Here is how a referring HCP registers on a diagnostic lab or procedure facility's Portal.
The referring HCP clicks "Register" at the top right of the page. She then fills out all required fields, and clicks Sign Up. This generates an automatic email notification from the facility’s Portal to the referring HCP.
Here is the notification in her inbox, indicating that her application has been received.
The facility's secretary will see a new blue tab "Approve New Members" appear in the tab section of her Manage Requests screen. She clicks to open the request and approves the new referring HCP, generating a second email notification to the referring HCP. [Note: When there are no more New Member Requests, the "Approve New Members" tab disappears from the secretary's screen.]
Here is the email notification indicating she is now an approved member of the facility's Portal. She may now log in.
The portal architecture emulates an online helpdesk. In a helpdesk, the member creates a new Ticket, then posts a question and the expert responds in the following post. An ongoing back and forth conversation can occur between the parties, appearing in chronological order as an expanding thread of posts on the page. In a ConsultSTAT portal, the member (referring HCP's office) creates a new Request, asking for (i) a test or procedure appointment for a patient, or (ii) general information. An essential element of a new Request is the uploading of the requisition, which appears as an attachment within the post. The facility secretary then responds in a subsequent post with either an appointment date or with the information requested. Following a test or procedure, the facility secretary posts the report to the thread, for the referring HCP's office to download. The referring HCP can continue the dialogue, requesting clarification or further information from the services manager. Thus each test/procedure can be a mentoring session, which terminates once the referring HCP is satisfied.
No, it is not an EMR. It is everything other than an EMR and a government billing system. The Portal is the practice's communication hub, replacing phone and fax for communication between referring HCP, facility secretary and services manager. Once a Request thread is completed (the report uploaded by facility and downloaded by the referring HCP's office and the dialogue between referring HCP and services manager has ended), both offices save the entire thread as a PDF file and attach it to the patient's electronic or paper medical record. This provides accurate and complete documentation of all discussions concerning the patient, which is critical for medical-legal purposes.
It is not necessary to have an EMR. Once the PDF of the thread has been created, you can print it (along with the requisition and report) to add to the patient's paper medical record, or you can save it (along with the requisition and report) to the patient's electronic medical record.
Each office location requires a separate Portal, because the tests/procedures associated with that Portal are unique to that office and because only the HCP members who refer to that office location are associated with that Portal. Multiple tests or procedures can be assigned to the Portal. The services manager can assign which secretarial staff will be associated with each test or procedure.
A services manager is the manager of one diagnostic lab or procedure facility. He/she may or may not be a physician. A technician is the person who performs the test or procedure. The services manager and the technician access the same screens. The ConsultSTAT-Services Portal permits the facility to schedule and fulfill tests or procedures.
A referring HCP is any health care professional who refers patients to a diagnostic lab or procedure facility (including family physicians, nurse practitioners, primary care chiropractors, dentists, as well as medical/surgical/dental specialists.
The booking system and associated calendar are integral components of the Portal. They have two additional benefits: (i) generating automatic email notifications to the referring HCP that an appointment is imminent or that the patient did not appear for the scheduled appointment; (ii) at the time of the test or procedure, the technician can open the patient's thread directly from the calendar entry to access the requisition and other information. You can certainly duplicate appointments made in the Portal into your existing booking program; however, you'll soon find it redundant.
Registration of only bona fide health care providers as Portal members requires that they provide professional information that only they would be privy to and that can be confirmed independently by the Portal administrator.