For Idaho Clinic, Secure Messaging Means HIPAA Compliance and Better Patient Care

John Cotten

With secure messaging, when the nurse or provider sends out a message, the patient
gets it.”

– John Cotten, IT Director,
Family Medicine Residency of Idaho

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HIPAA Mandates Secure Electronic Communication

“Starting in February of this year, the next revision of HIPAA came out – the high-tech policy that required any kind of unsecure electronic communication to be encrypted and secure. In other words, you can’t e-mail your patients,” said John Cotten, IT Director at Family Medicine Residency of Idaho (FMRI). In response to this new federal HIPAA requirement, the clinic decided to adopt secure messaging. This technology would enable health care providers and nurses to send medical information like lab results to patients securely by e-mail.

Family Medicine Residency of Idaho, based in Boise, trains medical school graduates to become family physicians. The clinic associated with FMRI is called the Family Medicine Health Center. It provides a range of health services with an emphasis on affordable care for underserved groups.

Another benefit of secure messaging is streamlined patient communication. “Traditionally in a doctor’s office, when lab results come in for a patient, the nurse will try to call up a patient and let them know what the doctor said. And a lot of times they are playing phone tag. With secure messaging, when the nurse or provider sends out a message, the patient gets it. There is no phone tag and no interpretation of what the provider may have said. It’s pretty black and white – here are your results and here is what we recommend,” said Cotten.

GE Centricity Secure Messaging and Patient Portal

Cotten attended a user conference where he previewed the GE Centricity Secure Messaging and Patient Portal solutions. FMRI already used GE Centricity Electronic Medical Record (EMR) in its clinic. The Secure Messaging and Patient Portal solutions, originally developed and sourced from the vendor Kryptiq, were integrated with Centricity EMR and resold under the GE brand. Therefore it would be easy to drop them into the clinic’s existing IT infrastructure.

Cotten presented this solution to the staff. Dr. Justin Glass, one of the doctors at the clinic, happened to be looking at a grant that would cover an IT healthcare solution like this, so they included it in the application. The grant was approved and they went ahead with the deployment. It was a fairly easy sell to management because of the new HIPAA mandate for secure electronic communication.

The clinic configured the system for robust security to ensure the privacy of a patient’s medical record. When a new patient visits, he or she receives a one-time PIN for the portal. The patient goes online and registers, providing some key information to verify their identity. At this point the patient is set up for secure messaging. When a provider wants to send the patient information, such as the results of a cholesterol screen, the patient will receive an e-mail with a link to the portal. The patient clicks on the link, logs in and views the results and recommendations. If a patient does not log in and view the information within a certain number of days, the system alerts the nurse or provider so they can follow up by other means.

“Of course, with any technology, you can do a lot of things with it. What really drives a technology is the policies and procedures that you put in place at your practice,” said Cotten. Providers can control how and if information is presented through secure messaging. They might allow a patient to see a full test result or choose just to say, “Everything is normal. Check back in six months.” Sometimes presenting too much complex information which is subject to interpretation may be confusing. And for sensitive information, they might forego e-mail altogether and contact the patient in person.

Providers also have the option to allow the patients to respond by e-mail, and some at the clinic take advantage of this feature for back-and-forth communication. It facilitates more responsive patient care. “One of our providers is a huge proponent of the system, and he decided to allow some of the patients to respond to him. In one case, a patient responded to an e-mail and said, ‘I’m having pain in my leg…’ The nurse was able to see that information, track down the provider and see if they had taken care of it. If not, find another provider to take a look at it. So from a patient standpoint, it was great patient care,” he said.

Another benefit is that messages become part of a patient’s electronic medical record. The next provider that works with a patient can see the record and know exactly what was communicated. This provides more detail than summary notes.

Managing Change

As with any new healthcare technology, it is challenging to train and encourage people to use it. “A lot of technologies aren’t going to make their jobs easier right off the bat. At first it seems like one more thing to do,” he said. But in the end secure messaging reduces the amount of time spent with unanswered patient calls and playing phone tag. The clinic’s approach is to educate about the benefits and the ultimate goal of the technology. For instance, Cotten sent a message to the staff about how secure messaging will help nurses and providers focus on the patient that is here and in front them while still getting the message to the patient that they have already seen. In another words, a tool for efficiency and better patient care.

The patients themselves were leery at first about giving their e-mail addresses to the clinic because they did not want to be spammed. Once they realized it was so their provider could communicate with them, they became more enthusiastic. Many people prefer to communicate by e-mail today.

