By Corey Fletcher
Physician portals are sleeping giants waiting to be awakened. The functionality they provide will change the future of home care. Correction – physician portals will change home care because the future is already here and so is the technology. They now have the ability to bring the entire healthcare industry together – not just home health care agencies and their physicians.
Physician portals are not simply add-on products for physicians. If you look at the functionality behind them, you will see they are centralized hubs for communication, documentation and patient care and should be seen as an essential part of your daily operations.
The reason that physician portals are so important is because they facilitate effective and efficient patient care. Here are some highlights of the physician portal that allow this to happen:
- Secure email messaging to/from physicians and any health care provider
- Secure document messaging to/from physicians and any healthcare provider
- Patient based document management system
- Ability to send an array of documents: 485s, orders, wound care photos, hand written documents, referrals, DME orders, nursing home documents, etc.
- Multiple ways to transfer documents to the portal: print, upload, scan
- Easy access to physicians and healthcare providers once in the network
- Ability to assign priority to messages to ensure quicker response
- Tiered organizational structures for healthcare providers with multiple locations
- Provider specific reports
- Customizable notifications
The great thing about physician portals and companies that are dedicated to changing the future of home care are the advancements they continue to make. Companies like HEALTHCAREfirst are developing new functionality every day. And because our physician portal, firstCPO, is web based, we can make these enhancements immediately available to their clients. Here are just some of the features on the horizon for firstCPO:
- Messaging to multiple providers: Essential for contract companies that need to send documentation to more than one healthcare provider
- Continuous document review and approval: Enter the patient record and view documents one after another and then approve all when finished.
- Text message alerts when a message or document is sent to a healthcare provider
Those that have the vision to see the benefits of a physician portal will be the first to introduce them in their markets. When they do, they will be seen as an industry leader in home care technology. I hope you take the initiative to introduce this wonderful technology in your market. Remember, it is always better to be the market leader. The future of home care is now and the technology is available to make it happen for you.