Piedmont Healthcare: Standardizing Physician Practice Communications With PerfectServe
Greater Atlanta Area, Georgia
Epic, Rauland, Nuance, Skype
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Founded in 1905, Piedmont Healthcare is a private, not-for-profit organization with 800 locations serving 2.7 million patients across Georgia. Piedmont is known as a leading health system in the treatment of heart disease, organ transplantation, and cancer care. The organization boasts 11 hospitals, 27 urgent care centers, 34 Piedmont QuickCare locations, 555 Piedmont Clinic physician practice locations, and more than 2,300 Piedmont Clinic care team members and staff.
Piedmont expanded through the acquisition of multiple hospitals and group practices, inheriting a large portfolio of third-party answering service vendor contracts. With more than 550 physician practices across its system, Piedmont leadership realized this vendor inconsistency was unsustainable and had already begun to negatively affect clinical efficiency, provider satisfaction, and patient experience.
Piedmont began the request for proposal process by vetting potential platforms with the ability to consolidate the inherited systems and reduce their overall vendor footprint. PerfectServe met these requirements and was ultimately selected to provide Piedmont with a comprehensive answering service solution, with the added bonus that it also streamlined communication through custom workflows, timely escalation policies, and around-the-clock patient access.
Some of the providers acquired by Piedmont were happy with their existing answering services, but many more were unsatisfied due to frequent operator errors and inconsistency. Piedmont needed to standardize systems to control costs, help their providers communicate reliably, and create a singular experience for patients.
Piedmont began to evaluate communication platforms using four main criteria:
- Functionality to address stakeholder needs and goals
- Ability to provide an enterprise-wide contract, service agreement, and fixed monthly costs
- Scalability to meet Piedmont’s corporate expansion
- Capacity to facilitate best practices by eliminating manual steps, streamlining communication workflows, meeting service quality metrics, ensuring HIPAA compliance, and improving patient and provider satisfaction
By implementing PerfectServe’s answering service solution, Piedmont’s previous issues began to dissipate. PerfectServe empowered Piedmont providers to easily communicate and share information without compromising PHI. Non-urgent messages were held until the next working day, meaning providers were no longer interrupted in the middle of the night for routine issues. Providers’ personal phone numbers were now masked when calling patients. On-the-fly call schedule changes were enabled through the app, and when providers were called into surgery unexpectedly, their calls could be rerouted to the covering provider.
Today, PerfectServe’s automated answering service solution is the standard for Piedmont Healthcare’s group practices. It eliminated much of the human error endemic to live answering services, reduced communication cycle times to expedite care, facilitated more efficient patient-to-provider communication, cut costs stemming from the use of disparate vendors, and improved both patient and provider satisfaction.