Category Archives: General Practice

The benefits of ePrescribing as a SequelMed provider

E-Prescribing (eRx) offers more benefits than its basic function of generating a prescription and sending it electronically to a pharmacy. Although, endorsed by the CMS as a must-use tool for medical practices and offering eRx incentives if adopted or facing penalties otherwise, the value which an electronic prescription system adds to the efficacy of a medical provider is multifaceted.

The Medicare’s e-Prescribing incentives and penalties

The Medicare’s e-Prescribing incentive program obligates the providers who haven’t participated in the eRx Incentive Program yet, should become successful e-prescribers by June 30, 2013; otherwise, they will face a 2% penalty in 2014 and onwards. To avoid ePrescribing penalties, providers must routinely use an eRx system.

 

Benefits of ePrescribing as a SequelMed provider

SequelMed offers two types of ePrescribing systems: a stand-alone web-based E-Prescribe (eRx) system that is used for eRx only and the other type is the EHR/EMR applications bundled with eRx functionality. These ePrescribing solutions are Surescripts-RxHub certified and are used by physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners nationwide to prescribe without paper.

Here are a few benefits of using SequelMed ePrescribe system.

  1. Securely exchange new prescriptions and prescription information with pharmacies and PBMs in communities throughout all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  2. Comprehensive online drug reference guide using the Gold Standard’s Alchemy database for all prescriptions, OTC medications and supplies approved by the FDA.
  3. Real-time pharmacy and payer information before prescribing.
  4. Get patient eligibility and formulary information before e-prescribing.
  5. View patient-specific health information, such as, history of current and past medication.
  6. Transmit the medication to the patient preferred pharmacy; locate through ZIP codes or online maps.
  7. Add personal comments and directions along with the electronic prescriptions and save time and resources used in answering phone calls, call-backs and sending faxes to pharmacies.
  8. Online medication authorization and refill request handling through a secure web-based account which can be accessed from anywhere.
  9. Avoid adverse drug events (ADE’s) by practicing through an advanced decision support system.
  10. The SequelMed eRx system automatically warns the user through alerts and prompts in case of drug-drug or drug-allergy interactions and threats.
  11. Extra information on the drug being prescribed and exchange follow-up patient education literature.
  12. Add SIG notes and also choose from a list of directions which the ePrescribe system automatically suggests.

SequelMed E-Prescribing (eRx) system is bringing value to the practices and is immensely used due to its advanced capabilities. For better insight, view demo of the system or contact us for detailed information.

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7 Smart ways to keep pace with the patient appointment schedule

Patient appointment scheduling has become an essential feature of EMR, EHR and Practice Management systems. Electronic scheduling is streamlining work routines and is highly effective in managing time, resources and daily rosters of medical practices.

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Electronic schedulers are helpful in improving productivity and efficiency of a provider because they update up-to-the-minute status of scheduled appointments but sometimes it becomes really difficult to roll along with the list due to certain reasons, causing disruption and frustration among the staff when time goes awry.

However, following a few smart steps can ensure a steady flow of a set routine and providers can easily keep pace with the daily schedule.

  1. Allocate time slots according to the visit type.

It might take an average of 20 to 30 minutes with a patient from checkin time to checkout, but obviously all the appointments cannot be scheduled for an equal duration. Patients visiting for the first time require almost double the time of a routine patient visit and patient visits that involve diagnosis and lab reports take more time than average. So, at the time of scheduling, ask in detail the purpose of the visit and assign the time slot accordingly.

  1. Include the time required to prepare for the next patient.

Right after a patient checkout, the process for the next patient could not start immediately. Both, the provider and the nursing staff need a short break to prepare for the next visiting patient. Before it, the doctor needs to retrieve a patient’s health record and a careful perusal of history. Sometimes, they need to check patient’s plan eligibility or adding any update in patient’s personal information. Therefore, it is quite logical to add a phase in time along with the exam room time when scheduling.

  1. Dedicate a resource that is responsible for appointment scheduling.

Today, EMR and Practice Management applications are capable of taking scheduling input from multiple locations. It is quite an advanced level of scheduling where appointment requests can be entered, edited and changed from anywhere. However, sometimes it messes up the whole workflow when appointments are scheduled without considering the availability of resources, nursing staff and technical assistance at that time. It is better to assign the scheduling task to one dedicated resource that should make sure availability of the supporting resources.

  1. Color coded schedule view.

Utilizing color coding to take a quick view of the booked time slots and the nature of the visit is helpful. Mostly, colors can define in a scheduler the open time slots, booked and cancelled visits and it is better to view the schedule for the next day appointments in advance to better prepare yourself for the workday.

