Monday, September 28, 2009

Health Care, Medical Practice, Patients and IP Telephony.

IP-PBXs In Health Care!
I was recently pointed to an article by friend Dior and I am glad he did. With all the debates, disagreements, Yeas nays about Health Care Insurance, there is another wave of changes happening in the background. Electronic Health Records (EHR) or Patient Records and Practice Management Systems are facing new lights and heights.
We have been in touch with Google Health initiatives and the governments health care information exchange system, CONNECT Open Source Initiative and all these makes Health Care a new frontier for Application Development. Unlike the Health Care itself, applications and management has come a very long way but, when ever I visit a practice IT department, I am surprised to see old school applications. There are some active VoIP in Health Care initiatives but no way near the need.
But enough with that, and to the article by Houston Neal, "Seven Great Applications for IP-PBXs in the Medical Practice" I think is a good eye opener for developers in the VoIP IP Telephony field. I too think there is a great opportunity to combine voice and data by integrating IP-PBXs with electronic health records (EHRs) and practice management systems. To quote Neal (for more information on topics read his article, link after the jump;

  • Patient screen-pops – When a patient calls, caller ID recognizes their number and opens their patient demographic data in the practice management system.
  • IP faxing – Patient Records and Practice data can be faxed through the IP-PBX and over the telephone network to doctors and facilities who are not yet ready for electronic versions
  • Appointment reminders
  • Find me, follow me – The system would prioritize an after-hours call based on the urgency of the situation. Emergencies could be immediately forwarded to 911. Calls from patients that recently had an ambulatory procedure might be forwarded to the physician’s mobile phone.
  • Dunning Voicemails –  “Dear %%INSERT FIRST NAME%%, we recently noticed your balance of %%INSERT OVERDUE BALANCE%% has yet to be paid. If you’d like to pay now over the phone, press one. If you think you have received this message in error, press two.”
  • vPrescribing – Need to get a prescription refilled? Call your doctor’s dedicated prescription-refill phone number. Following instructions from the IVR, you can request a prescription be refilled.
  • Patient-centric recordings – When a patient calls, they get a custom recording based on their billing or appointment status.
Yes Neal has put the article together very well and by the comments I read was received very well too. Ok developers, off to work!
Houston Neal's Article


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