In an effort to help the healthcare community tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, EHR vendor athenahealth announced additional capabilities to its mobile medical reference application epocrates.
WHY IT MATTERS
The app now can deliver real-time Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for medical decision support for clinicians, with the aim of reducing the time needed to comb through all of the information released by the CDC daily.
The functionality was added in the face of the growing reliance the healthcare community has had on these guidelines as the virus spreads and patients require immediate care.
The company noted views of the guidelines have increased 600% over 10 days, receiving seven times more views than any other set of guidelines in the epocrates app.
The epocrates update is just one of the announcements athenahealth made in response to the outbreak. The company also has updated the CoordinatorCore order and referral management service, making COVID-19 commercial lab tests available for ordering in athenaClinicals workflow.
The tests available through the order service include Quest Diagnostics’ SARS-CoV-2 Qualitative Real-Time RT-PCR test service, as well as tests from LabCorp and other major commercial labs.
Athenahealth also is offering enhanced online scheduling capabilities to allow patients to make appointments themselves and state the reason for the appointment, with the aim of reducing the burden on practice staff.
ON THE RECORD
“The epocrates mobile decision tool condenses the guidance from the CDC into an easy-to-access algorithmic format so clinicians at any practice or hospital can quickly retrieve relevant guidance to make informed decisions for their patients,” said Diane Bartoli, epocrates general manager.
“In this moment of unprecedented pressure for frontline community providers, the entire team is focusing on creating and deploying the resources our customers need the most to treat their patients and do their work seamlessly and safely,” said Bob Segert, chairman and CEO of athenahealth.
THE LARGER TREND
Healthcare technology and services vendors have been mobilizing to deploy solutions aimed at reducing the strain on healthcare practitioners as the outbreak continues, among them IntelyCare, which launched free virtual nurse training for COVID-19.
Orion Health released a remote patient monitoring platform to combat COVID-19, allowing for the engagement of patients in their homes and facilitating communication between quarantined people and healthcare providers.
Alphabet’s Verily launched a website where California residents can complete a short survey regarding their current condition and, if they meet certain criteria, could be referred to a nearby mobile COVID-19 testing site. However, the service already seems to have reached its capacity.
Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: [email protected]
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