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Raleigh ambulatory practice weathers perfect storm

Coping with a virus is bad enough, as we’ve seen since COVID-19 reached pandemic levels. But what happens when you throw into the mix a server outage?

For Raleigh Medical Group, April 2020 presented as the perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances. Thanks to its technology partnership with Allscripts, the 45-year-old practice weathered the storm well.

Telehealth, Pro Mobile to the rescue

At the beginning of the month, Raleigh Medical Group—like practices almost everywhere—revved up its ability to conduct virtual appointments with patients.

In March, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommended healthcare facilities explore alternatives to face-to-face triage to reduce the chance for COVID-19 transmission. That made it easier for practices to conduct and get paid for telehealth appointments.

The plan at RMG was to use telehealth and the FollowMyHealth® portal for those patients who didn’t need to be seen in person. Those solutions worked well for the practice when combined with drive-up automobile appointments for the many other patients who did need to be seen.

So, RMG was all-in to change the way it handled patient workflows and implemented new processes using Allscripts Professional EHRTM Mobile for 250 users.

Pro Mobile is an application built by Professional EHR, for Professional EHR, that delivers remote access to many of the features within the full desktop version, which RMG has used since 2003.

Using the mobile solution paired with the full computer-based EHR seemed ideal for weathering the COVID-19 storm.

In the drive-through clinic, we are calling patients ahead of time and starting charts to reduce exposure at the car. We then pull up the Open Encounter on Pro Mobile so the provider seeing the patient could quickly read and familiarize.

Then, a server outage

As RMG was perfecting its ability to handle telehealth visits for stay-at-home patients and using Pro Mobile for patient tasks like prescription renewals and drive-up patients, another challenge hit the practice: A server outage at RMG’s third-party hosting service was knocked offline along with the full EHR and other important systems.

While the full RMG system was inaccessible, the team could continue to treat patients through Pro Mobile, which enabled access to pertinent patient information, quick encounters and prescribing.

With Pro Mobile, when we had no computers or phones, we were still able to see who was scheduled, look at the information, create a quick encounter, pull the billing code in and send prescriptions if needed. We were also able to use the demographics information to call the patient.

It was also helpful in enabling us to send emails for the following week’s patient list with invite codes for telehealth encounters. Having wireless meant we were able to use mobile to contact patients and see the clinical history of the patients we needed to see.

The biggest outcome is the ease of communication. It’s so important connecting to patients in trying times to allay fears, address medical concerns and provide an avenue for communication in the most troubling times.

Learn more about how Raleigh Medical Group revved up its ability to conduct virtual appointments with patients here.

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