Building on the Patient Portal

The clinic uses Centricity Patient Portal only for secure messaging at this time, though it has the potential to do much more. The software can show a patient’s full medical record, including historical details. So FMRI is currently studying how it might build upon this solution in the future. According to Cotten, while the technical aspects are straightforward, the real work is in understanding the impact on providers, nurses and patients and developing appropriate policies and procedures around the technology. It always comes down to the human impact.

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 Copyright © 2010 Apropos LLC. All rights reserved.

iAmplify Partners with Photon Infotech to Enable Audio and Video Self-Publishing for the Masses

There’s going to be many, many authors and lecturers and experts that have incredibly rich and valuable content that we can monetize.”
– Murray Hidary, CEO and Co-Founder, iAmplify

A Serendipitous Start

Murray Hidary, CEO and Co-Founder of iAmplify, discovered the idea for his business by chance one evening. “I was having dinner with a friend of mine, and she’s a New York Times best-selling author. Her name is Marianne Williamson,” said Hidary. “And she has been giving lectures for the past fifteen to twenty years, in addition to writing books. And I asked her, Marianne, where are the hundreds of lectures, the recordings, that you have given over the last fifteen to twenty years? It turns out that when they are recorded at a live event, they are sent to a warehouse in Carlsbad, California, and they are sitting in boxes and they are not being monetized.”

“So I literally went to L.A., drove down to Carlsbad, put all these boxes of content into my car, went back and got them digitized, turned them into MP3 and MP4 files. We built a prototype of our platform and announced it on her website, that for the first time you can get access to these incredible archives of content from Marianne Williamson for ten dollars a month. Every week we are going to send you another lecture. And instantly it turned into a six-figure business out of thin air. So I said, well, I think there’s something here! If this works for Marianne, there’s going to be many, many authors and lecturers and experts that have incredibly rich and valuable content that we can monetize.”

After this serendipitous start, Hidary worked to turn the vision into a reality and launched iAmplify a little over a year ago. iAmplify is an online store for expert video and audio downloads, comparable to YouTube, but with expert-level, premium content and the ability to buy and sell. Topics include educational seminars, fitness workouts, language learning, financial information and self-help.

The purpose of iAmplify is “to empower and enable the content owners of audio and video to self-publish and monetize that content on the web,” according to Hidary. “For certain types of content, our model is going to work really well. It’s not going to make sense for a lecturer on relationships or a Pilates or yoga teacher to offer their content free for ads. It just won’t generate enough views to give them any significant money. But with our model, they can monetize their content and create a really robust new revenue stream for themselves.”

Building the Technology Foundation – The Media Factory

The most significant challenge in launching iAmplify was to develop a technology platform for uploading, delivering, buying and selling audio and video content. Named the Media Factory, this technology would be the foundation of the business and had to be functional, easy to use, scalable and cost-effective.

“It was quite a challenge to put the different pieces of this puzzle together,” said Hidary. “We had to make the web interface easy to use and simple to navigate for people with no technology experience. Our platform is not for programmers and sophisticated users. We have people who have never been on the web before, coming onto our site and uploading and selling without any scripting or programming experience. So it had to be incredibly easy to use for the non-technical person.”

“Number two, it had to have all the digital content management – meaning it needed to handle all kinds of file formats for audio and video, and be able to store and deliver those files in an efficient and scalable way. And that’s not trivial when you’re dealing with literally terabytes of video and audio files.”

“Another piece is the e-commerce component. It’s a transactional model, so we need to take credit cards and also recur billing those credit cards if they have a monthly or annual subscription.”

“And then the final piece is customer service. One of the things we had to do is completely integrate our platform so that customers can use it seamlessly with iTunes and their iPod as well as just download to watch on their computer. So you can download a course in how to play poker, and you’re on a plane to Vegas, you can watch it. It’s a portable, on-the-go type of experience. And there are a lot of people doing this for the first time and need help getting the video or audio onto their portable device, in most cases an iPod or an iPhone,” he said.

iAmplify Enlists Photon Infotech

iAmplify decided to partner with the IT consulting firm Photon Infotech to develop, maintain, support and market its Media Factory platform. Hidary continued, “We basically had an in-house team which developed the first version. And then, for a little over a year, we’ve been working with Photon as our technology partner to scale and take this to the next level. They’ve done a great job at both maintaining the current system as well as adding incredible functionality as our customers and expert publishers have asked for additional features.”

