CEO Message: June/July 2019

Dear Colleagues:

I hope you are enjoying summer and spending time with your friends and family.

Thanks to all of you who attended our NEMG community health screening on June 1. Our goal was to raise awareness of preventive health care and the specialty services we provide, and I would like to give special recognition to the eleven volunteers who made the day an overwhelming success. Approximately 200 people visited the event and we conducted 157 health screenings.

In today’s letter, I would like to update you on some of the recent efforts to decrease the clerical burdens of our staff in order to free up time during patient visits. Aligned with that emphasis, I would like to touch on the following e-initiatives and practice optimizations:

  • MyChart direct scheduling
  • MyChart questionnaires
  • Centralized scanning (Solarity)
  • Virtual scribes

MyChart direct scheduling allows patients to schedule their own appointments via the patient portal, safely and securely. Any allotted time slot that matches the patient’s needs is made available and the patient can select the appropriate slot. This efficiency frees up patient service associates (PSA) from having to take calls. Currently, patients have the capability to schedule follow-up visits and we are expanding this program to include annual preventive visits.

An additional functionality of MyChart is the ability to send questionnaires to patients prior to visits. The answers provided from these questionnaires flow directly into the corresponding visit documentation providing the content for the appointment. This feature alleviates the time that physicians use to review patient history and information during a visit.

Centralized scanning is an advance, currently in development, that will allow incoming documents to be scanned in bulk, removing the task from clinical personnel. The tool, Solarity, will ensure all incoming faxes are tagged accordingly and routed to the appropriate person for their attention without any hands on work from the clinical staff.

Finally, as mentioned in a previous letter, over 30 NEMG physicians have been utilizing MModal virtual scribes. These remotely located transcribers, with the permission of the patient, listen in during a visit and document medical information in the patient’s chart in Epic with clinician supervision. Reported benefits of this resource include more complete notes, improved patient connectivity and decreased waiting times.

My gratitude to you all for your diligent work and dedication to excellence in patient care and enhancing the care of the communities we serve.

Best wishes,

Prathibha Varkey, MBBS, MPH, MHPE, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
Northeast Medical Group