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Back to the blogMar 23, 2020

Using NextGen and Telehealth to Fight Against COVID-19

Using NextGen and Telehealth to Fight Against COVID-19

Helping others is always an admirable goal, but helping others when it endangers your life is more than is expected. Right now, all across the world, people are relying on doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to treat them during a deadly pandemic without the help of vaccines, specialized treatments, or sometimes even the basic personal protective equipment that they need. It seems an impossible task, and yet they are responding brilliantly. We like to assist with providing advice on how NextGen can be used to fight COVID-19.

During this frightening COVID-19 crisis, the members of the healthcare community are demonstrating an amazing level of courage and professionalism. Many healthcare providers are returning from retirement to help in the effort, placing themselves in danger, especially since the older population is at higher risk. Medical personnel are working extra shifts, and some are sewing their own protective masks on their days off. At TempDev, we honor these efforts and, along with the rest of the world, thank you for your selfless efforts to keep everyone safe.

Those in the healthcare IT industry are also trying to support our heroes by offering software solutions and other assistance that makes treating patients easier and more effective. Our healthcare systems are in danger of being overwhelmed by those seeking treatment. We are trying to do our part by offering consultative advice so you can provide the best possible care to those affected by this virus while relieving strain upon your medical professionals and supporting staff.

Team TempDev has been working with our clients to implement a multitude of solutions for NextGen EPM & EHR to ease the burden on staff. In times such as these, it is vital - necessary, even - that we support each other & our respective communities. In the spirit of doing what can to help, TempDev would like to share our work so that everyone can access the collective thought process happening right now & take advantage of varying strategies.

Take Advantage of Telehealth

Telemedicine options have been slowly expanding in recent years. We have never seen so much movement into quickly implementing a new solution like we have in the past week. In an effort to address this medical crisis, various world governments have been taking aggressive steps to alter their healthcare protocols. In the United States, Congress passed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, which eases healthcare regulations during the current crisis. Provisions of this bill allow patients safer access to the care that they need, particularly as it affects existing relationship telehealth restrictions and Medicare reimbursement. The following are some of the helpful telehealth solutions you can implement:

  1. Set up a telehealth visit type in the NextGen KBM or ACE templates, which will help you follow the new rules and process a visit quickly for reimbursement. You'll be able to ramp up your telehealth efforts more quickly.

    1. Consider also modifying the Finalize template to automatically capture and bill these codes to make it even faster for your physicians to see patients.

  2. The TempDev team is also assisting medical providers by setting up telehealth CPT codes in File Maintenance in both the SIM Library and in Service Categories. These codes can then be tied to the appropriate telehealth Place of Service and payers for accurate billing, greatly simplifying the process and ensuring prompt reimbursement.

  3. Create a Telehealth Quick Visit NextGen EHR templates to ease the burden of documenting a video conference with a patient. Remove physical exam components and utilize generic or COVID-19 HPIs, which smooths the way for faster clinical documentation.

  4. Quickly implement a telehealth solution to triage COVID-19 patients and determine if they need to isolate, be tested, or treated.

  5. Update your website & NextGen Patient Portal to direct the patients you want to your new telehealth solution. Consider using a quick patient questionnaire to make it more user friendly.

  6. Investigate OTTO Telehealth, a recent acquisition by NextGen. OTTO Health already had a robust telehealth operation that you can now access through NextGen. 

Telehealth services are more important than ever. Telehealth visits, which include telephone calls, video calls, and video conferences, are a key to limiting contagion while getting seniors, rural residents, and those with underlying medical conditions the care they need. Now, even citizens in lower-risk groups have been ordered to shelter in place, meaning they can benefit from telemedicine as well. If you have quick questions, we are here to help TempDev so you can swiftly implement this vital tool to serve all populations.

Update NextGen EHR for COVID-19 Tracking

Improving the telehealth process is just one of the services that healthcare IT is providing during this difficult time. Adapting to this "new normal" is taxing medical facilities to their limit, and authorities warn that the situation will become even more trying in the weeks and months ahead. The total number of infected can double in a matter of days, leading to the death toll climbing to genuinely frightening numbers. In fact, the coronavirus may be the most challenging healthcare crisis in modern history. It calls for creative solutions from every part of the medical community.

The TempDev team is actively working to ease this burden on systems. Other tools clients are implementing include:

  1. NextGen EHR templates to track contagion exposure, a vital tool during a time when COVID-19 positive test numbers are exploding exponentially.

  2. Develop NextGen EHR template questionnaires for identifying patients who may be infected with the virus and link it to your Communications template. Ensure your staff is following your protocol by building it into their workflow.

  3. Write reports to assist in identifying patients with COVID-19 symptoms through analyzing recent visitations, those made before testing was available. Don't forget to add patient comorbidity factors and prioritize communication with patients most at risk.

  4. Develop reports to identify scheduling and revenue impacts for business continuity planning as financial issues require an aggressive, proactive strategy since there are so many unknowns.

No one knows the extent and duration of this pandemic, but it promises to seriously affect the world's population for months and even years to come. In the short-term, it is having dire consequences for patients, providers, and the general population. Successfully battling it means using every tool available to you. Healthcare IT provides advanced technology that will aid in patient care and the documentation it requires. These tools will relieve your staff of time-consuming management duties, allowing them to concentrate on patient care. TempDev hopes we can ease the strain of this crisis by providing much-needed consultative advice where we can.

The severity of this pandemic is testing the fabric of society. To survive it, everyone is leaning on the efforts of selfless healthcare workers across the globe. You need to have every advanced tool available to fight this battle. TempDev, with the help of NextGen products, stands ready to help in anyway they can. Call us at 888.TEMP.DEV or contact us here.


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