“Before PerfectServe, we had a typical answering service. They were satisfactory—but they weren’t innovating.”
That’s Matt West, chief operating officer of Premier Surgical Associates. Premier is eastern Tennessee’s largest surgical provider, and its 28 physicians perform more than 15,000 general, vascular, bariatric and oncology surgical procedures a year and see upwards of 1,000 patients in office visits each week.
“We perform surgeries at almost every major hospital in the area,” says West. “When our physicians are on call, they may be covering for more than one hospital. Or they may be on call for both general and vascular patients. And each doctor wants to decide how he is reached and how calls are handled. At the same time, we need our communications to be efficient, secure and compliant.”
West notes that few physicians look forward to their time spent on call, yet all recognize the vital need for rapid and clear communications between doctors and patients after normal hours. They weren’t happy with the old system, and they were letting West know.
“As our complexity grew, so did dissatisfaction with the status quo answering service,” recalls West. “The wrong messages were often delivered to the wrong doctor—and not necessarily by the most HIPAA-compliant method. Then the doctor who received the message would have to track down the doctor on call to forward it. And I’d hear from a frustrated doctor the next day: ‘Why am I getting these messages?’”
The information provided about the calls was also seriously limited. West describes a typical morning at Premier: “The answering service would send us a fax or email listing calls from the night before, but without any detail on what transpired. The staff would have to scramble to find the doctor and confirm what had happened: ‘What did you do with that patient? Was there a consult? Do we need to follow up?’”
Even more urgent was the need to ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations and reduce Premier’s risk of a security breach. “I’m also the privacy officer,” notes West. “First and foremost, we wanted to address that risk.”
When West began evaluating vendors, he knew it wouldn’t be easy. Premier’s unique workflow couldn’t be forced into a one-size-fits-all offering: “There are a lot of idiosyncrasies to our organization. A generic solution wouldn’t have worked.”
Find out how PerfectServe works seamlessly with Premiere’s complex needs to ensure surgeons get the most up to date and accurate patient information, when and how they need it.