EHR Telemedicine: Integrated Technologies At Work In Healthcare
- John Carmody
- on Oct 15, 2021
Electronic health records (EHRs) have reshaped the delivery and efficacy of healthcare across the country. In hospitals and private practices, EHR systems have reduced costs, simplified the processes of collecting and accessing patients’ medical information, and empowered physicians to offer more coordinated, efficient care.
As telemedicine continues to increase in popularity on the heels of the pandemic – 154% since 2019, EHR systems have played a central role in making this technology accessible to patients who prefer to consult with their physicians from the comfort of home.
When EHR systems are integrated with a telemedicine platform, clinicians are able to streamline their workflow and patients benefit from a more immersive, engaging virtual care experience.
But, the benefits of EHR and telemedicine functionality don’t stop there. The merging of these two technologies has the potential to lead to innovation that will set a new norm in the field of healthcare.
Enhanced Quality of Care
Just like with an in-person appointment, a physician using telemedicine needs access to a patient’s health records in order to provide an accurate diagnosis of the patient’s symptoms. By having an EHR system integrated within a telehealth platform, providers are afforded instant access to their patient’s records on a system they’re already familiar with using.
During a telehealth consultation, physicians can visually assess the condition of their patients and review their health records to provide a proper diagnosis. This face-to-face interaction is similar to what a patient would expect from an in-person appointment. Factor in the ability to instantly share information with patients through the telehealth platform and it’s likely that patient engagement will increase.
Streamlined Billing & Claims Processing
In the 90s, copays only accounted for 5% of a practice’s total revenue. Fast forward to today and that number is closer to 45%. With such a large portion of a practice’s revenue tied to copays, it’s important for clinicians to have access to a streamlined billing process. Telehealth platforms have payment portals that make it easy to collect credit card payments, ensuring clinicians are reimbursed for their time and services.
As part of the EHR and telemedicine functionality, providers can also check a patient’s insurance eligibility before scheduling them for an appointment. While many health insurance plans cover telehealth services, having prior access to a patient’s insurance eligibility can prevent costly confusion.
Simplified Data Collection
It’s not only a practice’s administrative staff that benefits from the streamlined workflow offered by telehealth platforms. With EHR integration, physicians can instantly add SOAP notes and updated information to their patients’ health records from the telehealth portal. Without this integration, clinicians would need to enter the same information twice, reducing workflow efficiency and resulting in possible errors and duplicate entries.
With access to up-to-date information in patients’ health records, physicians can properly assess patients and offer accurate diagnoses without having to sift through a patient’s entire medical history.
The Future of Virtual Care Technology
The merging of these two technologies may represent the beginning of a new approach to healthcare in an evolving, digital world. While telemedicine will never replace in-person appointments, it can serve as a substitute for non-urgent issues. This benefits providers and patients alike, resulting in more convenient access to care, streamlined processes, and most importantly, increased patient engagement and retention.
Beam Health is committed to helping providers and patients connect through an easy-to-use online telehealth platform. There is no downloading of apps or software required and practices can have their own telehealth system up and running within 24 hours. Schedule a free demo today.