Wouldn't it be nice to have your primary care physician or specialist be affiliated with an urgent care facility if the physician you are using now does not have one? Many physicians of today are in large conglomerates that offer a full range of services and are usually available during later evening hours. But what if you have a physician that is not? There are situations whereby a patient is not comfortable using another physician from another facility when they need to be seen for a rather urgent need. Aside from going to the emergency room at a hospital where a patient can access immediate care and his or her medical information can be sent to their primary physician, how can a patient feel as though his or her medical situation can be evaluated and treated as though they are in their physician's office? It should be mandatory that physicians with practices that are not affiliated with any group or hospital, utilize an urgent care facility affiliation so that if there is ever a need to inquire about a patients medical history during such a visit; the urgent care facility or physician can contact the patient's physician (because of their affiliation) regarding the patient. By doing this a patient does not feel as though he or she is neglected when she is unable to visit their physician or a day when their physicians office is closed. This is similar to a physician being affiliated with a hospital and if ever an emergency arises, if the patient goes to that hospital certainly their physician can be contacted. Hospital emergency rooms can be crowded and obviously become very busy. Urgent care facilities can be busy as well but may be an alternative of problems that are less serious or do not require urgent, emergent medical care. Since hospitals usually take those whose illnesses or situations require emergency need or care first. So if you just have a slight fever and feel the need to see a physician anyway, urgent care may be the way to go because an emergency room may be crowded with people who really need to see a physician as their life is at risk. Urgent care affiliations for physicians who are not in a group that has one is a way of ensuring that their patients get the care that they need without going to the hospital!
Ultrasound procedures use sound waves to produce images of a particular body part eg. abdomen, thyroid ect. The problem is that ultrasounds need to be read by someone such as a technologist or physician who can in almost certainty describe what he or she sees on the ultrasound. Nowadays, patients want results in real time and not when the physician or technologist is able to read them. This means minutes as opposed to hours. Then of course there is the comparison of other ultrasounds of the same body part to see if things have changed. EKG machines used to rely on physicians who were able to measure and calculate the rhythm of the heart manually with the use of cardio calipers in measuring ekg's that were complex. EKG machines have now evolved into that of interpretative in that the machine is computerized to provide results based on computerized caliper measurements. This should not be seen absolute, but the computerization provides a confirmation since the ekg machine provides a result and the qualified physician or technologist takes that result and does his or her own manual measurement to confirm a particular result. Ultrasound machines should be made to provide interpretative results for ultrasounds and even echocardiograms. Ultrasound machines should also be able to indicate when a measurement is abnormal or severe. This certainly does not replace the physician or technologist who would actually view the echocardiogram or ultrasound for results, but the comparison of computer technology and physician expertise will certainly enhance patient care by instantly interpreting results and confirmation of them for accurate findings. With interpretative 3-D imaging physicians will now be able to obtain result based on exam findings and compare it with their own analysis of images. Interpretation of masses, lesions, blockages, tumors, can all be obtained through interpretative ultrasound and should be used as a standard for future exams of this type. Interpretative ultrasound- provides results in an instant!
I write to you because people have asked the question, is the office in? Technology is not a pal of everyone and in many instances people want to speak with an actual person. The problem occurs when the office staff is somehow expected to be all things to all people. So when a physician office is closed, please don't think that the employees are on a beach somewhere or at a resort in the confines of another state or county laughing at the "little people". Please don't think that because front office or office staff have these jobs it's because they somehow need to be in touch with society and how it actually should be or that some of us deserve the ignorance that has been bestowed upon us. We know that in life there are jobs we don't like to do and for some there is a 100% dislike, but we continue to do these jobs regardless. Some people are just not people, people. That's ok, it just means that they should be doing something else, that does not involve people who complain in a way that makes you think they do this for a living. Medicine is a complex study in diagnosing, treatment and prevention of disease. Within that element, patient care that involves various types of treatment, payment for it(insurance) and the parameters or red tape that prevents one from seeing a physician or getting medications that generally affect getting the proper diagnosis, treatment and prevention or assistance regarding chronic illnesses. These problems involve the office staff and among other duties become overwhelming. Yes, at times a labor of misery and discontent. To answer the question, yes the office is in, but on days they are closed perhaps, an EMR can one day help those patients who need to discuss medical problems when the office is closed and how to be advised on a medical situation.
How would this work?
I'm glad you asked. EMR answer call is a way of contacting your physician through the EMR. Please note for emergency situations you should call 911 or go to a hospital nearby. A separate phone number is provided to each physician within their EMR, so that they can be contacted via phone link to let them know that they have a message waiting in their EMR respectively. The EMR phone numbers can be set-up for each physician and allow them to link cell phone numbers, e-mail or other phone numbers(office numbers) so that a text message is sent to the phone number that is linked so that the physician is contacted for calls that are not emergent. For example if a physician has an EMR phone number of 888-888-8888 and his or her cell phone number is 444-444-4444 then the cell phone number can be linked to the EMR number so that the physician can be contacted on 444-444-4444. What good is this? Physicians, who have a designated computer, computer tablet for their office when they are not in the office can access patient information to assist the patient properly. EMR answer call enables a physician to call a patient instantly by the patient providing their contact phone information and best of all, physicians can be reimbursed for these phone visits, through deductible or health insurance. Wanna make money be chatting away and looking on your computer? EMR answer call is the way to go! Once that physician logs in and selects patient call note, it's official- the patient has a call visit with the physician and the physician can be reimbursed. The office staff does not have the credentials to answer certain questions, and the patient should speak with a qualified physician. EMR answer call can even be used during the day as when a patient does not have an appointment but wants to talk about this or that; as that phone call becomes an official phone visit and the patients who are sitting in the waiting room chairs, may either reschedule or just leave due to the long wait. Money, money, money- EMR answer call solves that problem- it's a valid reimbursement! The phone note details they type of discussion and severity of call, to determine the amount of reimbursement.
Dear EMR: EMR answer call- it helps patient's, it reimburses physicians and of course for those who are also medically qualified, there is still a reimbursement and it helps the office staff because, in the future physician support jobs will be available for this sort of thing, and would be a nice way to generate additional income!
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