The elderly and sick need care coordination that many physicians, attempt to assist them with. But due to, "Wow- time for the next patient already." or "I'm forgetful and you are also but we really, really need to continue this wonderful discussion at another time, although I cannot remember what we were talking about, do you?"; there never seems to be enough time in the day. For small medical offices this becomes difficult due to the lack of PA's or nurses available for discussion about ones plan of care after their visit with the physician. Don't laugh, but even when these things are written down, patients still ask questions or forget where they put the paper it was written down on.
Now, between preparing the labs and requisitions to be sent out and other behind the scenes tasks of ekg's and holter monitors and preparing diagnostic testing reports, medical office maintenance, appointments, rescheduling appointments, patient results and all that electronic health record stuff, you now know how busy a medical office can be. The front desk people are usually not nurses or PA's, although you may not need a degree in literature to discuss with a patient what a physician has asked them to do if they are still having issues with processing such information. As we get older or when people have complex medical problems absorbing this information may be difficult.
What is needed?
Well, for one due to the time it takes to discuss a medical plan of care to a patient over and over again, there needs to be a EMR patient visit and plan of care notification on the EMR, that would allow the front desk to connect a patient in to an EMR so that they can hear their doctors advise them via their assessment and plan for a particular days visit. How would this work? Ok let's say Dr. Gottago had just spent well over an hour talking to Ms. Icannotrememberhername about everything you can imagine because of her long and involved problems as they worsen with her illness, Dr. Gottago really likes to see his patients happy. Now he is two hours behind schedule, leaving the front desk with upset patients and they either leave or reschedule because of this. With Dr. Gottago's EMR, he turned on the voice dictation for that visit to dictate his assessment and plan as it was being typed in. His assessment and plan was now stored in the EMR for that day's visit as a note and as an audio file also. Ms. Icannotrememberhername calls the office several times asking the same questions and asking for Dr. Gottago, who had to leave. With the EMR patient visit and plan of care notification, the person at the front desk simply called patient Icannotremeberhername through the EMR, yes, through the EMR and went over to the EMR patient visit and plan of care notification tab and selected the assessment and plan details for that patient's visit so that the patient could hear slowly what they were to do next. It also gives the front desk the option to replay the visit and plan of care notification message again. Once Ms. Icannotrememberhername heard the information she was able to figure out what to do next and along with some assistance she is able to manage her health now that she can use the EMR patient visit and plan of care notification from her primary physicians EMR. This also was a tremendous help to the front desk and to Dr. Gottago because he really had to go! When your patients need information from their visit-just access the EMR patient visit and plan of care notification on your EMR, type, dictate, save and when the patients call-just let your front desk send!