After their first EHR vendor sunset their product, ORA Orthopedics selected another vendor who specialized in orthopedics. That vendor implementation went so poorly that they abandoned it, carefully vetted their options, and ultimately selected SRS as their Healthcare IT Solution partner.
ORA Orthopedics is the Quad Cities’ largest and most comprehensive orthopedic provider, proudly offering an integrated continuum of orthopedic care that includes orthopedic subspecialty clinics, walk-in care at their Urgent OrthoCARE clinics, diagnostic imaging, bracing, physical therapy, pharmacy, and outpatient surgery. Their 25 physicians are subspecialty-trained in sports medicine, adult reconstruction, hand and upper extremity, trauma, spine, pediatrics, and pain management. They, along with their medical and administrative staff, work together to provide quality, compassionate, and accessible care. Their focus is on restoring patients to health so that they can return to their favorite activities as quickly as possible, free from injury.
ORA’s physicians make up the area’s largest team of orthopedic specialists. They proudly serve as team physicians for a number of local sports teams and educational institutions, including the Quad City Mallards, Quad City Steamwheelers, Quad Cities River Bandits, St. Ambrose University, Augustana College, and most of the area high schools.
First EHR vendor sunset product, disrupting practice operations.
Second EHR vendor’s implementation was so problematic that it was halted.
Third HCIT partner offered a collaborative approach that resulted in a very smooth implementation.
Customized solution preserves desired workflows and meets practice’s diverse needs.
Ongoing relationship with new partner helps them meet the challenges of delivering outstanding patient care while addressing the business needs of a successful practice.
After dealing with the effects of having their first EHR vendor announce sunset, and experiencing a disastrous implementation from their second EHR vendor, ORA Orthopedics knew that making a change was necessary to ensure that they could continue to meet their patient’s orthopedic needs, meet their value-based care and compliance goals, and ensure smooth practice-wide operations and efficiencies.
“Many factors went into choosing SRS Health as our HCIT partner,” says ORA Orthopedics’ CEO, Ken Brockman, “including their willingness to collaborate with us to enhance our efficiency by developing unique capabilities specifically for ORA. “While SRS has an established reputation for extremely flexible workflows and easy-to-use, practical solutions that ensure practice-wide adoption, Brockman stresses that “the most important factor for us was their forward-thinking collaborative team, their willingness to work with us to develop customized functionality that preserved our efficient practice workflows. That helped us to maintain productivity, efficiency, and consistency from day one.” Add to that SRS’ existing market leadership in orthopedics, states Brockman, “and the choice was clear: SRS was the best solution for our practice.”
How Did SRS Implementation Affect the Practice?
“We had already lived through the horror story of a bad vendor implementation,” adds Joe Holmbo, Director of Operations, “so we were very cautious.” In preparation, the providers reduced their clinic schedules by 50% for the implementation. “To our surprise,” says Holmbo, “we were able to go back to full schedules at the end of week one. SRS’ implementation team did a phenomenal job—they provided enough support that everyone knew they were going to be successful.” In retrospect, the physicians stated that they could have maintained full schedules from day one. A major part of this support came well before go-live. ORA had already worked closely with the SRS Development Team for a year to accommodate the needs of the physicians, who had, Holmbo says, “made it very clear to myself and my administrative team that a new software could not slow down patient flow or cause disruptions beyond go live!” Working closely with ORA, the SRS development team made customizations to the software that allowed ORA to keep the same level of efficiency. The close working partnership that had been established between ORA and SRS resulted in an easy transition for all the providers to the new IT solution.
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Beyond Implementation – Commitment to Success
Despite the successful implementation, however, ORA physicians still had one concern. Holmbo sums it up this way: “Once SRS cashes the implementation check, we will not hear from them again.” Providers and staff were concerned that the rewarding level of collaboration between ORA and SRS—which began with a rigorous question-and-answer process even before ORA signed the user agreement—would not continue. However, those concerns were not realized, as SRS continued to work closely with them, providing support as ORA continues to develop process-improvement ideas for their ever-changing workflow. Frequent contact with their account manager keeps everyone up to date on best practices and advances in technology. More importantly, it allows for quick responses from the SRS development team. “I can’t speak highly enough about the collaboration that SRS has with its users,” enthuses Holmbo. “They are highly committed to the end user—they actually ask for honest user feedback. They don’t get offended if we tell them how to make it better.”
The annual User Summit offers the opportunity to attend educational seminars and, even more importantly, to dialogue with both senior SRS leadership and other practices. “You would expect an SRS User Summit to be a lot of SRS propaganda and sales pitches, but it was the exact opposite,” says Holmbo. “Senior SRS leadership provided realistic expectations of what SRS is able to accomplish. And hearing from other practices how they use the software leads to endless ideas of process improvement and ways to perform better as a group.”
Having had several EHR vendor relationships fail, Holmbo offers his insights into why: “It doesn’t stop at implementation. Technology changes, processes require updating, operational efficiencies need to be strengthened. That’s why it’s important to stay connected with our partner so we can stay ahead of the curve, modify what’s needed, and utilize the technology to meet our needs.”
What Advice Would You Give to Those Considering SRS?
Joe Holmbo, Director of Operations at ORA Orthopedics, shares: “Trust SRS—they have proven to be a trustworthy partner. If they are able to do something, they will. If not, they won’t give you a song and dance about ‘roadmaps’ and ‘future development.’ They are honest in what they can deliver and never over-promise things to get a sale.”
“Don’t get discouraged if the sales demo isn’t exactly how you would do it. The great thing about SRS is that there are several different ways to get things done. Each practice can design its own unique workflows to meet its own unique needs.”
“SRS Implementation is hands down the most organized and thorough implementation we have done. The implementation team has it down to a science; if you listen to them and do what is required, you will be successful.”
“In short,” adds Brockman, “since changing to SRS solutions, everything is better and we could not be happier about our decision!”