TouchMD and PatientNOW Announce Direct Integration and Marketing Partnership

TouchMD and PatientNOW have announced the formation of a new strategic partnership that will offer medical practices a seamless way to integrate patient consults, photos and consents directly with their patient tracking, EMR and practice management software.

The strategic partnership with PatientNOW provides direct integration with one of the best EMR and practice management systems for cosmetic surgeons.  Their EMR software becomes a central repository for everything in the medical office.   With the streamlined integration with TouchMD it only makes sense to push photos, consents and other material to PatientNOW and make it part of the patients permanent medical record.
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PatientNOW and MyMedLeads Announce New Partnership

PatientNOW and MyMedLeads have announced the formation of a new strategic partnership that will offer medical practices a seamless way to integrate all of their marketing efforts directly with their practice management software.??MyMedLeads, a lead management tool for the medical industry has announced their strategic integration with PatientNOW, a leading provider of EMR technology and practice management software. This new partnership will offer medical practices a fully integrated solution to tracking their online and offline marketing (such as print, yellow pages, SEO or pay per click) and scheduling them directly into PatientNOW without having to manually enter patient information.

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EMR and Dermatology: Resources and News

We’ve been noticing more and more online discussion about EMR for Dermatologists. This post shares some interesting links and resources that you may want to view if you’re a dermatologist who’s about to implement an electronic medical records system.

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Are Apple FaceTime Calls HIPAA Compliant?

FaceTime is Apple’s video calling program, which now works on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or Mac. With a tiny camera on your Apple device, you can interact visually with the person you’re calling.

Because medical services are increasingly going online for convenience, we should expect doctors and other medical professionals to use this kind of technology. Whether it’s for the initial consultation or an after-hours consult, a virtual option is definitely becoming more viable.

However, these new methods of communication mean that medical professionals need to closely monitor their online activities for HIPAA compliance.

Apple gear (including iPad) is HIPAA compliant when using WPA2 Enterprise security, explains Jason D. O’Grady, in a recent ZDNet blog post. According to representatives O’Grady contacted at Apple, “WPA2 Enterprise uses 128-bit AES encryption, giving users the highest level of assurance that their data will remain protected when they send and receive communications over a Wi-Fi network connection.”

The rep also explained the FaceTime feature of “end to end” encryption with unique session keys and a unique FaceTime ID for every user.

Ensuring HIPAA Compliance

To ensure HIPAA compliance when using FaceTime, be sure to connect to a secure wireless network that is encrypted with WPA2 Enterprise security.



Digital Assent PatientPad® Integrates with PatientNOW EMR

Digital Assent, provider of the award-winning PatientPad® self-service patient check-in and patient education solution, has partnered with PatientNOW, a leading provider of electronic medical records (EMR) solutions for aesthetic-focused practices, to automatically transfer patient check-in information entered via the PatientPad to the physician’s PatientNOW system.

PatientPad“Digital Assent’s partnership with PatientNOW will significantly improve a patient’s experience from the moment they walk through their physician’s door,” said Tim Collins, CTO and co-founder of Digital Assent. “Everything is electronic and automated, which decreases time spent filling out paperwork or a doctor shuffling through paper for health information. Physicians will also benefit from reduced clerical errors and transcription costs.”

The PatientPad is a wireless touch-screen solution that automates the patient check-in process and delivers targeted health information and advertising to interested patients while they sit in their healthcare provider’s waiting room, exam room or treatment room. Since the beginning of the year, the PatientPad has enjoyed rapid adoption by physician practices in more than 30 states.

Along with a comprehensive and certified EMR solution, PatientNOW offers fully integrated marketing, customer contact and patient process tracking tools to increase efficiency and revenue creation for each practice.  This unified EMR and practice management solution is tailor-made for the aesthetic medical provider market, including plastic and cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists and medical spas.

“Aligning ourselves with Digital Assent and the PatientPad is a natural fit for both companies, which are two of the pioneers leading the conversion from paper to electronic health records,” said Jerry Jacobson, president and co-founder of PatientNOW.  “Capturing data electronically from the patient and pushing it automatically to the PatientNOW EMR system is a tremendous value and time saver for every one of our practices.”