  1. Group patients and execute tasks in batches.

Sometimes multiple tasks can be handled with a single command which saves unnecessary time spent on completing tasks one by one. For instance, schedule search for a given time period can quickly gather information on open visits and cancelled appointments making it easier to add appointments from the wait list. During a tightly scheduled workday, execute tasks in groups, send lab orders, check eligibility and execute payment related follow ups in batches which would save precious pockets of time. Similarly, grouping patients with similar ailments is helpful for efficient use of resources, making it easier to keep pace with the appointment schedule.

  1. Ignore attention diverters.

Computer based workflow has one big disadvantage that there are plenty of attention diverters nestled on your computer screen. You may be simply trying to get rid of the pending tasks or has opened email Inbox but unintentionally you would lose track of the time and would waste time that you had scheduled for something else. It is better to leave cyberloafing for lunch hour, tea breaks or when you are free or do such tasks on your Smartphone. Moreover, do not procrastinate and allow the pending tasks catch you in your busy hour. Otherwise, it would easily get in the way of your scheduled routine.

  1. Your time starts now.

Start your day as scheduled and on time, otherwise, a time lag in the early hours of the day would linger you throughout the workday.

What makes SequelMed stand out from the crowd?

The best companies act like people. They play well with others, communicate with one voice, have a heart, and unleash the collective soul of their entire workforce, argues a writer that ‘companies are people‘.

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However, health care IT companies are a unique blend of their own. The health care sector is outnumbering the growth of any other sector in the US and is reaching a point of saturation where competition is unparalleled and innovation is nerve-racking. Electronic medical systems are mitigating the human factor and it seems that only the best of the best would propagate. In this tightly packed market of health IT vendors, SequelMed as a company attributes its success and exponential growth to the core values (strength of analysis, flexibility to adopt & efficacy to alter) which are also reflected on the solutions we provide.

What makes SequelMed different?

What makes us different?

Our solutions have evolved over the years

Our health care IT solutions are not the offspring of a business venture, entrepreneurial funding or acquisition.  SequelMed began as a healthcare IT solution provider in 1995 and since then, all the solutions offered have been indigenously developed and evolved to cater to the needs of health care service providers.

Stand alone solutions integrate and connect seamlessly

Our Practice Management software, EMR and EHR systems, and web based Patient Portal are capable of executing tasks in isolation and integration with the other applications as well. This is the reason we can boast of a complete solution to our clients.

We are certified to serve

Our electronic medical record (EMR) system has been tested and certified under the Drummond Group’s ONC-ATCB program. The solutions have been developed to meet the standards; they fulfill the Meaningful Use program requirements and are HIPAA 5010 compliant.

Client endorsement

SequelMed is a leading provider of EMR and practice management software and solutions, serving over 12,000 physicians in North America. Because of our all-out support and professional connection, our customers have become lifetime partners and they endorse us in reviews and testimonials.

Implementation, training and support

A good customer support team is a must to close the loop. Our clients receive all the necessary education collateral (i.e., user manuals and FAQ’s along with our solutions) via their account manager.  We help our clients during the implementation stage, providing extensive training sessions and uninterrupted support.

All that, makes SequelMed a company powered by a unique blend of experience and expertise, offering premium health IT solutions.

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HIMSS recommendations on ICD-10 implementation | Fast Facts

ICD 10 Fast Facts

Earlier this year when Kathleen Sebelius (Secretary U. S. Health and Human Services) expressed intention to delay the ICD-10 implementation deadline originally scheduled for Oct. 1, 2013. The delay received a mixed response from health IT vendors and stakeholders.

Healthcare Information and Management Systems (HIMSS) responded to the proposed delay by suggesting that the “cost of delay could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional assessments, gap analyses, consulting and conversion fees.” However, following the final announcement of the delay in ICD-10 compliance, HIMSS has come up with a set of recommendations for implementing ICD-10 by the compliance deadline.

SequelMed’s recommendations to small and mid-sized providers on ICD-10 transition was posted here, a few days before the HIMSS report. Read 5 Keys to Plain Sailing ICD-10 Transition

The fast facts on ICD-10 implementation highlight strategies, risks and potential initiatives to unanimously achieve the compliance on-time and without any disruption.

