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How can practices ensure a smooth patient care transition from telehealth visits and provide adequate follow-up regarding diagnostic studies, lab results, and referrals?

For practices that have implemented telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, you will want to:

  • Update the patient’s medical record with all office visit notes, telephone calls, medications, and new patient forms
  • Confirm a telehealth consent form has been obtained or has been noted in the medical record of those patients who participated in telehealth visits
  • Scan all documents such as consent forms, Emergency Department records, hospitalization admission records, and medical records from past providers and specialist consultations into the medical record

Reconciliation of all specialist referrals, diagnostic studies, and labs should be performed.

  • Run a report to identify all outstanding specialist referrals, diagnostic studies, and labs that were placed prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Follow up with the patient to ensure compliance with the provider-ordered consultation or testing
  • If original referral was unable to be conducted because consultant is no longer practicing, referring provider should find alternate specialist as soon as possible
  • All test results and consults should be reviewed and signed by the provider
  • Notify the patient of all test results and follow up via established communication lines
  • After provider review, if additional tests are ordered, notify the patient, document inpatient medical record, and place in your tracking system

Medications:

  • Update prescription refill requests to ensure they are documented in the medical record
  • Reconcile medication lists to include any prescription refills and/or medication changes that occurred while you were closed
  • Chronic pain patients on controlled substances should be scheduled for an in-office evaluation for necessity of medication and continuity of care
  • Process medication requests that require insurance preauthorization
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All Curi recommendations are based on current CDC criteria at the time of publication. CDC guidance for SARS-CoV-2 infection may, or may not, be adopted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances. Providers should always check with their local health department to see if the CDC’s guidance on any given topic has been modified (particularly if more restrictive) from the CDC’s recommended guidelines. Follow this link https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/index.html for contact information to your state/local health department. If local recommendations vary from those of the CDC, and you are unsure what recommendations to follow, then it is safer to follow the more restrictive guidelines/recommendations.