An HIT Moment with ... is a quick interview with someone we find interesting. Naomi Grobstein, MD owns Family Health Center of Montclair in Montclair, NJ.
You are using several of RelayHealth’s online tools to communicate with your patients. How have your patients responded to having such tools as prescription refills or webVisits?
My patients love to be able to contact me via e-mail. It removes a lot of the frustration of phone menus, inaccurate messages, lost messages, etc. As for webVisits, it hasn’t really caught on much. I’ve only had a few patients use it. Now some insurance companies are covering it, but I’m not sure that is widely known.
How do you see medical practice evolving over the next 3-5 years, given available and potential technology?
I can’t really predict the next 3-5 years. Even what we have now is beyond what I could have imagined. I do hope to get rid of all the piles of paper that still clutter the office and get away from voice phone messages as much as possible.
How would you respond to providers or patients that view these type of online tools as a privacy risk?
That sort of thing is beyond my control. We could have a hurricane, a terrorist attack, or a major privacy breach. I hope the people working at the planning/implementation of these tools considers it carefully just as they have to consider backing up data. We’re all using our credit cards to order things online and yet we know there could be a breach.
Beyond the RelayHealth tools, does your practice use other automation tools such as EMR, practice management, or on-line connections to other data sources?
We have an EMR to do patient charting and messaging around the office, and of course we do electronic billing and banking. Through Relayhealth we do electronic prescribing, and the pharmacy or patient can request refills electronically.
How has the use of technology in your practice affected patient care and satisfaction?
Somehow the expectations rise with the ability to do more. In the old days, the patients were satisfied to get an appointment within a week and they didn’t ask questions. Still, I think my practice stands out for being accessible because of these electronic tools.