Maine physicians piloting e-visit program to improve access and save time

Physicians at several primary care practices at Eastern Maine Medical Center and Presque Isle-based The Aroostook Medical Center are piloting an electronic visit program in conjunction with Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine to support optimal health in-between regular office visits.

According to Healthcare IT News, the program allows participating physicians to conduct e-visits with their patients and lets patients schedule appointments, check test results, request prescription refills, and ask questions about non-emergent issues via e-mail.  The initial phase of the program will allow physicians at selected primary care practices at Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) in Bangor and The Aroostook Medical Center (TAMC) in Presque Isle to conduct "e-visits" with their patients who are Anthem members. The program will also allow Anthem members to send health related messages and questions and communicate via email with their doctors about non-emergent issues, in addition to scheduling appointments, checking on test results, or requesting prescription refills.

(SOURCES: Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, December 1, 2009; The Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com, accessed December 2, 2009)