Electronic Health Records doing their part in fighting Coronavirus

Blog Posts  |  07 April 2020

In this time of crisis, everyone is called upon to do their part in fighting the war against COVID-19. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) play a vital role in combating this disease by providing real-time information about a patient and using that information to assist healthcare providers in making patient-centric evidence-based care decisions.

According to Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), “A greater and more seamless flow of information within a digital health care infrastructure, created by electronic health records (EHRs), encompasses and leverages digital progress and can transform the way care is delivered and compensated.” This is especially meaningful when applied to the Coronavirus crisis. EHRs can leverage their technology to fight the war on COVID-19 through:

  • Providing alerts and links to the latest updates from the CDC within the provider’s workflow
  • Enabling patients to communicate with their providers without leaving their homes via telemedicine tools built into the EHR
  • Allowing providers who are working from their home office and leveraging telehealth to have systems in place that allow them to prescribe electronically
  • Supporting patient education and communication via patient portals and personalized health records
  • Integrating screening questionnaires that follow CDC guidelines to screen patients for symptoms and potential exposure, including recent travel
  • Automating the physician’s ability to request COVID-testing and provide standardized instructions to patients who will self-isolate at home with isolation and infection control precautions
  • Providing an alert to the physician when a diagnosis code (ICD-10) is entered into a patient record that is associated with CDC clinical criteria for COVID-19
  • Supporting a new specific diagnosis code (ICD-10) for COVID-19 launched by the CDC on April 1
  • Leveraging the data that is housed in the EHR to support quality management, outcomes reporting and infectious disease surveillance
  • Partnering with life science organizations to use data from the EHR to support real-world evidence based studies that can help them develop new tests and/or potential vaccines

Veradigm is dedicated to helping combat this crisis

As a leading provider of data and technology solutions, Veradigm is at the forefront of the fight to help providers and the patients they serve. We are committed to leveraging our technology to help providers identify patients at risk for the virus and ensure they have the information and tools needed to help them.

Among our early efforts to help physicians identify patients at risk, we implemented a reminder that appears during the EHR log in process reminding providers to ask patients about recent travel and potential exposure when they present symptoms associated with COVID-19.

We also began alerting physicians when a diagnostic code they enter for a patient aligns with CDC clinical criteria for COVID-19. The alert is displayed prominently, signals to the physician that the diagnosis is associated with COVID-19 and provides a link to CDC guidelines.

Most recently, we began deploying free video conferencing services for 60 days to our EHR providers, enabling them deliver services during the peak period of this crisis through telemedicine, and helping control further contamination.

Other initiatives we have taken include:

  • Implementing COVID-19 questionnaires within our software that allow for documentation of current symptoms, recent travel outside the country, etc.
  • Establishing a connection to the CDC website from within several places in the provider workflow within our EHR
  • Launching a Physician and Patient resource section within our website that includes information on preparedness, screening and testing, prevention and control, management and treatment and patient education
  • Offering our providers video chat services to support telehealth
  • Providing ePrescribe software that is EHR agnostic and can be used by any practice even if they don’t use our EHR
  • Implementing changes to our development process, enabling us to be swifter in implementing new alerts, diagnostic codes and other related efforts into the workflow of our electronic health record
  • Modifying our system to accept the new COVID-19 diagnostic code (ICD-10) that will be used to confirm diagnosis, once it is released by the CDC on April 1
  • Ensuring our systems operate, stay online, are upgraded flawlessly, are defect free and are supported by eager, knowledgeable and empathetic team members who are here to assist in any way we can

We are also continuing our long standing policy to offer our EHR services free of charge to the local Free Clinics who are at the front line of this pandemic.

As was stated by our CEO, Tom Langan “We, at Veradigm, pledge to do our utmost to maintain the highest levels of service, reliability, and insight for patients and the providers that serve them. Our solutions are an integral part of toolsets that medical professionals are using to care for their patients, whether in person or telehealth.”

Through product enhancements and innovations and by leveraging tried and trusted services and tools, Veradigm is working daily to support management of this crisis.


Related links:
https://www.aha.org/news/headline/2020-03-18-new-covid-19-icd-10-cm-code-coming-earlier

https://help.practicefusion.com/s/article/CDC-Physician-and-Patient-Resources-for-COVID-19

https://www.healthit.gov/topic/health-it-basics/benefits-ehrs

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