Digital Health Done Right is a Redox Blog Series that shines a light on a member of our interoperable network. We believe in what our partners are doing and want to share their stories and outcomes with you.
As we highlighted a few weeks ago, referring patients to outside organizations and specialists is a common occurrence among medical professionals, because sometimes things are just a little beyond the scope of a PCP. If you go to see your doctor for a sprained ankle, but it turns out you fractured a bone, you’re going to be referred to a podiatrist. Similarly, if you come in with jaw pain but are actually in need of a dental surgeon, you’d be sent to see one in the area.
While those examples are on the more serious end, it’s not uncommon for patients to be referred outside of their primary care location for issues and injuries that require specialized care. While this seems like an inherently good thing—patients receiving care from medical professionals who focus on the issue at hand—it actually results in an incredible amount of time and money wasted.
This is because many referral visits prove either unnecessary or ineffectual—as many as 50% of them. This waste drives a $10 billion burden in healthcare, and while that’s already an astounding number, referral rates are expected to double in the next five years.
AristaMD’s Referral Solution
AristaMD realized they had a chance to create a meaningful solution to a problem faced by hundreds of health systems and thousands of clinicians. They developed the AristaMD Smart Care Platform, a suite of tools that are simple, intuitive, and easy to implement. Designed by physicians who understand how costly and clumsy the process can be, each tool helps streamline and improve the specialty referral process.
The first is Referral IQ, a tool that allows clinicians to input essential diagnostic information into a quick request form and receive clinical guidelines and decision support. The process takes about three minutes and provides clinicians with alternative diagnoses, a variety of possible treatment plans, and condition-specific solutions that PCPs can evaluate and choose.
Often, the options provided are enough to resolve the issue and put patients on a more effective care plan. However, sometimes further action is needed, and this is where Consult IQ comes in. AristaMD developed this critical tool to help clinicians solicit outside input from specialists without having to send patients outside of their health system. In other words, it’s a highly efficient e-consult platform.
Consult IQ intakes the same quick request form used in Referral IQ but allows clinicians to add further questions or notes about the specific case. If a health system would like to retain it’s own network of specialists, this form is sent directly to the pre-selected specialist; if not, the form is submitted to AristaMD’s panel of board-certified specialists (and health systems can even choose to do both). Whichever route the health system chooses, a specialist evaluates the form and returns it electronically within 24 hours.
Once the patient receives a specialist’s opinion and care recommendation, the specialist provides an official and signed electronic consult that files directly to the patient’s medical record. This action closes the loop on the referral process in the matter of a day or two rather than days or weeks. This increase in efficiency helps the health system see a decrease in the number of specialty referrals, a reduction in the number of hospital admissions, and most importantly, a massive number of improvements to care plans, meaning the feedback received from outside specialists is implemented in treatment.
Integration Powered by Redox
AristaMD partners with Redox to integrate their tools with health systems looking for a modernized approach to the referral process. EHR integration ensures that every step of the referral is automatically documented within the EHR, which helps cut down on the amount of time clinicians spend logging interactions. For instance, when the form is filled out in Referral IQ, it’s done within the EHR, and when it’s sent off to a specialist, that’s done through the EHR as well. Integrating AristaMD’s Smart Care Platform within the same system clinicians are used to ensures minimal disruption to clinician workflows as they seamlessly adopt these powerful new tools.
The software and applications created by AristaMD give primary care physicians a new and smarter way to execute referrals. Their tools allow physicians to easily collaborate to deliver more personalized and effectual care, resulting in increased efficiency for the health system as a whole. Their platform is a perfect example of how technology can be used to alleviate pain points felt by clinicians, health systems, and patients alike, and we’re proud to power their application and have them in our interoperable network.
For more on AristaMD and all that they do, check out their website here.