Here’s how a new patient registers for the first time.
Randy would like to register as a member of his doctor’s Portal. On ConsultStat's Welcome Page he clicks "Register" at the top right of the screen.
He sees detailed instructions appear. He registers by filling out the fields. Those starred with a red asterisk are required. He will be alerted if one of the starred fields isn't filled in. He then clicks “Sign Up” to register.
At the bottom of the secretary's “Manage Requests” screen, a new tab "Approve New Members" has appeared in blue. She clicks the tab, and then clicks "Approve" to the right of Randy's name and information to approve his registration.
On the “Manage Requests” screen, we can see that the “Approve New Members” tab has disappeared, because the only pending application has been processed.
Randy received two emails: one immediately after submitting his registration and a second one once his registration was approved. The first email is titled "Registration Successful -- Pending Admin Approval". The most recent email titled "Your Account is Approved!" includes a welcome to ConsultSTAT along with instructions and links to demo videos.
That's how easy it is to register!
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 (patient) creates a new Request, asking for (i) an office visit appointment, or (ii) an online or phone discussion (eConsult) or (iii) information. An essential element of a New Request is the titling and description of the patient's problem in detail within the post. HCP's staff and/or the HCP then respond in a subsequent post with either an appointment date or with the information requested. Following an office consult or an eConsult, the HCP's office may post lab results or further recommendations to the thread or upload documents as attachments for the patient to download.
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 patient, HCP and HCP's staff. Once a Request thread is completed, the HCP's office creates PDF of the entire thread and attaches it to the patient's electronic or paper medical record. This provides accurate and complete documentation of all discussions involving 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 to add to the patient's paper medical record, or you can save it to the patient's electronic medical record.
Each HCP requires a separate Portal, because the members associated with that Portal are the HCP's unique pool of patients. The HCP can manage up to 7 office locations inside the Portal for scheduling appointments and can additionally schedule and conduct eConsults from anywhere in the world. The HCP can assign which secretarial staff will be associated with each office.
An HCP is any health care professional who has his/her own roster of private patients (including family physicians, nurse practitioners, primary care chiropractors, dentists, as well as medical/surgical/dental specialists with their own long-term patients).
The booking system and associated calendar are integral components of the Portal. They have two additional benefits: (i) generating automatic email notifications to the patient that an appointment is imminent or that the patient did not appear for the scheduled appointment; (ii) at the time of the office visit or eConsult, the HCP can open the patient's thread directly from the calendar entry to access the problem-description post 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 patients (and pharmacists) as Portal members requires that they provide personal information that only they would be privy to and that can be confirmed independently by the Portal administrator.