EMR, Telehealth & Other Systems a DPC Physician Should Be Aware Of
New technologies have given Direct Primary Care physicians tremendous opportunities that did not exist a few years ago. It’s important to think about systems that provide better support to your patients and help your practice run smoothly.
Systems To Be Aware Of
• Electronic health records (EHR) systems help you keep track of your patients’ medical information without disrupting or slowing your workflow.
• Telehealth allows you to reach out to your patients easily and effectively to deliver value beyond the office.
• Other systems let you enroll patients, streamline administrative paperwork, and automate workflows.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) Systems Help Keep Track of Patients’ Medical Information Without Disrupting or Slowing Workflow
Electronic health records are electronic (non paper) versions of a patient’s medical information or chart. EHR systems should allow you and your patients to easily view medical information from a variety of locations. These systems provide opportunities to enhance your practice by setting automated reminders, communicating with patients electronically, and otherwise analyzing the health of your patient population. It’s important to remember that not all EHR systems are created equal. The old cumbersome systems that many doctors loathed in hospitals have been eclipsed by lighter, user-friendly, cloud-based systems that do not drag down productivity and frustrate clinicians in a DPC practice. These systems are getting better every day, so invest some time in learning how your system works to improve your practice.
Telehealth Allows DPC Physicians to Reach Out to Patients Easily and Effectively to Deliver Value Beyond the Office
Telehealth is quite simply communicating with your patients remotely. This can be as simple as a telephone call, secure text or video chat. You can decide for yourself when a telehealth visit is appropriate versus a regular in-office visit, but there’s no doubt that telehealth can be convenient for patients and practitioners alike when used effectively. In fact, many patients today are more comfortable texting about a sensitive issue than they are talking about it in person. One thing to keep in mind: there are laws and regulations depending on where your patients are physically located that apply to delivering care via telehealth. While unlikely, this may become an issue, for example, if you have a patient who spends significant time out of state, in a jurisdiction that requires specific licensure for the practice of medicine via telehealth. Another consideration: in order to streamline your documentation and tracking of each remote encounter, using dedicated telehealth tools and apps are a good idea. When designing your practice, think about how you can incorporate these new technology-enabled options into your repertoire.
Other Systems Let Physicians Enroll Patients, Handle Signing Documents, and Automate Workflows
Getting your practice up and running can involve a lot of “paperwork” that can be automated. Everything from enrolling patients, collecting initial medical history, and monthly billing can be automated through a web portal. By using technology effectively, you do not need a large IT department to manage these services for you! You and your patients will appreciate the convenience, so don’t hesitate to integrate time-saving systems that alleviate the traditional administrative burdens into your practice.
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