Photon Infotech reengineered the system to scale and handle a much larger user base. It added new features, for instance, a widget that allows affiliates or distribution partners to sell content on their own websites. The widget tracks sales so iAmplify can send commission checks to affiliates. Photon also handles ongoing administration of the Media Factory, scaling up capacity as demand increases and making sure the system remains online and delivers content 24/7.

If you have your audio and video content, you can upload it into iAmplify as easily as uploading it into YouTube.”
– Murray Hidary

Simplified and Automated User Experience

As a result of this joint development effort, iAmplify can now offer a highly automated experience of publishing and selling content online. “If you have your audio and video content, you can upload it into iAmplify as easily as uploading it into YouTube – click, browse and upload,” said Hidary. “And then you can set all the rules for how you want to sell your content, your business model.” This can range from selling individual downloads, bundles of content bundles and subscription services where customers periodically receive new downloads from a favorite lecturer or author. The iAmplify Media Factory handles all of the content delivery and billing.

Buying and downloading content is also simplified through integration with iTunes. “On our site, the customer literally hits one button which says ‘send to iTunes,’ and from that moment on, their entire library of whatever they buy through iAmplify automatically feeds into iTunes on their computer, and by definition onto their iPod, etc.” he said.

This is a deep partnership.”
– Murray Hidary

Streamlined, Growing Business

Hidary likes how the partnership with Photon Infotech has streamlined his organization and enabled it to scale. “So that’s probably the best part of this,” he said. “We had a lot of this in-house, both in terms of the programming team as well as systems administration and customer service, but having Photon as our partner has enabled us to outsource those functionalities and to have more capability at a lower cost. They’ve been able to help us scale as we’ve grown with our customers.”

iAmplify has grown the number of publishers on its site over the past year, both big media companies like Martha Stewart and Meredith Corporation as well as individual experts that want to self-publish. For the big media companies, iAmplify’s Media Factory serves as a back-end fulfillment engine. For instance, when a customer on the Martha Stewart website buys a cooking video, the Media Factory actually performs the content download and transaction, though it all appears seamless to the user.

“Most of these media companies have typically made their money through advertising and sponsorship models. I think what many companies have seen in the last year, given the softness in advertising and the economy, is that they are looking to diversify those revenue streams from just advertising to premium paid content as well. They are turning to iAmplify as their partner for that part of their business model,” said Hidary.

iAmplify plans to continue scaling its business by attracting new media companies and self-publishers, and Photon Infotech plays an important role here. Hidary continued, “They are the ones helping our partners launch these download stores. So each time we launch one of these big partnerships, we have a branded store with our partner’s look and feel and logo and brand, and that work is done by Photon. And the self-publishers – there is a lot of research that goes into finding these experts, and Photon has a team that is helping us with that as well. This is a deep partnership.”

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 Copyright © 2009 Apropos LLC. All rights reserved.

Database Emailer Finds Database Stability and Business Growth with Infobright

We were still crashing due to the amount of records… We went to MySQL and said, ‘What can we do here?’”
– Al Inga, President and CEO, Database Emailer

A Large and Unwieldy Database

Database Emailer ran into serious challenges when its MySQL database grew too large. MySQL is a popular and functional open source database, but the scale of the company’s data was more than the platform could effectively handle. “We had partitioned the database into over 70 partitions,” said Al Inga, President and CEO of Database Emailer. “And we were still crashing due to the amount of records. We had about 20 columns in relation with 300 million rows. We went to MySQL and said, ‘What can we do here?’”

Based in Little Falls, New Jersey, Database Emailer is the largest opt-in email database in the United States. Opt-in means that people have expressly agreed to receive product offers and specials by email. The company sells email lists that can be targeted by multiple criteria or “selects,” such as geographic location and demographics (e.g. income, gender, dwelling status). Its customers then market to these lists.

For Database Emailer, its database is its business. The ability to perform fast queries and generate lists for each customer request is essential. But its large and unwieldy database meant the IT department had to spend about 100 hours per week performing manual queries. “We couldn’t run queries effectively,” said Inga. “If someone came to us and wanted to run four or five or six different selects – for instance, women between 30 and 50 years old who make an income of X amount of dollars who live in New York City and own a home – there was no way that could be run on the website.” In such cases, the IT staff ran the query directly on the MySQL server and determined the number of records. After reporting back to the customer, the number of records was often too small or too large for the customer’s needs, so they had to change the parameters and run another query. “At that point, you’re just going back and forth, back and forth, tying up the IT department with doing queries because it can’t be run through a website interface,” he said.

