-The MetaOptima Team
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Dermatology electronic medical record (EMR) software have become a basic tool for everyday dermatology practices.1 The power to collect, analyze, share and store crucial patient data makes them a staple piece of dermatologists’ work. This article will describe how the use of cloud-based EMRs is transforming the way patient data flows. From consultation rooms, to pathology labs, to fellow colleagues and back to patients, active and effective workflows offer improved patient care and reduced costs to the healthcare system.
1. What new features in cloud-based EMRs help improve practice?
Optimized workflows can be achieved only when there is a proper filter of the information coming from various sources. However, the beginning of data feeding comes from a patients’ first contact with the health system. In other words, the first consultation becomes the crucial data collection point towards a patients’ profile. The way such data is processed and stored, and the capacity of EMRs to analyze and share it, will determine their utility.
Patient profile creation/mole mapping: DermEngine allows for a quick and easy creation of a patient profile which contains the most relevant information regarding the person’s medical history, but can also include health insurance number and other details. Once a profile is created during a first consultation, the software provides the option to locate all spots present on the patient’s skin on a 3D body model. This contributes to the overall understanding and tracking of potential skin lesions from a visual perspective.
Individual spot clinical diagnosis and procedure: DermEngine offers the possibility of performing a variety of sample extraction procedures on a single spot for a biopsy and first clinical diagnosis. This approach is supported by the analysis of dermoscopic images taken from suspicious spots.
Pathology requests: primary diagnosis and biopsy samples can be quickly shared with a partner dermatopathology lab. DermEngine allows for the creation of diagnostic reports identified with a QR code able to digitize and encode key information from a patient’s case for simplified and faster handling by the laboratory staff. Even more so, results can then be shared on the common online platform for a streamlined analysis and patient follow up.
Administrative tasks performed by non-medical staff: DermEngine allows the easy configuration of account settings to provide restricted access to patient sensitive data. In this way, non-medical staff can focus on performing tasks that require a lesser level of professional instruction thus freeing doctors from administrative chores. Actions such as imaging, clinic profile settings and account management are among the offered administrative abilities.
2. Streamlined communication with patients for improved care quality
DermEngine and other cloud-based EMRs offer the possibility of contacting patients through a simple name tagging system. These notes can be a great way to do quick follow ups with patients, since their names can be “tagged”, triggering an email to be sent to their inbox directly. This rapid and easy communication procedure can boost a fruitful interaction for expedited responses in time-sensitive cases.
Communication can also be achieved during online patient-doctor consultations. Teledermatology is becoming an increasingly standard service offered by many professionals worldwide.2 Indeed, given the usual long waiting times for in-clinic dermatology appointments, being able to submit images of skin lesions over the internet and have it analyzed without the need for face-to-face interaction can be a great time saver for optimized workflows. Similarly, the costs associated with teledermatology practices are greatly reduced due to its remote and online nature, with studies showing up to a 50% in healthcare system savings.3
New features included in cloud-based dermatology EMRs are revolutionizing the way that practice is performed and how skin care is offered to patients. So much so, that new software are providing a variety of tools and working approaches designed to optimize workflows by reducing waiting times and the need of physical presence, while having dedicated personnel do non-medical tasks and pathology labs connected to a common network with real-time data updates. What current EMRs exhibit is the power of technology when utilized to the service of healthcare, with a primary focus to put patients’ health first in a compromised, active and humane way.
-The MetaOptima Team