Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Practice Velocity, LLC.

There are multiple strong business reasons for an urgent care center to implement an occupational medicine program, including:

  • The influx of “occ med” patients helps flatten seasonal and time-of-day ebbs in patient volume, better utilizing providers and staff
  • Increased revenue from an additional service line leverages fixed costs and accelerates center profitability
  • Occ med services position the center as ‘top of mind” among employees who may later return for urgent care services for personal needs

To support your occ med program, Practice Velocity’s integrated electronic medical record and practice management system offers an Employer Portal add-on designed to facilitate occupational medicine services delivered through urgent care centers. Not only does the PV Employer Portal improve client service and reduce administrative time, but its robust functionality gives your center a competitive advantage when selling occ med services in your community.

Overview
The Employer Portal serves to streamline communication between the urgent care center and the employers that utilize the center’s occupational medicine services. These services include pre-employment and compliance physicals, drug screens, and worker’s compensation injury cases. Through the secure portal, all relevant information on an employee’s health status can be shared electronically with clients.

Benefits
Using PV’s Employer Portal to document and record occ med visits brings numerous advantages to an urgent care operation, including:

  • Effective management of Employer-Paid Service (EPS) visits by enabling clients to review and track EPS visits, supporting documentation, and accompanying services provided by your practice.
  • System-generated email notifications to employers when documentation is ready for viewing. At employee request, visit results, as well as supporting documents, can be forwarded to the employer. Long-term storage of employee clinical documents also enables self-service for employers to retrieve information on past visits.
  • Streamlined communication and reduced administrative burden—such as repeatedly and “manually” responding to employer update requests—allowing urgent care staff to concentrate on serving patients in the center.
  • The integration of a robust and easy-to-use software add-on that makes it easier for companies to work with your center, giving you a competitive advantage when selling your occ med services.

Functionality
Within the Employer Portal, end users have access to an array of useful features and options, including:

Admin Screen – Here, the initial portal end user account is created and activated. A client may add additional user accounts if multiple staff members need to access the system. Admin users are also granted the ability to activate and deactivate user accounts.

Enable Employer Portal – When an employer agrees to use the Employer Portal, an account can be created within the Company Information Screen. After the initial account is created and activated, the employer may then add additional users as needed.

WC-EPS-Codes – Worker’s compensation visits that have EPS services attached to them, or documented as a “work comp” protocol, are cataloged by the system and can be searched and referenced.

Logbook – Here you can view logged EPS and work-comp patient visits for the day, check-in times, whether the patient has been discharged, and if the patient chart has been signed off.

EPS Work Queue – Within the EPS work queue, end users can view several sortable data fields by column, including:

  • Date of Service (DOS)
  • Action Date
  • Last Activity Date
  • Employer
  • Type
  • Patient Name
  • Patient Number
  • Date of Birth (DOB)
  • Class
  • Protocol
  • Status
  • Internal Note
  • Action

Not only can you sort the data in each column within the EPS work queue, you can apply filters to further refine your search. Additionally, the Employer Portal allows you to add, edit, or suppress documents and visit details, and print or electronically send that documentation to the employer.

(Employer View) Visit Search – Accessed from the employer’s point of view inside the portal, this screen offers a simplified navigation where employers can quickly pull up patient visit details such as visit status, check-in and check-out times, visit type, date, and company.

Competitive Advantage
The PV Employer Portal add-on offers many advantages for both the urgent care center and the companies for which they provide occ med services. Gone are the typical, time- and personnel-consuming administrative hassles of managing multiple occ med accounts. This includes employer telephone/fax inquiries, phone calls and emails verifying employer visits and check-in/check-out times, and requests for clinical outcome updates. Now, these tasks and much more are streamlined and can be easily completed within the Employer Portal.

Employers can now, through their web browser, gain access to the information and details they need about employees who have visited the center, and can do so quickly. Especially for a large employer with perhaps dozens of employees that utilize the center for occ med, this increased convenience, manageability, and efficiency can’t be understated.

Conclusion
Simply put, the Employer Portal elevates the level of customer service your urgent care center can provide, as well as making more efficient use of your clinic’s resources. When companies are considering healthcare providers for their occupational medicine needs, they want the assurance that drug screens and physicals, as well as more complicated worker’s compensation cases, are being handled quickly, thoroughly, and professionally. In the short and long term, an efficient, well-run occ med program saves employers’ money, and by implementing the PV Employer Portal, you put your center in the best position to effectively meet that objective.