There are many encounter types, each suited to particular modes of healthcare interaction. Clinical support staff create some types of encounters (e.g., clinic visits, hospitalizations, emergency room visits). Clinicians have the ability to create other types of encounters (e.g., documentation, orders-only, telephone, etc.). It is important to select or create an appropriate encounter type.
Scheduled encounters are planned. They are set for a date and time, with visit properties that fit the specialty need. Scheduled encounters can be conducted in-person or virtually. Indeed, encounters originally scheduled for in-person interaction can be converted for virtual care without losing properties or preparations.
Scheduled encounters are preferred for virtual care. They do a better job preserving referral workflows, capturing useful process information, and facilitating resource management. Use scheduled encounters when it is possible to do so.
Ad hoc Encounters
“Ad hoc” (unscheduled) encounters can be created by a prescriber on-the-fly (“Create Encounter” tab within an open chart) when and as needed. “Telephone” and “Telemedicine” encounters are among the selectable options. These support chart review, problem and medication reconciliation, documentation, ordering, prescribing, communicating (letters) and professional billing.
A Telephone Encounter can also be initiated through the “Call Patient” tab in Chart Review.
Supports all required documentation and ordering even though the navigator differs from a regular ambulatory visit and advanced features, like Express Lanes and specialty customizations, are not easily accessible.
A Telemedicine Encounter is used when videoconferencing is in play.
This has the same navigator as a regular ambulatory visit, and allows use of the specialty-specific tools created for other ambulatory encounters (note templates, bookmark sectioning of progress notes, etc.)
Sometimes prescribers may need to interact with the chart outside of patient interaction (in-person or virtual). One may want to place orders that anticipate a future interaction. One may want to document an interaction that occurs where Connect Care has not yet deployed. This can be accomplished with one or niche types.
Documentation and Orders Only encounters are useful for situations Connect Care physicians frequently confront.
Other niche encounter types suit specific situations, including:
Refill – place Medication Refill for patient
Referral – document a referral
Patient Message – send a MyAHS Connect message to a patient
Letter (Out) – document with sole intent to creates a letter
Prep for Procedure – used by surgeons to complete pre-surgery tasks for OpTime
Addiction and Mental Health
Crisis Encounter – used for Crisis Calls
Screening Encounter – used for Intake/Screening
Full virtual care encounters can be scheduled or unscheduled (see above Ad Hoc visit types). A scheduled visit can be converted to a "virtual" encounter.
When scheduled appointments need to occur remotely (patient or prescriber), clinical support staff convert existing (in-person) clinic appointments to either “Telephone Visit” or “Virtual Visit” as appropriate. In some settings, the term “Telehealth Visit” is used instead of “Virtual Visit”.