Illinois Bone & Joint Institute (IBJI) is a 275-provider practice devoted to total musculoskeletal care located in the metropolitan Chicago area. They have 22 office locations providing comprehensive care inclusive of an innovative approach to the management of joint pain/metabolic health through their OrthoHealth program, on-site occupational and physical therapy, pain management, podiatry, rheumatology, and sports neurology services devoted to brain-health. IBJI is one of the largest musculoskeletal groups in the country.
The biggest challenge we face now is negotiating the move to value-based healthcare, with its entirely new set of standards that we have to meet. This is forcing us to function in an entirely new way—reimbursement is being tied to our ability to document components of the treatment process that we have never had to document before. While some of our workflows can be adapted, others have to be reinvented from scratch. It was clear that navigating this new environment successfully would require more than just a vendor who could sell us a couple of new pieces of software. We needed an integrated, comprehensive, end-to-end solution, but more than that, we needed a partner who was willing to go all in with us—one with significant experience in our medical specialty and an on-going commitment to the flexibility and innovation required to succeed in the VBC world.
Single, intuitive end-to-end solution
Increased patient engagement via integrated patient portal
Comprehensive, flexible data collection for outcomes
Measured increases in patient satisfaction
Significant increases in physician productivity
Reduced clinical and clerical overhead by over $200,000 per year
Achieved malpractice insurance company guidelines / compliance
MRI order process streamlined
Safer and faster prescribing
There was no question that SRS was the right choice. Flexibility and innovation seem to be part of the company’s DNA. We already have a successful relationship with the company, and we have been universally pleased with its products and customer-service ethic. Our physicians have found the EHR to be a highly intuitive solution requiring very little training, and our support staff agree that SRS had the smoothest go-live of any system they had heard of. Most importantly, the SRS EHR didn’t slow down our physicians; in fact, they now see more patients—with less stress—than before. Workflows have been streamlined, delivering measurable time savings, and SRS has helped guide us through the maze of documentation and reporting requirements. By taking care of the collection of necessary data, SRS has allowed us to keep our focus on the patient.
Interested in learning more about SRS EHR?
Involved Patients and Improved Outcomes
We are continually striving to improve our clinical delivery model, and when we looked at the depth and breadth of orthopedic data that SRS collects and quantifies, there was no question that they could provide us with the insights to help us refine our ongoing quality-improvement initiatives—what’s more, SRS collects this data seamlessly, without intruding on the doctor-patient relationship. These data sets will enable us to identify optimal treatment protocols within the clinic, and to benchmark these across nationally collected data to further enhance our approaches. Reduced complications and improved outcomes will lead to higher patient satisfaction, as well as increased reimbursements.
A significant part of this is SRS Health’s outcomes solution which automatically triggers PROMs surveys. One very popular feature is the ease of accessing outcomes data at the point of care with the patient, as the data sits inside the EHR—they have access to the intelligence they need for value-based decision making support. Since information is available at the point of care, patients are directly empowered to become part of their care teams, leading to improved outcomes. We expect that our ability to deliver proven outcomes will position us as a leader in the field, and as a preferred strategic care provider for insurance providers and referrers.
SRS has shown itself to be a true partner through its willingness to respond to the specific demands of our practice, offering regulatory advice, guidance, and training as needed to help us achieve the greatest possible success. They understand that in a rapidly evolving healthcare environment, practices need an ongoing relationship with their EHR provider if they are going to continue to stay ahead of the curve.
Immediate Overhead Reduction upon Implementation
One reason for our confidence in SRS is that they have already delivered dramatic—and measurable—workflow efficiencies. Routine office procedures like ordering tests have been streamlined and now take half the time they used to, as illustrated by the chart below:
Efficiencies were seen early on. Most immediately, we saw decreased staffing needs once we implemented the SRS EHR and eliminated seven positions in the IBJI Gurnee division alone, saving the practice over $200,000 annually in overheard expenses. Additionally, we reduced our medical records staff by three—from the original five employees down to the current two. With the SRS Intake Manager, the chart prep process requires only one staff member per ten providers, so this was an annual savings of approximately $70,000 in staff salaries and benefits.
