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Updated lower back pain EMR tool now available

The QBIC team is pleased to announce that an updated Low Back Pain EMR tool is now available for use in TELUS PS Suite EMRs!

 

The goal of this tool is support clinicians with targeted back pain assessment and management. This custom form will guide family physicians and/or nurse practitioners to recognize common mechanical back pain syndromes and screen for other conditions for which management may include investigations, referrals and specific medications.

 

Key features:​

Low Back Pain EMR tool icon
  • Integration of identification of the mechanical patterns for low back pain into patient history questions.
  • Revised psychosocial yellow flags section, which includes questions and hints for providers to help identify patients who are at higher risk for developing chronicity.
  • Patient key messages integrated throughout the tool.
  • Management Matrix with suggestions for initial management based on the pain patterns of low back pain.

 

Clinical content for this tool has been adapted to align with guidelines such as the HQO Quality Standards for Low Back Pain and the Centre for Effective Practice – Clinically Organize Relevant Exam (CORE) Back Tool.

 

Interested in adopting this tool into your practice? Please contact Jeremy Howcroft at Jeremy.Howcroft@ehealthce.ca today!

 

To view a list of all available EMR tools and services, click here for the QBIC catalogue.

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eConsults have reached 6,000 and continue to increase!

More and more primary care physicians are using eConsult to obtain advice from specialists to improve timely access to patient care.  In our region alone, over 6,000 eConsults have been sent.  We have had many of our local specialists join this program over the last few months. Click here for an updated list of specialists from our region.

 

Dermatology is one of the highest requested eConsults…. after all, a picture says a thousand words. 

 

Would you like learn more about improving the quality of pictures for dermatology consults?  Click here for tips and tricks on how to take great clinical images.

 

If you are interested in learning more about eConsults or would like a refresher, please contact Wendy. Lang@ehealthce.ca.

 

 

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Quality Based Improvements in Care is excited to announce a huge milestone!

It’s official! Our Quality Based Improvements in Care (QBIC) team is celebrating 10,000 virtual visits! Virtual visits allow healthcare providers to ‘see’ their patients over a secure, online communication system via chat messaging, phone or video. Virtual visits help reduce avoidable in-person visits, decrease walk-in utilization and securely send requisitions directly to the patient.

 

For more information on Virtual Visits, click here.

 

Thank you to everyone for your dedication, involvement & ongoing collaboration.

 

Are you interested in learning more about Virtual Visits?

 

Email communications@ehealthce.ca to get started!

 

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Closing the circle of patient care

By Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia

 

Physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other clinicians all play an important role in patient care. In the current landscape of the health care system, providers far too often operate in silos. Despite this recognition, we still haven’t fully figured out how to break down barriers and address patient care seamlessly.

 

A starting point for better integration may be implementing digital technologies in the way we work. In my practice, we’ve begun offering digital tools, services and communication such as electronic referral and virtual visits. This has improved the way we interact with our patient community, which we’re seeing translate into better health outcomes. The question is, what other tools can help reduce gaps across the entire health sector and support the circle of patient care?

 

I’m also an early adopter of PrescribeIT - an e-prescription service that was built to eliminate the need for paper prescriptions and enable secure communication between prescriber and pharmacist. Since implementing it into my practice, I have seen significant improvements in the level of care I’m able to provide my patients, directly and indirectly.

 

First, I’m able to more easily and efficiently monitor prescriptions electronically. We know that approximately one in three prescriptions for health conditions are never filled, and about half are not taken as prescribed. PrescribeIT allows me to monitor prescriptions and identify potential issues. For example, an elderly patient with emerging memory issues visited my office to address an infection. The following day, I opened my electronic medical record and saw that there was no dispense notification, which told me the prescription had not been picked up. Because of this, I was able to follow-up with the pharmacist. The pharmacist connected with the patient and it was clear the patient had forgotten to pick up her prescription. The pharmacist arranged to have the prescription delivered directly to the patient. This prevented a potential acute worsening of the patient’s memory issues and resulting hospitalization. The ability to understand if a patient has picked up a medication also opens the door for further dialogue with the patient, which can yield great insights into how patients want to treat their medical condition.

