This is how a pharmacy can register to become a member of a health care provider’s Portal. (The Portal ‘belongs’ to either a primary care or specialist health care provider who writes prescriptions for patients who are clients of the one of the pharmacy). On the Portal homepage screen, the pharmacist clicks “Register” and fills out the indicated fields. All pharmacists working at this pharmacy should have access to the email address to register. The pharmacy receives an email notification of their application to register. The secretary is alerted to the registration request by the appearance of the “Approve New Members” tab. She approves the pharmacy as a member of the Portal.
Here is the email notification alerting the pharmacy that their account has been approved. Clicking through on the link, they’ll be able to log in to their new Portal account.
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 (pharmacy) creates a new Request, asking for (i) a prescription renewal or modification for the HCP's patient, or (ii) an online or phone discussion (eConsult) to discuss patient therapeutics or (iii) information. An essential element of a New Request is the patient's first & last name, inserted in the "Problem 1" and "Problem 2" boxes and exactly what the pharmacy requires from the HCP, inserted into the post. HCP's staff and/or the HCP then respond in a subsequent post with either an appointment date for an eConsult or with the information requested.
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 pharmacy, 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, the HCP's office can print it to add to the patient's paper medical record, or 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. 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. The HCP's office can certainly duplicate appointments made in the Portal into its existing booking program; however, the staff will soon find it redundant.
Registration of only bona fide patients (and pharmacies) 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.