Manual queries slowed down the sales process and cost the company up to $1,000 per day in IT staff time.

A Smooth Transition to Infobright

In response to Database Emailer’s request for help, MySQL recommended its partner Infobright, which offers a self-managing, scalable data warehouse that is optimized for analytics and integrated with MySQL. Database Emailer downloaded a free, open source version called Infobright Community Edition. After trying it out, they decided to purchase and deploy the commercial version, Infobright Enterprise Edition (IEE).

Infobright is a column-oriented database, so data is stored column-by-column instead of row-by-row. This architecture enables more efficient data compression of 10:1 or better instead of the typical 2:1 or 3:1 compression ratios. A 50 TB database could be stored in only 5 TB of capacity – a significant storage savings. The database is self-managing, so administrators do not have to manually create and manage indexes. Infobright also organizes and tracks data in a way that enables very fast queries.

Infobright’s integration with MySQL eased the transition. Database Emailer was able to keep its MySQL code base, and the IT department could apply its existing knowledge and skills to the Infobright solution. “My IT guys were very quickly able to learn the Infobright infrastructure. A lot of it was very common. If they knew MySQL, they could quickly learn this,” said Inga.

They used the same server and storage hardware for the Infobright solution. “It required zero outlay for additional servers. The Infobright engine was able to handle it. We were only running 4 gigabytes of RAM,” he said.

Online Queries Mean Business Growth

With the new, robust Infobright database, Database Emailer could offer online queries of the entire database, including the United States and Canada. “So now everyone can do queries 24 x 7 x 365 on their own,” said Inga. “If they want to increase their data sample, they can just change one of the variables and increase or decrease the record count. Once they lock it in, they can hit the button and we have a debit-credit system set up where they can store credits on the account. When they download the data, it debits their account. No intervention from the IT department. So we literally have spent 100 hours a week less time doing queries.”

Business has increased since March probably 200 or 300 percent.”
– Al Inga

The fast online queries have made the sales process more competitive. “People are now using it more and more because of the access to immediate information. Whereas before, they might wait for a quote from us and we might not be able to get back to them for several hours or the next day. In the meantime, they are shopping around three or four other places. Now, they know they can get immediate quotes right from us. We are the first source they go to, and most of the time we have what they want,” he said.

“Business has increased since March probably 200 or 300 percent,” he continued. “Interestingly enough, the money that was going towards the IT people is now heading towards customer service. We actually have more customers now than ever, and more sales calls coming in. So sales and customer service are increasing, but IT costs have substantially decreased.”

Inga is proud of how well his company is able to compete with these new capabilities: “Major data supplier corporations’ websites don’t have one-tenth of the queries that we are able to run on our website. We are virtually a mom-and-pop operation that is able to compete with companies that are hundred million, five hundred million, billion dollar corporations.”

In short, Inga is pleased the new Infobright platform. “We’re real happy,” he said. “It literally has caused the business to increase substantially.”

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 Copyright © 2009 Apropos LLC. All rights reserved.

WASSER Studios Reduces Long-Term Costs With a Consolidated, Virtualized Infrastructure

We went with leading edge hardware so that we could grow into it over time and then focus on minimizing our management. Over time, that pays for itself.”
– Trevor Koop, IT Manager, WASSER Studios

A Change in IT Strategy

WASSER Studios decided to change its IT strategy in an effort to better support the business. It transitioned from a near-term focus on acquisition cost to a broader, long-term emphasis on ease of management, high asset utilization and low total cost of ownership. As a result, it was able to deliver a more reliable and functional IT infrastructure that cost the company less over time.

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, WASSER Studios creates technical documentation and content for clients such as HP, Sony, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser. It employs a variable number of people based on project demand – some are contractors hired on temporary basis. At the main office, the number of workers at can range from about 50 to 125 people, plus project managers and writers working remotely and at client sites. Its computer systems must be able to support a fluctuating number of local and remote users.

“WASSER Studios previously had taken an approach where we would buy previous-generation technology and then support that over time with parts from various places,” said Trevor Koop, IT Manager of WASSER Studios. “It was a very low cost method for us to keep everything up and running.” While they were able to support the business reasonably well with this approach, it required a significant amount of troubleshooting and reactive problem solving to maintain the infrastructure. Savings on hardware were eventually consumed by the cost of managing it. Occasional downtime of secondary applications would also slow down office productivity. “It’s never that we had work stoppages, but we had definite bottlenecks or pinch points,” he said.

