This explains how a HCP sets up his portal for the first time and customizes it.
All of the portal settings are accessed from the Dashboard screen menu.
Start with “Settings”.
Instructions: Here are all the fields you may pre-populate with instructions to your patients which will appear on their “New Request” screen.
“Canned Responses": Here is the field in which you can include your own customized, pre-formatted "canned" replies for your secretaries to use when communicating with patients. Your secretary will use them routinely when she updates posts, particularly with booking information. Canned replies are a time-saving feature that facilitates communication by minimizing the need to type and proof-read.
Secretary Designations: Here you assign specific secretaries to each of your office locations. You also appoint one key secretary for each office. One secretary can actually manage all of your offices.
Self-Booking: On the left menu, select "Self-Booking” if you desire to implement this feature for one or more of your office locations. This enables a self-booking option for your patients. To simplify scheduling, you can assign specific blocks of time each day for self-booked appointments. These times may be separately customized for each office location.
In this example, the Self-Booking pane has two offices listed, along with eConsult (which is treated as the equivalent of a separate office). The eConsult self-booking includes both your online AND telephone consultations with patients.
To implement Self-Booking, first, set your open office hours. Then select the duration of self-booked appointments. Here you have the opportunity to toggle self-booking on or off—in other words, you can enable self-booking for everyday, only certain days, or simply not offer the self-booking option at all. Now it is time to set up a template. Here is an example of a template which has already been created.
For each day, you can set the parameters of the self-booking time block (either specific hours only, or the full day) OR create multiple self-booking time blocks within a single day. In this example, Self-Booking has been enabled only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 6 p.m.- 7:30 pm. This is completely customizable. It can also be modified separately for the current week and following week.
Office Assignment: Click "New Users" in the left menu. Here you may add new secretaries or office locations. You can manage up to 8 offices in your Portal. Remember: eConsult is considered be its own office location within the Portal set-up.
That is how easy it is to set up your portal.
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 patient member creates a new Request, asking for (i) an office visit (consultation) appointment, or (ii) an online or phone "visit" (eConsult) in place of an office visit, or (iii) general information. An essential element of an appointment request is the titling and full description of patient's problem or concern. The HCP's staff and/or theHCP then respond in a subsequent post with either an appointment date or with the information requested. Following an office visit or an eConsult, the secretary either closes the Request or keeps it open pending test results or confirmation of a consultation appointment with a specialist. The HCP's office may post lab results or further recommendations to the thread or upload documents as attachments for the patient to download. The patient can maintain a dialogue with the secretary in the case of ongoing concerns.
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 for communication between patient, HCP and HCP's staff. Once a Request thread is completed the HCP's office saves the entire thread as a PDF file and attaches 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 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 (and pharmacies of those 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.
In the "Assign Office" area, the HCP lists all of the secretaries associated with each office, identifying one key secretary for each office location. When a patient opens a "New Request" and selects either a specific office location or an eConsult and then Saves, the Request is automatically assigned to the key secretary associated with that office or with eConsults. The Request then appears as a "Booking Request" on the "Manage Requests" page of every secretary who is associated with that office (or eConsult). Any one of these secretaries can open the "Booking Request" and deal with it. When that secretary clicks "Save", she now becomes the "ASSIGNED TO" secretary, replacing the key secretary (see the far right column on a "Manage Requests" screen). If another secretary opens the Request further along the workflow and Saves, she now becomes the "ASSIGNED TO" secretary, replacing the previous secretary. In this way, the Portal documents which secretary has updated which post. This is not only important for medical-legal purposes, it also serves a quality control function, allowing the HCP to monitor the quality and quantity of updates from each of his employees.
In the set up, the HCP sets the smallest, functional length of time for an appointment. Longer appointments will be multiples of this base time. Example: If a 15 minute base time is selected, the secretary can create a 15 minute appointment, a 30 minute appointment (2 consecutive 15 min. appointments), a 45 minute appointment (3 consecutive15 min. appointments), etc.
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 posts and attachments on the thread. You can certainly duplicate appointments made in the Portal into your existing booking program; however, you'll soon find it redundant.