5 Ways Virtual Consults Can Benefit Your Practice and Patients

When a podiatrist needs a quick answer from a vascular specialist, the informal curbside consult is usually the go-to option. But what if the podiatrist and the vascular specialist both operate out of independent practices or the same practice with multiple locations? What do they do if they don’t share a common EMR?

And what if a specialist isn’t readily available, or a patient lacks the time or money to meet with a vascular specialist if a follow-up is necessary? And what should the podiatrist tell the patient in the meantime?

How CarePICS Supports Virtual Consults

CarePICS helps improve care coordination between podiatrists and vascular specialists. The model uses two key elements: virtual consults, aka eConsults, and digital referrals to facilitate more efficient, effective communication. 

Using CarePICS virtual consult, podiatrists can quickly determine the best course of action with the guidance of a specialist. When the patients sees the vascular specialist, tests, care plans and interventions can be documented for the podiatrist to review.

Furthermore, a CarePICS virtual consult request may be reimbursable using CPT code 99452.

How Virtual Consults Help Medical Practices

 Here are five ways that virtual consults and digital referrals are changing medical practices for the better:

  • Higher-value in-person visit ‒ Using CarePICS, specialists pre-triage patients for office visits to make sure the most acute are seen first. Patients often don’t need to travel to the specialist practice to be evaluated and prioritized. This is key, especially when the patient must travel a long distance and/or if they have limited mobility. 
  • Streamlined communications ‒. CarePICS brings providers and specialists together via a shared digital platform that can help expedite and simplify communications for more continuous and comprehensive care. A CarePICS virtual consult is a way to provide guidance back to the podiatrist for those cases that can continue to be managed without a transfer of care.
  • Shorter wait times ‒. A vascular specialist can quickly access CarePICS to view photos, measurements and trends of a patient’s wound to determine if an in-person visit is necessary. Podiatrists can often get a response from the vascular specialist within a day, if not hours.
  • Better documentation ‒ CarePICS is a point-of-care mobile application that enables better documentation between providers. Condition and specialty specific image categories in the application prompt providers to capture medical imagery that are impactful in detailing a patient’s condition and help determine next steps. Having a secure, shared platform is always better than something that’s unofficially documented or sent via text message. Additionally CarePICS can share with most EMRs.
  • Improved access to podiatry input ‒ CarePICS allows patients with wounds to capture images, send reports and communicate with direct messages to get any issues addressed quickly and efficiently. Patients receiving in-home care may be managed without an in-person clinic visit, freeing up space for more acute patients. Even better, CarePICS may qualify for the new Remote Therapeutic Monitoring codes recently published by CMS.

For more information

Visit the CarePICS website for more information about our virtual hub for wound and vascular care. We’re here to partner with providers with a digital solution to better manage patients and improve clinical outcomes.

About CarePICS

CarePICS® is a HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform designed to manage vascular disease and wound care patients. CarePICS enables virtual consults, telehealth visits, clinical reporting with images and automated medical supply ordering.