 

A second important benefit of PrescribeIT is the improved and seamless communication between prescriber and pharmacist. Instead of using fax and phone to communicate about important patient information, I electronically connect with pharmacists and respond to patient inquiries quickly. Recently, I issued a request for a patient’s refill to his pharmacist through PrescribeIT for a medication previously prescribed by another provider. I was immediately alerted that the patient was also being prescribed methadone by a clinic. PrescribeIT allowed us to identify this deadly combination and avoid a catastrophic patient event.

 

While clinicians will adopt technology at different paces, it’s important to be open to the ways that digital health solutions can improve our practices, and more importantly, the care of our patients. By embracing digital health tools, we can close the circle of care and improve communication between health care providers, patients and the community.

 

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Low Back Pain Tool is Now Available for PS users!

The goal of this tool is to reduce the number of unnecessary diagnostic tests, improve wait times and enhance patient care. 

 

Clinical content has been adapted from guidelines such as;

  • Centre for Effective Practice – Clinically Organize Relevant Exam (CORE) Back Tool
  • Aligns with the HQO Quality Standards for Low Back Pain

 

Key features:

  • Integration of identification of the mechanical patterns for low back pain into patient history questions.
  • Revised psychosocial yellow flags section, which includes questions and hints for providers to help identify patients who are at higher risk for developing chronicity.
  • Patient key messages integrated throughout the tool.
  • Management Matrix with suggestions for initial management based on the pain patterns of low back pain.

 

Interested in learning more?

 

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The Ontario eConsult Program is growing!

Across the province, the use of eConsult – the service that helps physicians and nurse practitioners get answers about their patients’ care quickly – is growing! The response from healthcare providers and patients is overwhelmingly positive. The College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada support eConsult as a standard of practice.

 

The Ontario eConsult Program was created to enable timely and equitable access to specialist advice for all patients in Ontario. Physicians and nurse practitioners receive a response within days, often eliminating the need for an in-person specialist visit. 

 

There are 81 specialty groups now available to answer your questions about your patients care and many local specialists are now available on the system.

 

If you are not yet on the system, please try it: you will find it easy, efficient and effective. If you are signed-up but not regularly using the service, please try it again.

 

For more information about how to make eConsult a regular part of your practice, or for a refresher please contact Wendy Lang wendy.lang@ehealthce.ca

 

We also offer MainPro credits!

 

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Virtual Visits are offering timely patient care and enhancing patient and primary care provider experience

What are Virtual Visits?

 

Virtual Visits allow  Primary Care Providers to ‘see’ their patients over a secure, online communication system via chat messaging, phone or video. Currently, in Waterloo-Wellington LHIN, virtual visits allows both patient and provider to initiate a visit.

Virtual Visits provide a great option for ‘seeing’ patients that do not need to be seen in-person, reducing avoidable emergency department visits for concerns that can be addressed by primary care, improving both provider and patient satisfaction.

 

What are patients saying about their experience?

 

Patients are seeing the value in Virtual Visits! A majority of patients said that seeing their primary care provider through a virtual visit saved them time and made accessing care more convenient (92%).  

In a recent survey, 92% noted that  their experience with Virtual Visits was better than or the same as an in-person visit with 89% of patients saying that they  would recommend Virtual Visits to friends and family.

 

 

 

What are Primary Care Providers saying about Virtual Visits?

 

Virtual Visits are perceived as an efficient way to see patients who do not need an in-person visit. Based on a recent survey with primary care providers who are using virtual visits, 83 % believe in the potential of virtual visits to enhance their capacity to see patients in a timely manner and enhance the quality of care they provide to their patients. Data on the virtual visits conducted illustrates that 83% of patient-initiated visits were responded to by primary care within 24 hours and 93% by 48 hours.

 

Based on its impact to efficiently see patients, 58% of primary care providers believe that virtual visits have the potential to enhance their capacity to see more patients within a day.

