EHR telehealth breakdown: 14 things to know about features from Allscripts, Cerner, Epic & Meditech

From symptom checkers so patients can self-triage to integration with wearable devices, here are the telehealth capabilities four EHRs are offering.


1. FollowMyHealth Telehealth gives patients access to an organization’s services with additional virtual models of care, such as asynchronous email visits and real-time video visits, a spokesperson for Allscripts told Becker's. With Universal Queue, users can treat patients with or without a FollowMyHealth Personal Health Record account, making Telehealth available for all patients.

2. Through FollowMyHealth, patients can initiate clinical consultations. The patient selects a chief complaint, answers questions related to the chief complaint and receives information on when to expect a response. This information is then sent to the EHR. The provider reviews and documents the visit in the EHR and sends the care plan to the patient.

3. On-demand video visits are available. The provider can see and talk to the patient while documenting the visit in the EHR.

4. With Allscripts FollowMyHealth Achieve, patients can use the FollowMyHealth patient engagement platform to engage with their providers and directly participate in their own care. Achieve enables providers to monitor patient compliance with care plans and initiate interventions as needed.


5. Scheduled video visits are built using an Amazon Web Services backbone, a spokesperson for Cerner told Becker's. This is accomplished through Amazon Chime, which supports a scheduled visit use case and is embedded within the Cerner EHR.

6. Through a partnership with Amwell, Cerner offers multiple modules and use cases such as scheduled video visits, on demand or provider to provider. Clients can implement the solution as a standalone option or embed it within Cerner's EHR.

7. Bring-your-own-vendor capabilities allow third-party vendors to leverage Cerner’s video services by integrating them into the HealtheLife Patient Portal.


8. Epic's communication center supports patient messaging and telehealth capabilities such as uploading images or documents, a spokesperson for the company told Becker's. A symptom checker allows patients to self-triage. Epic's EHR also supports home monitoring devices such as blood pressure cuffs.

9. Patients can schedule appointments in their MyChart accounts. They can also join video visits with a MyChart account using email or text links. Troubleshooting tools help patients avoid tech issues. The MyChart Bedside feature enables patients admitted to the hospital to engage with their providers.

10. Virtual capabilities enable multiparty conferences and screen sharing for providers. It also enables telerounding for patients who don't have physicians, teleconsults for patients with acute conditions and telemonitoring.


11. Meditech’s Virtual Care solution allows patients to request virtual visits, a spokesperson for Meditech told Becker's. Using Meditech’s patient and consumer health portal, they can choose a time for the visit, complete registration, update their medications and allergies and fill out prescreening questionnaires. Providers choose their virtual availability so they can build these visits into their schedules; patients can join right from the portal. A multiparticipant option grants patients the ability to add a user such as a translator to the visit. 

12. The company's offerings include Expanse Virtual On-Demand Care, which supports patients with urgent medical needs without requiring an appointment. New patients can onboard from a link on the organization’s website. Each new user is automatically enrolled in the patient portal so they are connected to the organization going forward. 

13. The vendor supports remote patient monitoring through wearable health and medical devices — including activity monitors, pedometers, weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, heart rate monitors and blood glucose meters. Meditech can collect patient health data from the Apple Health app for those with iPhones through the new share-with-provider feature.

14. For patients who receive care in their homes, Meditech’s Home Care feature also includes an interoperable telehealth capability. Organizations using the company's Telehealth Home Connect solution can integrate with remote monitoring devices to receive real-time updates of patient-submitted vital signs. Patients' vitals are monitored centrally through Telehealth Home Connect Triage.

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