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MedChi Urges the State of Maryland to Help Implement Telehealth Technology for Physicians to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus

March 11, 2020

MedChi Urges the State of Maryland to Help Implement Telehealth Technology for Physicians to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus

MedChi CTO Partners with DrFirst to Provide Backline with Telehealth for its Physician Practices

Annapolis, Md., March 11, 2020MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, is urging the State of Maryland to provide physician practices with telehealth technology to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

MedChi has been a leader on coronavirus, educating and working with physicians in the state. “Our physician members have raised two major concerns about the pandemic,” said Gene Ransom, MedChi CEO. “They are concerned about the lack of adequate testing and about preventing health worker exposure to the virus.” The State announced today that two major lab companies will be able to test this week, which Ransom expects to help resolve physicians’ concerns about testing.  “But the risk of exposure for healthcare workers continues to be a major concern,” he adds.

Noting the important role of social distancing to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, Congress, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and private insurance companies are supporting the expanded use of telehealth for patient care. Telehealth can allow a patient with coronavirus to receive treatment without risking healthcare worker exposure, and other patients in the office from contamination.

As a result of the outbreak, the MedChi Care Transformation Organization (MedChi CTO) provided its physician practices with telehealth capability, through DrFirst’s Backline care collaboration tool. Backline allows physicians to conduct telehealth sessions, without requiring patients to download an app or complete a cumbersome registration process. Backline is a full care collaboration platform that allows physician practices to share information with other clinicians and patients through secure channels that comply with HIPAA requirements to protect patients’ health information.

“MedChi endorses the use of telehealth and secure messaging to help Maryland physicians assess and treat patients through virtual visits to reduce exposure to the coronavirus. We chose the Backline product in our CTO for continuity of care and to reduce the risk of exposure,” said Ransom. “We urge the State of Maryland to help healthcare workers have access to this urgently needed service to all of the physician practices in the state.” Ransom notes that Backline also supports the Maryland Primary Care Program (MDPCP) and CTOs by allowing clinicians to provide 24/7 access for patients and their care teams for urgent and emergent care.

MedChi and DrFirst currently collaborate in additional ways to help physician practices as they care for their patients. DrFirst’s iPrescribe is the first mobile e-prescribing app to allow Maryland clinicians to access the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) data to help control the opioid crisis, through a partnership with MedChi and CRISP, the state’s Health Information Exchange that operates the PDMP. In addition, the State of Maryland recently awarded DrFirst a grant to equip paramedics in two counties with Backline EMS so they can have real-time access to patients’ medication histories and a secure way to text hospitals with patient information.

“DrFirst is committed to keeping patients and healthcare providers safe,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. “Telehealth and other strategic uses of technology can be some of the critical defenses against the COVID-19 epidemic. We stand ready to work with MedChi and physician practices to help protect Marylanders from exposure.”

View a Backline telehealth demo here.

About MedChi
MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, is a non-profit membership association of Maryland physicians. It is the largest physician organization in Maryland. The mission of MedChi is to serve as Maryland’s foremost advocate and resource for physicians, their patients and the public health of Maryland. For more information, please visit www.medchi.org.

About DrFirst
Since 2000, DrFirst has pioneered healthcare technology solutions and consulting services that securely connect people at touchpoints of care to improve patient outcomes. We create unconventional solutions that solve care collaboration, medication management, price transparency and adherence challenges faced in healthcare. We unite the Healthiverse by providing our clients with real-time access to the information they need, exactly when and how they need it – so patients get the best care possible. DrFirst solutions are used by nearly 300,000 healthcare professionals, including more than 100,000 prescribers, and more than 1,400 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. To learn more, visit DrFirst.com.

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