This shows how an office consult is scheduled.
The referring HCP’s staff logs in to the consultant's CS-Refer Portal, clicks New Request, and reads the instructions in the beige box. She selects the office location, degree of urgency, and fills out the remaining required fields. She attaches a referral letter and clicks "Send Request".
You can see the referral letter attached to the request post—it will appear in the thread.
On the consultant secretary’s Manage Requests page, the booking request is displayed in red, and just to the right of it, the office location, referring HCP, and consultant's designated booking secretary are indicated.
The secretary opens the ticket, reads the request and opens the attached consult request letter. She then has three options. She may (i) schedule an appointment; (ii) refer the booking request to the consultant for further consideration, or (iii) decline the request. In this scenario, she schedules an appointment for an office consultation. After selecting and copying the time and date of the appointment, she fills out the “Update this Request” field by selecting a response from the dropdown menu. She then pastes in the appointment time and date, and saves.
This generates an automatic email notification to the referring HCP’s office.
A unique feature of ConsultSTAT portals is that all screens update statuses dynamically.
As an example, note that the status of the Request has now changed from Booking Request to Pre-Consult Approved, and the time and date of the appointment is clearly listed.
On everyone’s (referring HCP, consultant’s secretary and consultant) Manage Requests screen, the secretary who actually responded to the booking request is now displayed, instead of the booking secretary who is designated for that office.
The new consultation appointment also appears on both the consultant's and the consultant secretary’s calendars.
The portal architecture reflects the workflow in a consultant's office. Every time something "happens", the status of the referring HCP's request changes. The original status created when the referring HCP's office opens a new request is "New Request". When the New Request is posted to the thread, the status changes to "Booking Request". When the consultant's staff schedules an appointment (for either an office consultation or for an eConfer), the status changes from "Booking Request" to "Pre-Consult Approved". On the day of the appointment, the status automatically changes to "Consult Today". Immediately following the office consultation with the patient or the eConfer with the referring HCP, the consultant changes the status to either "Consult Conducted" or "Consult Pending Tests/Procedures". On the other hand, if the patient doesn't appear for the consultation, the status automatically changes to "No Show". And so on throughout the entire workflow.
Statuses represent the logic on which the workflow is based. The have three important functions. First, certain status changes trigger automatic email notifications to the referring HCP. For instance, notifications are triggered (i) when a consultation is scheduled or when the consult is declined by the consultant's staff, (ii) on the day of the appointment, (iii) if the patient doesn't appear for the appointment, (iv) when the reporting letter has been uploaded, (v) the appointment information when the patient has been referred to a colleague of the consultant, (vi) when the consultant replies to a post-consult question from the referring HCP.
Second, specific statuses are colour-coded to make them stand out on the secretary's master screen: Manage Requests. For instance, "Booking Request", "No Show" and "Copy/Close/Delete" are red, to alert the secretary that they require priority.
Third, specific statuses are colour-banded on the Manage Requests screen to indicate that they are grouped together in a tab at the bottom of the screen. This allows workflow to be streamlined. There are different tabs for secretary and for consultant.
She clicks the "For Specialist Approval" button before saving. This 'flags' this request for the consultant's attention by inserting it into the consultant's "Pre-Consult for Approval" tab. The consultant will then either approve the request or decline to see the patient. The status changes accordingly and the request is now flagged for the secretary to act on (by inserting it into the "For Secretary's Attention" tab).
Reasons to decline a consult request include inappropriate referral, full practice, previous bad experience with the patient, etc. However, the overriding reason should be the inadequate consult request letter. To obtain a comprehensive letter, the consultant's staff simply replies that the referring HCP must comply with the request letter guidelines on the New Request screen. She then clicks "Request Modified/Declined" and saves.
Every time a referring HCP creates a "New Request" for a patient and saves it, the status changes to "Booking Request" and that Booking Request has a unique ID number and the patient's name attached to it. So, on the referring HCP's "Manage Requests" screen, all of the patients referred to that consultant are listed. To check a patient's status, one clicks on that patient's ID and the patient's "Manage Request" page appears, with the status clearly indicated and the entire thread of the dialogue between referring HCP's and consultant's offices visible. However, it is rarely necessary to manually check the status of each referred patient, because every important status change generates an email notification to the referring HCP's office. Clicking on the link in the email and logging in to the Portal takes the referring HCP directly to the newest post in the thread of the "Manage Request" page.
On the "New Request" screen, the "Office Location" dropdown menu allows the referring HCP's office to choose either the location for an office consult OR an eConfer. In the instruction pane of the "New Request" screen, the consultant would clearly indicate the days and times of day for eConfers. The eConfer can be carried out from any location, anywhere in the world, either online within the Portal, or by phone. Many consultants prefer to carry out their eConfers from home in the evening.
They can easily be modified or cancelled by the consultant's secretary, at the request of either the referring HCP or the consultant. An email notification is sent to the referring HCP whenever an appointment is altered.
Speed and completeness. The referral request letter and all other necessary patient information is available instantly and can be responded to within minutes, as can requests for appointment changes. Similarly, the post-consult reporting letter is made available to the referring HCP immediately upon it being transcribed. Ensuing post-consult dialoguing between consultant and referring HCP yields a much richer, more complete consultation experience.