The use of direct messaging in healthcare has become a hot topic of conversation. No matter your specialty, there are times when you must interact with other healthcare providers and practices in order to provide the best care for your patients. Direct messaging has modernized and streamlined the way practices, professionals, and patients communicate. On top of streamlining communication across healthcare specialties it's going to help increase efficiency within your EHR workflow.
Direct Messaging and How it will Benefit Your EHR Workflow
What is direct messaging?
Direct messaging is a feature that comes with many EHR systems, or as an add-on third party solution. It allows for a safe way for healthcare providers to send clinical information and patient records instantly through a secure online channel. Healthcare providers are able to send messages with attachments such as CCD files, x-rays, images, or referral documents. The old way of sending messages between healthcare providers has typically been through fax, phone, or mail - all of which are outdated and less secure.
What benefits does direct messaging have for your eyecare practice?
With faxes, ground mail, and phone calls information can easily fall into the wrong hands or be overheard. Information sent through direct messaging tools increases the security of sending patient health information by using encrypted messages and files that are only accessible through password protected accounts.
Team-Based Patient Care
Direct messaging is going to help provide better overall patient care for your patients. Patients are looking for healthcare providers to offer a more unified and cohesive healthcare experience across specialties. It allows providers to instantly share information with other providers which decreases the time it takes to get information back to patients, and speeds up the referral process.
Saves Time in Your Workflow
Information that is sent via fax, mail, or phone is handed off from one practice to another and has to be re-keyed into the patients record by someone on the receiving end. This is going to increase the chance of human error, and eat up more of your staff's time. Electronically sending this information will help take away time from data entry and lets your staff focus on more important things.
Direct Messaging and Meaningful Use
Utilizing direct messaging in your practice is going to help you meet Meaningful Use requirements as well. Here's how direct messaging pertains to a core measure of Meaningful Use in Stage 2. Check out this document from the CMS to read more about this objective!
Core Measure Objective:
The Eligible Professional (EP) who transitions their patient to another setting of care or provider, or refers their patient to another provider, should provide a summary of care record for each transition of care or referral.
- The EP who transitions or refers their patient to another setting of care or provider of care provides a summary of care record for more than 50% of transitions of care and referrals.
- The EP who transitions or refers their patient to another setting of care or provider of care provides a summary of care record for more than 10% of such transitions and referrals either (a) electronically transmitted using a certified EHR to a recipient or (b) where the recipient receives the summary of care record via exchange by an organization that is an NwHIN Exchange participant or in a manner that is consistent with the governance mechanism ONC establishes for the NwHIN.
- An EP must satisfy one of the following criteria:
- Conducts one or more successful electronic exchanges of a summary of care document, as part of which is counted in Measure 2.
- Conducts one or more successful tests with the CMS designated test EHR during the EHR reporting period.
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