You might be asking, “Why is Summit Healthcare employing physicians?” The answer is simple; Summit Healthcare wants to provide the community with good primary and specialty care to deliver comprehensive health care services that are coordinated with good communication among providers.
Increasingly, physicians are giving up their independent practices to join hospital systems or larger groups, often getting help with back-office functions like billing and insurance negotiations while remaining in their old offices and caring for the same patients. This change is brought on by demographics, technology and changes to the way health care is delivered and reimbursed, and part of a broader move towards integrated health care.
Integrated health care is the management and delivery of health care services so patients receive a continuum of care according to their needs over time and across different health care specialties. In order to have an integrated health care system, Summit Healthcare, along with several physician offices, have implemented an electronic medical record (EMR).
What is an electronic medical record? An electronic medical record is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart that can be shared by doctors, hospitals and patients. The EMR system brings all patient information together in one secure database. A secure, single electronic medical record improves patient safety and the quality of care.
If you receive care at Summit Healthcare or an affiliated physician practice, your EMR will always be available to your healthcare team. The exchange will improve patient care across the community. This will help eliminate patients undergoing redundant testing or exams and physicians don’t lose time waiting to receive test results and diagnoses from a lab or other provider.
Over the past few years, Summit Healthcare has established an employed physician group, Summit Healthcare Medical Associates. This group offers primary and specialty care physicians in the White Mountain communities. Along with the many other health care providers in the White Mountains, these physicians provide the care when you need it most, right here at home.
Some health care clinics employed by Summit Healthcare Medical Associates have been implementing an EMR over the past year. These clinics include Snowflake Medical
Center and Heber-Overgaard Community Clinic. It is no secret that implementing an EMR system can be challenging, not only for the physicians and staff but also for you as a patient. EMR’s are intended to streamline interactions between all healthcare providers to be more efficient and to provide comprehensive and higher quality of care to all patients.
You may experience delays when trying to schedule an appointment with your physician. With implementing a new EMR providers and staff will encounter a learning curve and challenges to every day processes may be experienced. This may continue for some as the physician practice staff get comfortable with the new EMR system.
The EMR system in your physician’s office is integrated into Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center, so physicians can access the latest information on a patient, accessible in one location through a computer. For a patient, even if your primary care physician is not available, any physician in the White Mountain community can view your records, allowing for seamless and immediate care.
Some physicians have implemented a patient portal. This allows patients to log in to a secure website to view their own medical record, request an appointment, request refills on medications, look for lab results, and send messages to their physician or nurse in a confidential and secure manner. Patient portals are available 24-hours a day from any location with an internet connection. Ask your physician if they have a patient portal and how you can obtain access.
We appreciate your patience while we implement the EMR system to continue to provide comprehensive and high quality care to our patients.