To a Consolidated, Virtualized Infrastructure

Rather than continue with the status quo, WASSER opted to consolidate and virtualize the server infrastructure and employ more sophisticated management tools. “We decided to do that in an effort to consolidate and get off of the older, faultier server hardware that we had. In doing so, the hope was to minimize management and mitigate hardware failures, which we did,” said Koop.

The company deployed Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) initially as a beta customer in late 2006.  This solution, which has since become generally available, bundles and integrates several Microsoft technologies for IT management, messaging and security at a discounted price. These include Microsoft Windows Server 2008, System Center Essentials, Exchange Server and Forefront Threat Management Gateway. Windows EBS targets midsize enterprises.

The software ran on an HP BladeSystem c3000 with five HP ProLiant server blades running AMD multi-core Opteron processors, two disk storage blades and an LTO tape blade. The BladeSystem c3000 is a flexible, all-in-one infrastructure in a single enclosure. Three of the server blades ran the Windows EBS components for management, messaging and security, respectively. The fourth blade supported multiple applications in a Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environment, and the fifth was a Terminal Services Gateway Server for remote users to securely access to internal corporate resources.

“We have typically used AMD chips,” said Koop. “We’re very comfortable with the performance and the reliability of them, so we tend to stick with them. And it’s worked out really well for us.”

Easier Management and Lower TCO

“So with this new deployment,” he continued, “we went from having all these disparate hardware platforms to having most everything in the blade server. We went with leading edge hardware so that we could grow into it over time and then focus on minimizing our management. Over time, that pays for itself.”

In particular, System Center Essentials helped ease the management burden for clients and servers with its monitoring, alerts and automation. “It really allowed us to be more proactive in maintenance, patching clients, monitoring applications. We know something is going to happen before an end user reports something going haywire on their desktop,” he said.

Hyper-V boosted server utilization by running multiple applications in a virtual environment. “This enables us to maximize the capacity of the hardware and also minimize the cost of the hardware that we have to purchase, whether replacement parts or whole servers,” he said. “From an energy efficiency standpoint, I know that Hyper-V runs a lot cooler than if we had all these older physical servers still in the room. Although I don’t have metrics, I can make a safe assumption that we’re being a lot more energy efficient.”

When asked what he liked most about this new solution, Koop responded: “I like the fact that in my current situation I can really be proactive in management. I can see something may be a problem and take care of it before it becomes a larger problem. But it also gives time to focus on the future. Because I’m not running around putting out fires, I have more time to think about what I can do with our infrastructure in the future to be more productive and to allow WASSER to provide more services to potential clients. So I think in my small ways, I’m able to do that, helping contribute to the growth of the company.”

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 Copyright © 2009 Apropos LLC. All rights reserved.

Oliver Family Healthcare Finds Electronic Health Records Are a Win for Patients and Clinic

I really felt the future was going to be electronic health records.”
– Dr. Greg Oliver, Oliver Family Healthcare

Out With the Old – Paper Charts

Dr. Greg Oliver, head of Oliver Family Healthcare in Indianapolis, Indiana, was early to see the benefit of electronic health records for health care providers. “I had been in practice the first twelve years of my career and then I sold my practice to a hospital and went to work for them,” said Dr. Oliver. As medical director for multiple clinics, he kept abreast of new technologies for computerized healthcare. “I thought the future was going to be electronic health records from what I was reading. So the hospital gave me the assignment to try to find a product for all their clinics. I narrowed it down to a couple of products, and about that time, the hospital decided not to go forward with it due to costs.”

When this project stalled, Oliver saw an opportunity to buy back the family practice and run it more efficiently using new IT systems. “I decided to go back into private practice for several reasons,” he said, “but one was I really felt the future was going to be electronic health records.” The hospital allowed him to keep the practice in the same location since it was a larger referrer to the hospital.  He and a nurse practitioner worked together to go back into private practice.

Having used charts for so many years, Oliver knew the limitations and costs of a paper-based system. “There wasn’t a day that went by where one of my staff didn’t say the unfortunate thing, ‘Your chart is lost.’ I’d always tell a patient that it’s really not lost. It’s here. Someone just can’t find it,” he said. Electronic health records seemed a more reliable and cost-effective solution. “I knew that it was expensive to handle charts and keep them stored. I just thought this has to be cheaper to do, which it definitely was. We were doing transcription at the time, and I wanted to save on transcription costs.”

