How Medical Practices are Going Digital 
and Why You Need to Catch Up

Healthcare is changing and has moved from analogue to digital.

September 23, 2021
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Healthcare is changing and has moved from analogue to digital. Those providing care and those needing care are not always in the same place. In fact, “connected care” is the fastest growing market in healthcare and is expected to be at $71 billion by 2027.

If you want your pain management and substance use disorder practice to thrive in today’s technological environment, it is crucial you embrace modern digital healthcare tools. By incorporating digital support applications into your practice’s workflow, you can streamline the efficiency of your office, reduce costs, and improve patient safety, communication, satisfaction, and compliance. In many cases, you can also significantly increase your practice’s revenue.

Digital healthcare tools provide the critical data you need to make informed clinical decisions to benefit your patients, spur the growth of your practice, and maximize revenue.

Here are 6 digital healthcare tools—listed from newest to oldest—that every pain management and SUD practice should consider adopting.

  1. Digital Patient Evaluation & Management

The most recent payment path released by the AMA CPT committee is Digital E & M. This is a non-face-to-face, patient-initiated communications through a HIPAA-compliant secure software platform. The communications occur over a seven-day period, and the exchange is stored permanently.

Implementing Digital E & M in your practice gives you the chance to treat patients in between their physical or telemedicine appointments, while also collecting reimbursement for any time spent working on the patient’s behalf. This technology, in essence, offers your patients’ concierge medicine without charging them thousands of dollars a year. The more “touches” you have with your patients per week, the better they will follow your directions and care plan. Patients who comply with their treatment plan achieve the most successful health outcomes. This technology can help your practice monitor patient compliance with their prescribed care plan through daily health status updates. This is especially critical in cases of pain management, substance use disorder treatment, and chronic care management.

Digital evaluation solutions like PainScript provide seamless patient check-ins between physical or telemedicine appointments. This makes your practice accessible to patients beyond normal hours, which can improve engagement with their care plan. And with the advent of digital patient evaluation CPT codes, your practice may bill for the time spent managing patients outside of regularly scheduled check-ups. This includes anything you do on the patient’s behalf: phone calls to other providers, emails between staff, and any communication with the patient as well as the aggregated time the patient spends answering their daily check- ins on your practice app.

  1. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)

Does your patient have a chronic condiiton that needs to be monitored daily utilizing an FDA-approved medical device? This is a form of remote patient monitoring, or RPM, that uses devices to capture crucial medical information and sends that data digitally to your practice for review.

Examples of this technology include smart scales for capturing weight, digitally-enabled blood pressure cuff for daily or weekly readings, connected pulse oximeters for tracking blood oxygen saturation, and glucometers for monitoring blood sugar levels.

With the advent of Internet-enabled devices, RPM is becoming a common and highly useful option for medical practices. Our PainScript platform supports RPM devices and collects and analyzes that data for your practice.

  1. Telehealth/Telemedicine

Telehealth provides your practice with an effective way to monitor patient well-being and treatment compliance while offering a convenient communication platform to patients.

Rather than having patients travel to your office, you can use real-time applications like HIPAA-compliant video conferencing to connect with them. You can also use digital tools that store messages or data for later interpretation or response.

Telehealth visits allow you to increase revenue by seeing more patients each day, monitor patient compliance and well-being, determine the need for follow-up visits, and respond to patient concerns.

  1. EHR (Electronic Health Records)

The federal government requires most medical practices to maintain electronic health records, which are a digitized version of patient medical charts. EHR include the patient’s medical history, previous and current lab results, imaging, medication history, allergies, treatment plans, and compliance issues.

Electronic files provide physicians with immediate, up-to-date patient information, allowing them to prescribe the most appropriate course of treatment for patients. A patient’s digital records can be accessed in real time by authorized users.

  1. E-Prescriptions

All states allow e-prescriptions, including prescriptions for controlled substances. The most important benefit of e-scripts is the elimination of errors because of illegible handwriting.

Benefits to your medical practice include:

  • Less time responding to prescription clarifications or requests
  • Alerts to medications with similar names, potential drug or allergy interactions
  • Alerts to pediatric, pregnancy, or geriatric issues
  • Improvement of medication adherence
  • Flagging of possible drug misuse
  • Helping meet meaningful use requirements for electronic prescriptions

E-prescription systems can add another layer of protection for practices where the potential for medication abuse exists, such as chronic pain and SUD management.

  1. Patient Portal

Patient portals enable patients to access their personal health data via a secure website. Lab results and other information are readily available, and patients can request appointments, refill prescriptions, pay bills, update personal information, and exchange secure messages with their provider on the platform.  

Automated appointment reminders mean fewer missed appointments. Ongoing communications between you and your patients increases patient satisfaction and improves patient retention.  

It's no longer optional for pain management and SUD practices to embrace the digital age. Consider adopting these 6 tools for your practice and discover how technology can improve patient outcomes, save time, and increase practice revenue.

PainScript is the only Digital Evaluation & Management platform clinically proven to significantly increase medication and care plan adherence. It was built for physicians by physicians. Our system is whitelabeled to your practice brand and includes a Clinical Dashboard that streamlines your practice and allows for a potential ancillary revenue stream. The accompanying Practice Patient App provides a HIPAA-compliant and accessible connection for your patients.

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