcare equation,” said David Collins, Senior Director, Health Information Systems for HIMSS North America.


Providers certainly see that value as increasing demands on their time make on-the-go access to EHRs, clinical decision support, and other information a necessity.  More than half of hospitals already use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, with 69% of providers using the technologies to access clinically-related apps.  Thirty-six percent of clinicians believe that mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones will be instrumental for reducing redundancies and improving efficiencies, which may indicate a bright future for pocket-sized computing in healthcare.

“The study found that organizational needs will vary based upon provider type while the numerous technologies under the telemedicine umbrella will add to the complexity of the market,” FitzGerald concludes.  “Regardless of these challenges, organizations will continue to look for and utilize technology to fill gaps and enhance initiatives in patient care.”


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