As well, three clinical positions were eliminated in Gurnee. Before SRS, each physician had a clinical team consisting of a nurse and medical assistant. Because our physicians can now easily and independently complete orders and forms in SRS, there’s no longer a need for support teams. Just one person works directly with the physician in most clinics. Again, a savings of more than $90,000 in annual overhead expenses.
The Gurnee division also eliminated their triage nurse position. The practice-wide effectiveness of the Messaging and Tasking module rendered this position obsolete. The physicians’ pools in SRS manage all of the messages even while in clinic. This annual savings was more than $55,000.
All told, early on after adopting and embracing the SRS solution, IBJI’s Gurnee division alone was able to achieve an annual savings of more than $400,000—the other seven divisions saw similar benefits from the technology. Today, across all eight of IBJI’s divisions we continue to enjoy savings, efficiencies and deep-dive intelligence that adds enduring value to the care we are able to provide our patients and to our ability to compete in the arena of value-based reimbursement.
Streamlining All Communications, Orders, & Tests Delivers Higher Patient Satisfaction
One of the best features of the SRS EHR is the messaging capability. We’ve created physician pools—including the physician—and assigned clinical staff to receive and respond to clinical messages in real time. In fact, the physicians are often the first to pull the messages from the pool and contact the patient directly. This is often done during clinic since the user is always alerted when a message is sent. Our turnaround time for patient calls has improved dramatically, as has patient satisfaction, as evidenced by patient surveys.
MRIs performed at an IBJI facility are automatically uploaded into the SRS EHR by the MRI staff and messaged to the ordering physician. The same process occurs in IBJI physical therapy facilities with initial visits, progress notes, and discharge summaries. When the physician opens the message, s/he has the ability to sign it with an authenticated signature that meets the Illinois State Medical Inter-insurance Exchange (ISMIE) requirement. Physicians can also choose to forward messages to their staff—in a fraction of the time it took with paper messages—with instructions to follow up with the patient. No messages are ever lost and there is a complete documentation trail.
The Order Management module includes test tracking, which is another fantastic feature. One of the main causes for delays in the clinic was when necessary documentation was not available during a patient visit, and our staff had to scramble to find the results a physician needed—this is now a thing of the past! Every test and consult ordered is tracked in the SRS EHR and clearly listed on the Interoperability Dashboard that displays when a patient chart is selected. Everyone accessing the chart now knows all the tests that were ordered, and if the results have been received. Once the test/consult has been received, the staff matches the result with the order, messages the physician with the result, and the order is then complete. SRS allows us to analyze all tests ordered and determine which tests are still outstanding that require follow-up.
Efficient Scheduling of Surgeries
Using the surgery scheduling pool feature in the SRS EHR has allowed us to maximize our efficiency in this critical area. The physicians complete the surgical scheduling order during clinic by simply indicating what procedure is needed, what equipment is needed (if any), and the facility where the surgery is to be performed (if requested). The order is automatically messaged to the surgical scheduling pool and is immediately addressed by the surgery scheduling staff. There is absolutely no waiting for charts. We contact patients the same day to schedule surgery—a service they greatly appreciate. We have experienced fewer cancelations and fewer reschedulings with this refined process. Timely communication with patients regarding their surgery dates and scheduling profoundly enhances patient satisfaction.
Innovative Access Made Easy
Our patient rooms do not have computers so our physicians use wireless devices—iPads and MacBook Airs. PACS is accessible from these devices via SRS’s Unified Desktop™ so images are viewed by the patients without leaving the exam room. Physicians also generate x-ray, MRI, and physical therapy orders from their devices while in the exam room with the patient. Additional outside imaging and lab tests are easily ordered, too. Many of our physicians complete work and patient exam notes independently since the forms-generation process is easily completed with minimal typing and a few simple clicks.
The ePrescribing module is also a remarkable part of the SRS EHR. By seamlessly interfacing with Surescripts, the SRS EHR pulls in all of the patient’s medications from other physicians to deliver a complete and thorough drug history. This is very helpful—especially when prescribing pain medications—and provides our physicians with greater confidence and safer prescribing.
Since partnering with SRS in 2010 the entire healthcare industry has seen massive changes. Having a partner like SRS who listens to our goals, aspirations, and needs, then works with us to realize our vision has been invaluable. We look forward to tackling the next level of value-based care with SRS by our side.