At the time, he did not anticipate that electronic health records would add significantly to the quality of patient care. “That wasn’t really one of the things I thought I would gain from it. That now turns out to be one of the greatest benefits of it,” he said.

In With the New – Electronic Health Records

Oliver chose Allscripts Professional EHR for electronic health records and Allscripts Professional PM for practice management (known at the time as the A4 HealthMatics System and HealthMatics Ntierprise). After considering many aspects of the competitive solutions, one feature in particular made Allscripts stand out: “The reason I chose that over the other was it seemed to provide a very easy-to-use physician interface with a computer,” he said.

Dr. Oliver took an aggressive approach to rolling out the new system. He and the nurse practitioner took a week’s vacation from their hospital employment and traveled to Allscripts’ offices in North Carolina to learn the new system and make customizations to the software. After returning, they trained the staff and made preparations. On July 1, 2003, they went live with the new system and started the private practice on the same day. “We had a trainer from Allscripts here on site with us. The first day we went live in our practice we saw 60 people. They told us we shouldn’t do that. I know a lot of practices will say, ‘Stay with your charts and just do three or five on the system.’ We just went live,” he said.

In advance of a scheduled appointment, a worker entered key details into a patient’s electronic record. They also carried the patient’s chart into the room in case it was needed. Oliver continued, “I remember being in an exam room and telling a patient, ‘Hang on, I don’t know what I’m doing here,’ and would walk out. The trainer would say do this, this and this. And I would go back in the room and take care of it. The first few days we were in the office very early, six-thirty or seven a.m., and didn’t leave until probably nine or ten p.m. But very quickly within that first week, having seen hundreds of patients on the new system, we were rolling. It was fine. So my thought on it was if there’s going to be pain, let’s get it over with quickly, and it turned out, I don’t think we had a lot of pain.”

By the end of the year, they rarely needed the paper charts, and by the end of the second year, they no longer used them.  The old charts were stored for compliance purposes and for rare instances when they need to see an old test result.

More Efficient, More Productive, Better Care

The Allscripts Professional EHR and Professional PM solutions helped the practice to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively and improved patient care. Merely having access to timely, reliable records and reports enabled medical workers and staff to accomplish more each day. They were able to see more patients. At the end of the day, every patient visit was ready to send to the insurance companies. Collections were much higher than before, and revenues also climbed. The system notified patients automatically to schedule routine exams and tests, such as for hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol. “Not only has it increased our ability to get the patients in for things that we think are important for their healthcare, but because of that, it increases our revenue also,” said Oliver.

More recently, Oliver Family Healthcare implemented online visits. For current patients experiencing minor issues, they can go to the website, enter symptoms and request an online visit. This generates an email that is sent to the on-call doctor’s iPhone. The doctor views the patient request, symptoms and medical history from their iPhone or PC. With this information, the doctor can address the health issue, send a prescription, request the patient come into the office the next day or refer to an emergency room. The benefit to patients is they can access their own doctor who is aware of their medical history from home. They do not have to drive to a walk-in clinic. From Oliver Family Healthcare’s perspective, the online visits are chargeable, though only if they can address the problem, and not if it requires further evaluation or a referral. The patient visit is also documented and becomes part of their medical history. “So we have implemented that in the last couple months,” said Oliver, “and without an electronic health record, you couldn’t do that.”

Just jump in, you’ll be okay. Because there is no way that with a paper chart you can take as good care of a patient as you can with an electronic health record.”
– Dr. Greg Oliver

Advice for Healthcare Providers

When asked for his advice to other medical practices and clinics that may be considering electronic health records, Dr. Oliver responded: “I would tell anybody, especially a small practice, just jump in, you’ll be okay. Because there is no way that with a paper chart you can take as good care of a patient as you can with an electronic record. And most of it is because you can’t do anything with the data that’s in a chart in a file. This software is doing things and inviting patients to come back for their regular screenings and checkups and blood tests while I’m sleeping. It’s doing this automatically. There is no way you can practice that type of medicine with a paper chart. Is there an expense to getting involved? Yes. But we noticed that for the last five years, our practice revenue has gone up between twenty-five and thirty percent every year. A lot of is just because we strategically look at how we can ladder technologies in our practice and link them to our electronic health records and practice management system to, number one, take better care of the patient and, number two, become more efficient over time and be able to capitalize financially on our ability to take better care of our patients.”

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 Copyright © 2009 Apropos LLC. All rights reserved.