Guest Post from Dr. James Grue, Director of Analytics, Healthcare Registries, LLC

Join us on November 17, at 12 PM ET for the webinar, Power of Direct: How Electronic Communications Improves Workflow Efficiency and Safety During the Pandemic, which examines a typical referral and communications sequence in the management of a patient with diabetes, a chronic high-risk use case with serious implications during the COVID pandemic. The Use Case demonstrates multiple care transitions and how Direct Secure Messaging, commonly referred to as Direct messaging, enables providers to collaborate across healthcare networks to improve patient care, forge new relationships, and build a successful business. Also highlighted in the presentation are the benefits of standards-based communication using Direct messaging to establish a strong referral practice, protect your staff, decrease patient contact time, and provide your patients with a better overall clinical experience.

Technology, such as Direct Secure Messaging, is enabling secure, accurate, and safe health data exchange while facilitating greater collaboration across the care continuum.

Optometrist wearing a mask examining the eyes of a young boy wearing a mask

Impact of the Pandemic on Provider Care

The COVID pandemic challenges providers in ways they have rarely dealt with before, such as requiring patients and staff to wear face masks and social distancing while delivering care. These measures not only change the office dynamic but also the patient-provider interaction. In many cases, wearing a face mask and limiting the number of patients in the office makes it difficult to collect sufficient patient information.

Given that accurate data is vital to patient care delivery, providers ought to consider obtaining patient information electronically. Convenient, efficient, and secure, automated messaging facilitates unprecedented data accuracy while complying with COVID guidelines. Fortunately, most provider EHRs are equipped with communication features to implement electronic clinical exchange with minimal effort or cost.

Technology, such as Direct Secure Messaging, is enabling secure, accurate, and safe health data exchange while facilitating greater collaboration across the care continuum.  An example of Direct messaging at work is in eye care. Advances in diagnostic equipment combined with Direct messaging are dramatically expanding awareness of the effects of diabetes on the eye. Eye care providers who are core to the care team demonstrate reduced risk for patients of developing diabetic retinopathy and improved overall outcomes for diabetes.

Direct messaging creates efficiencies for the practice by enabling providers to increase the number of patients seen, while  simultaneously improving outcomes.

Using Direct Secure Messaging for Coordination of Care

During this live, interactive webinar, the Direct Secure Messaging Use Case will present how receipt of patient history data received directly from the primary care physician is not only more accurate but much more efficient than getting the information directly from the patient. Besides, Direct messaging creates efficiencies for the practice by enabling providers to increase the number of patients seen, while simultaneously improving outcomes. Clinical outcomes are tracked through the registry that includes the electronic data received from the primary care provider.

In addition, the webinar features an ophthalmology practice employing several electronic communications to ensure staff and patient safety while increasing patient care and meeting the COVID guidelines. Direct messaging’s communication efficiency between the provider and the referral optometric offices highlights the consistency of surgical follow-up when ophthalmic surgery is co-managed.

By taking a population management approach to diabetes care, providers can easily see the value of outcomes data to effectively address diabetes-related eye issues. The data, provided by the primary care physician, is used to identify the various diabetic populations and subgroups so the doctor of Optometry (OD) can better plan an effective management approach for each individual.

The presentation demonstrates how the Consolidated-Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA) containing the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test is received by the OD from the primary care provider and consumed into the OD practice workflow. Also, the transition of care document arising from the exam, is shown being sent to the ophthalmology practice for a cataract extraction referral, and depicts the OD process of receiving, viewing, reconciling, and consuming the document. The ophthalmology office can check for additional patient information using an automatic search generated within their EHR.

Both offices can send updated information to a Health Information Exchange (HIE) or anywhere the patient requests. Also presented is the Health Information Service Provider (HISP) ability to supply notifications to both practices for care that hasn’t yet involved either the OD or ophthalmology practice, allowing providers to function as a coordinated team much more efficiently.

Many of the features demonstrated have existed in EHRs through the past two EHR certification cycles but haven’t been largely utilized in clinical practice. Providers can benefit from electronic health information sharing by simply using the existing features embedded in their EHRs. COVID challenges providers to change how they collaborate with care teams across the care continuum to deliver better and more efficient care.

Learning Objectives of the Power of Direct Webinar

  • Gain an understanding of how easy it is to incorporate electronic communications into daily patient care practices.
  • Understand the value of Direct Messaging in delivering and incorporating essential healthcare data directly into the providers workflow.
  • See how easy it is to maintain an updated central repository of patient data when Direct Messaging is used as the primary communications method.
  • Learn how to implement programs that facilitate the transition to outcome-based care and enable eye care providers to become more valuable members of care teams, especially in the management of diabetes.

Join us!

Register for the webinar on November 17th at 12 Eastern and join us to learn more!