 

Virtual Visits bring patients and  primary care providers together in a setting that saves time and resources, in addition to supporting the quality of care for patients where and when they need it.

 

 

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Upcoming Webinar: Palliative EMR Tool and Easy Billing!

 

Webinar Details

 

Date: Wednesday, January 23rd

 

Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm

 

Location: Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/507059549

 

OR in-person at 419 Phillip St. South Waterloo, Algonquin Room

 

Details

 

The Palliative webinar, hosted by the eHealth Centre of Excellence’s QBIC team along with guest speaker Dr. Rachael Halligan, highlights the recently released Palliative Tool that aims to help assist PCPs in the early identification of patients that would benefit from a palliative approach to care. Additionally, many local and provincial resources are also included in the tool along with the ability to easily document and bill palliative visits. Dr. Halligan, the Regional Primary Care Cancer Lead will demonstrate how the tool can be used with a detailed case study.

 

Registration

 

To register, please click here or contact Lynn.Donaldson@ehealthce.ca

 

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The Palliative Care Toolkit is now available!

 

Following the Waterloo Wellington Integrated Hospice Palliative Care Regional Program Early Identification & Prognostic Indicator Guide, adapted from the Gold Standards Framework (GSF), the Palliative EMR toolkit was developed to assist primary care providers (PCP) in earlier identification of patients nearing the end of life, who could benefit from a palliative approach to care.

 

Prompted by the Surprise Question, based on general and specific indicators detailed in the GSF (i.e. “Would you be surprised if the patient were to die within the next year?”), the PCP is provided decision support in assessing the palliative needs of the patient and is then provided with the appropriate Waterloo Wellington resources, relative to the patient’s current Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) phase.

 

 

Highlights of the tool include that it:

  • Is designed to assist PCPs in the early identification of patients nearing the end of life and/or who could benefit from a palliative care approach
  • Follows the Waterloo Wellington Integrated Hospice Palliative Care Regional Program Early Identification & Prognostic Indicator Guide (“Would you be surprised if the patient were to die within the next year?”)
  • Provides easy billing for a palliative visit (K023) and details additional bonuses
  • Provides local resources that are appropriate for the current Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) phase of the patient
  • Available for Telus PS Suite EMR

Examples of resources available within the Palliative Care Tool:

  • Patient goal planning
  • Local referrals to hospice services
  • LHIN resources
  • Substitute Decision Maker (SDM)
  • Conversation guides
  • Community supports

 

In cases where the patient’s current needs would not be fulfilled through the palliative approach to care, the PCP is provided with Advance Care Planning tools that allow them to customize a reassessment date where the Surprise Question can be asked again.

 

 

Billing

The Palliative Visit Form (Image on the right) provides a framework for PCPs to properly document and bill palliative visits in a variety of scenarios. Billing can be as simple as documenting a K023 for an office palliative visit greater than 20 minutes. More complex visits, such as house visits with added special visit premiums, can also be documented.

 

Additional incentives, such as the Special Premium Bonus for having 4 or more patients with a billed K023, are also detailed within the tool.

 

 

The Palliative Care Toolkit is available in Telus Practice Solutions in two ways: As a button, added to an existing toolbar or as a stand-alone toolbar.

 

For more information on how to obtain the Palliative Care Toolkit please contact Justin Wolting

 

 

Email:

justin.wolting@ehealthce.ca

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Webinar Recap: Virtual care in WWLHIN, exploring innovative methods for healthcare delivery to support patient care

Did you miss our webinar on Virtual Care? We've included the presentation deck and video for Big White Wall that was featured in the presentation.

 

Description

 

Virtual care allows patients to securely connect with their health care providers online. In this presentation, the QBIC program will provide an overview of various online solutions, including Virtual Visits, PCVC, and Big White Wall, and how they can support both patients and providers in the region.

 

 

Download the PowerPoint presentation here.

 

 

 

 

Big White Wall Video

 

 

 

Have a question? Please email: meghan.brenner-burgoyne@ehealthce.ca or wendy.lang@ehealthce.ca

 

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