Use of telehealth on the cloud is the right prescription
Dr. Nilay M. Gandhi has authored or co-authored dozens of papers in the field of urology on topics such as the prognostic value of the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. So, he wasn’t about to let a few technical hurdles stand in the way of serving his patients.
While the COVID-19 pandemic struck early in 2020, Dr. Gandhi and his colleagues at Potomac Urology realized that office closures could not be allowed to stop them from providing care.
First step: using healow TeleVisits
They quickly transitioned to a telehealth solution, healow TeleVisits™ to help meet their patients’ needs. While telehealth can’t substitute for every kind of visit — in-person examinations and lab work remain essential in certain instances — it can work surprisingly well for a variety of visit types, including many medical specialties.
“As we were doing that,” Dr. Gandhi noted, “given the way our eClinicalWorks was set up — it was housed on our office server — we would actually have to VPN into our network in order to access eClinicalWorks to be able to perform TeleVisits.”
A VPN, or virtual private network, is effective but also presented another barrier for physicians, who are well versed in urology but perhaps not in computer technologies. Plus, even after Potomac Urology’s providers learned how to access their local server through a VPN, that path was eventually blocked for security reasons by the hospital they were working with.
Next step: getting on the eClinicalWorks cloud
“We really were handcuffed in ways of how we could access the patients’ charts and take care of them,” Dr. Gandhi said.
To resolve the access issue, Potomac Urology switched from its client-server model to the eClinicalWorks® cloud.
“This has really helped us to be able to access our patients’ charts in real time,” Dr. Gandhi said, “whether it's before a surgery or while doing a healow TeleVisit we have a fully functioning EMR literally at our fingertips.”
Administrative benefits focus resources
The eClinicalWorks cloud uses private storage and multiple data centers — strategically located nationwide — to ensure fast access to patient data. The cloud confers both administrative and clinical advantages.
Without the costs of maintaining hardware for storage, organizations on the cloud can devote more resources to growing their practice. Software updates are performed automatically, and cloud users can consolidate data from multiple software platforms to aid in trend analysis.
Clinical benefits promote better outcomes
From a clinical perspective, using the cloud means
“For example, I had nine surgeries scheduled on a Tuesday,” Dr. Gandhi said. “Pulling up the eClinicalWorks web browser on the computer in the operating room allowed me to always review every patient’s chart there in real time before any surgery to make sure I had the most accurate information available.
“It’s been a big game changer for us in terms of how we access our data, but I believe it’s also meant a significant improvement in our patient care.”