By Dr. Ravi Raheja
At TriageLogic, we stay at the edge of technology and we constantly develop new products to give patients the best possible care. One of our new exciting developments is that we now have a very affordable integration engine that allows us to integrate every one of our physician’s electronic health record systems (EHR) with our nurse triage Call Center Software™. This is a real time, secure, two-way communication between the triage software and our physicians’ EHR.
Health care providers know that using the best information available to care for their patients is a priority. Having an integrated system with our Nurse Triage on Call™ will allow subscribing physicians to have real-time information about the triage encounter, and it will give our nurses access to an updated medical summary for each caller. There are multiple advantages of such systems.
Real Time Information: One of the primary reasons for integration is to ensure that all triage documentation reaches the provider automatically and immediately. Integration bypasses the manual steps of faxing the encounter, scanning it in, and attaching it to the patient record. It also ensures that the information is available to providers in real time.
Access to EMR information: Practices invest a significant amount of time and money into their EMR. Nurse Triage centers should be able to utilize that resource to better help patients. However it is not practical for a nurse to access every EMR to review the patient call for each caller. Our advanced triage software and integration system allows the triage nurse to review an updated medical summary of the patient from the physician’s EMR in a secure, standardized format. The implications are significant for triaging chronically ill patients and preventing hospital readmissions. For regular callers, it makes the patient feel like the nurse on the phone really knows them and that the nurse is working in conjunction with the physician, creating a good relationship. This encourages them to call back and further decreases ER usage.
Data Aggregation: As individual practices and health care organizations are pushed to provide better care while demonstrating lower costs, the reporting capabilities of the triage call centers are going to play a significant role in reimbursement and performance evaluation (See our Chair letter on ROI studies). Having a fully integrated system provides the ability to aggregate data in a meaningful way and prove outcomes to payers. By using data from the practices and the triage center combined with the appropriate reporting tools built into the system, access to relevant and customized data becomes readily available.
True Continuity of Care: For practices interested in electronic transfer of information, our integration engine can be expanded so that the medical summary of the patient and triage encounter can be made available to affiliated emergency rooms and other facilities through secure HIPAA compliant portals. For example, a patient who is seen in the office that day, calls after hours triage and is told to go to the emergency room. The ER physician will be able to see relevant data from the office and the triage nurse to provide more coordinated care. As part of the system, the emergency room visit can also be put back directly into the practice EMR. All of this can be accomplished with completely secure, HIPAA compliant systems.