Call to action

  • HIMSS suggests the creation of regional ICD-10 Solutions Centers which can test business processes as well as IT systems for alternative implementation approaches, impacts, resources required, costs, and outcomes.
  • A self-reporting tool (VitalVendors) which can provide information on vendor progress and readiness.
  • Educational resources to spread awareness among small and mid-sized providers on the value of ICD-10 and the implementation requirements.
  • For accurate and consistent updates on ICD-10 coding recognize the cooperating parties (CMS, NCHS, AHIMA, and AHA) as the “Single Source of Truth.”

Risks

  • Provider/Facilities Risks: Providers lack qualified coders, clinical documentation improvement specialists, and internal IT resources. In case of end-to-end testing there is a lack of integration and provider-payer collaboration which is risky. Absence of cost evaluation mechanism for consultants and other resources required for the implementation. In that case audit concerns grow when progressing through the ICD-10 implementation.
  • Provider/Physician Practices Risk: The lack of an established ICD-10 vendor readiness validation process. Lack of knowledge or proper reporting tools among providers of the key post-implementation financial impacts and the potential for revenue disruption. Lack of knowledgeable coding resources and education programs.
  • Health Plan Risks: Lack of standardization of mapping between ICD-9 and ICD-10. Lack of a mechanism supporting dual processing (using either ICD-9 or -10 codes) in case of an unready provider. Lack of definition of appropriate acceptance testing for ICD-10, lack of test data, and lack of test partners. Additional delays in the compliance date are recognized as a significant risk for health plan progress.
  • Vendor Risks: Vendor procrastination due to the CMS enforcement moratoria and the absence of a readiness definition to indicate the true state of vendor progress. Limited expert resources and vagueness about roles to be played by each party.

Potential initiatives

  • A consensus-based, standardized pilot program for the use of ICD-10.
  • Providing a readily accessible vendor readiness tracking tool.
  • Standardizing ICD-10 end-to-end testing process.
  • Accurately-measured and well-defined intermediate milestones which can help to determine progress toward ICD-10 implementation.
  • Funding for ICD-10 implementation offered to vendors.
  • Creation of regional assistance centers.
  • ICD-10 education focusing on the benefits and potential value.
  • A common source of information which can produce ICD-10 coding examples for use in training and can quickly address problems identified during the testing process.
  • Adding “ICD-10 Ready” stamp in practice management software certification processes.
  • Initiating collaboration between providers, facilities and health plans.

Source: HIMSS G7 advisory report on ICD-10 implementation.

Connected physician practices are at a business advantage

More than ever now there is a need to stay connected through online services, social media networks and social happenings. Today, a physician practice cannot survive in isolation regardless of the fact that they may offer good, quality services to their clients.

The demand for staying connected has increased recently, mostly because patients want their care process to continue while staying in touch with their doctor. Patients want to access their health information and records on the smart devices (cell phones, tablets, PCs, etc.). They like to use online forums and community pages of their interest for best advice, reviews, recommendations, referrals and recent updates.

By increasing community presence and visibility, a practice can gain outstanding boost in the turnover. Here are a few tips on how getting connected with other practices in the vicinity could be beneficial for a provider.

Online professional communities of physicians:

Over the past few years, a number of professional community platforms have gained popularity. These platforms are not only a good source of information on recent health care updates; they also provide professional connections between physician practices. Among these communities The American Medical Association (AMA) has been the oldest and largest association of physicians. Sermo and QuantiaMD are equally useful online communities for physicians to connect with each other, share expert opinions while professionally growing and extending their outreach.

Social media presence:

Amid busy daily schedules, interaction on social media networks can provide a strong foundation to help build a community environment. Communicating through patient-preferred tools and social networks helps creating a flexible environment where no one is bound to the limitations of the exam room. Patients can ask questions anytime and physicians can answer at their leisure. It also increases the frequency of interactions with colleagues and contacts with other practice groups. Physicians, who use social media professionally, are more effectively connected with their patients and physician communities.

Patient referral management:

Patient referrals constitute a major part of interactions. For Meaningful Use Stage 2, CMS requires at least one instance of communication exchange with a provider using EHR technology designed by a different EHR vendor or with a CMS-designated EHR system. Implementation requirements for patient referral management would increase in the next stages of the Meaningful Use program. It means that physicians should look for tools assisting to communicate and exchange information with other practices.

SequelMed is connecting physicians across networks

Over the years, SequelMed has developed software solutions (EHR, Patient PortaleLink) which are connecting physician practices nationwide. SequelMed maintains one centralized database which makes information sharing easier, regardless of how many businesses, practices, providers, or locations exist within an enterprise or group. Because of this enhanced connectivity, physician practices at SequelMed network target highest return on investment.