The first office to go live with the integrated solution was The Skin Spa of Newnan Dermatology, located a few miles south of metro Atlanta in Newnan, Ga. “Now that PatientPad integrates with PatientNOW, our front-office staff no longer have to waste time and energy manually entering patient data,” said Trisha Kennedy, Director of The Skin Spa.

This partnership follows on the heels of Digital Assent’s recent $7.5 million Series B equity funding, which the company is using to more rapidly grow its market share and product footprint.  Earlier this year, the company received a $2 million Series A round of funding to expand its leadership team and launch a national sales campaign.


Plastic Surgeons Climb Out of Bottom 5 Specialties Adopting EHR

The specialty of plastic surgery is no longer listed in the bottom 5 specialties reporting usage of electronic health records software, according to a report from SK&A.

In October 2010, only 25% of plastic surgeons reported office use of EHR. Listed among the bottom specialities at the time were psychiatry, plastic surgery, osteopathic manipulation, baritatrics and holistic medicine.

Within one year, plastic surgeons evidently adopted EHR at a rate that lifted them out of this bottom five, while the other specialties remained. Primary care physicians are believed to be leading the way in EHR adoption.

SK&A has a federal contract to measure EHR adoption. You can view the report document in PDF here: Physician Office Usage of Electronic Health Records Software


Doctors Using EHR Report Increased Use of Patient Registries

Categorization, organization and filtering of patient information is dramatically improved by electronic health records. This helps a physician manage patients more effectively and perform their own work more efficiently.

A study published last month in Health Affairs looked at 163 physicians in Massachusetts who were part of a pilot program organized by the state’s eHealth Collaborative.

Beginning in 2006, the group funded and set up EHR systems in different physicians offices in three towns: Brockton, Newburyport, and North Adams. They handled technical aspects and redesign of the physicians’ workflow.

In 2005, before the EHR was implemented, doctors were surveyed about creation of patient registries. Four years later, they were surveyed again.

Respondents showed a significant change in their ability to sort patients by specific factors. Although they could already sort by diagnosis, different registries became useful after EHR was implemented.

A quote from the abstract on HealthAffairs.org

Physicians who participated in the program increased their ability to generate some types of registries—specifically, for laboratory results and medication use. Our analysis also suggested that physicians who used their electronic health records more intensively were more likely to use registries, particularly in caring for patients with diabetes, compared to physicians reporting less avid use of electronic health records.

From 2005 to 2009, the participants’ ability to generate a registry based on lab results jumped from 44 percent to 78 percent. During the same period, registries for medications increased 33 percent to 83 percent.


Patients Reveal Electronic Privacy Concerns

During a switch to EMR, you may want to notify your patients about security of their electronic medical records. A recent survey conducted by the Xerox company shows that many people are concerned about stolen, lost or damaged medical information.

According to Business Wire, patients concerns include:

  • Stolen personal information by hackers (about 80%)
  • Lost, damaged, corrupted records (64 percent)
  • Misuse of their information (62 percent)

If you’re using an EMR already, it’s wise to reassure your patients about security of their records. It may help to explain how paper records have their own security disadvantages: they can be damaged, lost or stolen more easily than electronic information.


Benefits of E-Prescribing, in Seattle Times

A new article in the Seattle Times explains the many advantages of e-prescriptions, for both doctors and patients.

Benefits outlined in the article include:

  • Doctors can check patient’s medical history for potentially harmful drug interactions
  • Reduced risk of medication errors caused by illegible handwriting or failure to spot drug allergies, etc.
  • System can confirm the prescription benefits
  • Refills are complete with the touch of a button
  • Affordable medications can be selected more easily
  • Integration with EMR allows easy access to vital patient information

Overall, the article shows that e-prescribing technology is improving the efficiency of medical practices – especially those writing many prescriptions.


EMR Acceptance is Slow, Despite Federal Push

On the popular site Technorati, Patrick Malone discusses the “Slow Evolution” of EMR in a recent article. He writes:

“Despite a vigorous campaign by the federal government and some large health-care providers to move the nation’s patient records from the Jurassic Age of paper to the Electronic Age of digital communication, most physicians and clinics have been slow to embrace the transfer.”

Among the impediments to EMR acceptance among doctors, he cites patient privacy concerns and lack of uniformity between medical record systems.

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