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Study: 'Convenient' telehealth visits lack coordinated relaying of information

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 19, 2019
Health IT Telemedicine

He adds that resolving it is essential to filling the shortage of primary care physicians, and can be done with a few simple approaches, such as phone calls or faxes, and a greater effort to establish interoperability among EHRs.

“If the telehealth provider needs to coordinate care with a patient's primary care provider, a phone call works great. This may be important if the patient has a condition that needs to be monitored closely. Faxes are another way to communicate information,” he said. “When I get a fax that a patient was seen in another provider's office, I often call that patient to see if their symptoms have improved. Finally, our electronic health records need greater interoperability so that critical information can be automatically shared across data platforms. This automatic sharing can ensure that the telehealth provider has all of the needed information about the patient's medical history to make an accurate diagnosis and make a sound medical decision.”

The authors included professionals associated with UH College of Medicine, Robert Graham Center, Emory University, School of Medicine, HealthCore, and LiveHealth Online. Funding was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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