Sunday, May 3, 2015

Alberta Lab Module just about here! Panelling patients - the NEXT BIG THING IN HEALTH CARE!

It looks like the Alberta Labs Module for OSCAR is just about here!

This is exciting news.  OSCAR-Alberta already has the best billing module available in the country.  Combine that with this new Labs module - and you have one kick-ass piece of EMR hardware.

The approval process with Calgary Lab Services just has to clear a last hurdle and we are off to the races!  Immediately, we will be able to act upon a new concept in EMR use called


Panelling allows us to group patients into subsets for analysis.  This allows us to increase the efficiency of delivery of health care in a timely, sensitive and innovative manner.

I know....blah, blah, blah......I sound like just so many of those amazing statements that just say nothing.

But this is different.

Let me explain to you the value of panelling via a world class, open source EMR like OSCAR:

Paneling has allowed me to increase the quality of care for my patients while simultaneously increasingly practice revenue.

Through paneling, I have been able to determine which patients are due for Complete Medicals, which patients are eligible for Complex Care Plans, and which patients are due for certain medication reviews and renewals.

My office is able to recall such patients in order to book them for necessary appointments at appropriate intervals.  Complex Care plans are performed for all eligible practice patients, and these types of appointments are scheduled throughout the year. This allows us to review and optimize patient care for complex multi system patients while increasing practice revenue for providing this service.

Paneling also serves to allows us to determine, for example,  how many diabetic patients we follow, and to determine strategies to optimize care.  This allows us to create multi-patient appointments to familiarize newly diagnosed diabetics with their condition and to talk about the initial approaches to assessment and treatment.  

These panelled groups of patients are able to form discrete cohort groups that support each other through their diagnoses and to optionally subscribe to office-managed email newsgroups for ongoing self-supportive care.  Paneling allows us to match certain groups of diabetics to each other for potential “micro-communities”.  For example, newly diagnosed juvenile diabetics (and their parents) would not be matched to newly diagnosed elderly diabetics.  One particularly successful “micro-community”, for example, is our group of newly diagnosed Philippino diabetics.  These folks love getting to know each other and to get together for “diabetic meal” potlucks, etc. and to share diabetic meal recipes consistent with their culture.

Regular appointment meetings are organized with these various micro-communities, which brings efficiency of assessment and treatment to these groups in addition to increased practice revenue.

The same panelling approach is used to identify groups of patients with other similar disease states like groups of patients with: Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Sarcoidosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Depression, Bereavement, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, etc.

While the diseases make paneling of these patients possible - it is the patients’ similar disease experiences that bring them together in these types of group appointments that turn into micro-communities within the practice.

This community-based approach to creating “micro-communities” within the practice, greatly enhances quality of care and gets appropriate people with similar disease profiles and social circumstances connected.

Brokering such group patient interactions through the assistance of paneling activities increases patient quality of care on several levels, and also increase practice efficiency and revenue.

Paneling also helps us to identify patients at high risk for certain disease states.  For example, we are able to ensure recalls for patients with strong family histories of bowel cancer, renal cell carcinoma, etc.  Patients will schizophrenia and major depression are also regularly “checked on” so that these particularly vulnerable patients do not fall through the cracks in our increasingly chaotic and poorly organized health care system.

OSCAR's open source EMR allows us to harness the power of an open source format to do sophisticated panelling for our patient population.  This is better for patients, for Physicians and for the tax payer!