Last week I created a post that discussed how EHRs could be used to help track and suppress an infectious disease outbreak such as the Swine Flu. Today I can report on how it is actually being done! 

Minnesota based Quinnian Health, announced it has partnered with Dallas’s TelaDoc Medical Services to provide remote consultations, and access to its Qhealth Platform.The announcement comes as the WHO has officially declared H1 N1, or Swine Flu as Pandemic. The “Rapid Influenza Response Module” was designed to enable employers to quickly deploy medical countermeasures such as antiviral medications and personal protective garb to employees, dependents, and suppliers. The partnership with TelaDoc was created to provide area residents with remote access to  consultations by physicians to anyone who suspects that they  may be exhibiting the early symptoms of the expanding flu virus. Texas was the site of the first reported cases of H1 N1 in the United States; however the TelaDoc System can be accessed nationwide. 

In a statement released to the press Richard J. Boxer, Chief Medical Officer of TelaDoc, said TelaDoc was selected by Quinnian for this current assignment based upon the training and experience of TelaDoc physicians in viral pandemic issues, as well as their thorough understanding of the antiviral prescriptions TamiFlu and Relenza.”  

The company will be using its national EHR network to quickly report on suspected cases to all agencies involved in tracking and controlling the spread of the virus. The Qhelath platform helps users to rapidly indentify Swine Flu symptoms and provides recommendations for lab tests, appropriate dosages of prescription drugs, isolation precautions, and incubation periods. Combining it with an EHR solution that also has live telephonic physician interaction only makes sense. The key to infectious disease control is twofold, data and isolation. Using the telehealth model with the Rapid Influenza Response Module does both. Says Boxer, “[The] consults are conducted via telephone, insulating physicians from patients and possible exposure to germs. Furthermore, physician telephone consults can be conducted at anytime and from anywhere, obviating the need for patients to leave home in order to access quality medical attention.”