Iris Telehealth provides a unique opportunity for our employees to be full members of the healthcare organizations we serve. "Our clinicians are your clinicians," we say. Modern technology allows this seamless integration of remote providers into a patient’s local clinics. There are three main categories of software of telemedicine we use to ensure there is no difference between our clinicians and the clinicians that are physically at your location: EMR, VPN, and video conferencing.
Electronic medical record ?
We pride ourselves in allowing our psychiatrists and psychiatric NPs to work in your EMR/EHR. Whatever you use, so do we! The same EMR you have always been using is easily accessible from a remote computer. Some EMRs can be accessed by a downloadable one-time use client, via a native application configured to access the correct database servers, or even in a web browser for cloud-based EMRs. However, this is typically done via a virtual private network.
We will always use the solution that works best for you and your IT team.
Virtual private network ?
A virtual private network (VPN) client allows our doctors to connect to a clinic's private network securely over the Internet. This gives them full access to any applications, including the EMR or a private email program, that a computer located physically at the clinic would have access to. Sometimes programs run locally on the provider's computer and use the VPN to connect to a clinic's database, sending and receiving information as needed. Other times, the provider uses a remote desktop client to open a virtual desktop running on the clinic's servers. They are not controlling a physical computer at the clinic, but they will have access to an entire Windows desktop environment - complete with any applications the clinic requires for day-to-day operations. This runs in a window on their local desktop, alongside their other local applications. If you're interested in learning more about VPN (outside of Wikipedia), check out vpn reviews. My friend learned a lot from them.
Video conferencing ?
The final piece of the puzzle is video conferencing. When the patient enters the room at the clinic, they find their doctor ready to greet them on a TV screen. The conversation they have can be accomplished by several different video conferencing applications. We are ready and willing to use whatever software the clinic is already comfortable using. One popular client is VSee, which grants you the familiarity of any personal video chatting software you may already use with the added benefit of HIPAA compliance. Other services like Polycom enable a direct connection between a provider's and patient's computers with no server in between, ensuring quality and maximum security.
A note on HIPAA ?
The software we use is always HIPAA Compliant, and we've found there is a huge variety of medically-focused software that want to keep your sensitive health information protected. As we make our best efforts to accommodate to the software and services you already use, we find that we continue to discover new, great HIPAA-compliant solutions all the time.
It is a brave new world in telemedicine technology. Some programs are new and exciting, while others are hanging on from bygone eras. As we continue to work with new facilities and use new software, we see all sides of this situation. We're excited to be leading the charge in safe and innovative solutions in the world of telepsych software, hoping to set the standards of excellence for many years to come. If you're interested in the development of enterprise applications and software, read this article from Salesforce.
Brent Irwin is the IT and Operations Assistant at Iris Telehealth