Telecom and Healthcare – 7 Applications for Integrated EHRs and IP/PBX

by Jeff Wiener on September 23, 2009

healthcareThis guest post was written by Houston Neal. Houston manages the Software Advice blog focusing on Medical Software.

Having recently installed a new IP-PBX system in our own office, we got thinking about ways medical practices could combine electronic health records with IP-PBXs. By combining the two technologies, we think there is great opportunity for medical practices to reduce telephony costs, improve office efficiency and potentially improve patient care. To our surprise, little has been developed in the way of medical-specific IP-PBX applications. So we decided to put together a list of ways IP-PBX and EHR technology can be combined. Here is a preview of three applications:

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. All others might receive voicemail or the answering service. Urgency could be assessed not only by patient responses (e.g. pressing 1 for an emergency), but also by the content of recent encounters (e.g. yesterday’s botox injection).

Dunning Voicemails – If a patient hasn’t paid their balance after a given time period, this module automatically calls and leaves a voice message: “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. The system then automatically initiates a workflow for the physician to approve or deny the refill. This may be in the EHR, on a mobile device or even via the phone after hours by voice or SMS communication with the physician.

To read more, visit: Seven Great Applications for IP-PBXs in the Medical Practice

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

UCChangeAgent September 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

Unified Communications has a strong potential role in healthcare systems and hospital environments. Here is an example of work being done in this regard.

Location Based Services – Physician Reach: Imagine yourself as a Specialist making your rounds in the local hospital. A call is received at the hospital for your urgent attention. What happens today? In many cases, the central attendants take your call, places it on hold/park and initiates a hospital-wide page with a phrase such as “Dr. Smith, call on 31234” Now the Doctor needs to locate the closest available phone and connect to the parked call.

In the UC enabled system, the hospital can deploy a Wireless LAN and tag every employee/physician’s name badge with a Wireless Tag. The UC System would also know the physical location and current state of every physical telephone in the environment. The call comes in for Dr. Smith and the Presence Engine knows his/her location through the WLAN Tagging and the closest and most available telephone device. The call can then be auto-routed to the closest device that has a person there to accept the call that would likely have visual reference to Dr. Smith to personally manage and respond to that call. The result is a substantial reduction of paging and a far more effective means to direct urgent calls to the actual location of the doctor.

Craigslist IP Software October 15, 2009 at 6:06 am

Nice Post, thanks.
I have read and learned a lot about IP, software and computer programming through your blog.
I’m subscribing
Thanks again and keep the good Information coming.

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