Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates Increases Efficiency by Switching to the gGastro® Suite
- Utilize one integrated, cloud-based system across all locations
- Access patient information from virtually anywhere
- Prioritize and execute tasks more efficiently
- Focus on patient care versus documentation during exams
Key Benefits Experienced
- Improved efficiency with a GI-specific platform
- Saved time by transitioning to the cloud
- Facilitated communication among staff and patients
- Eliminated problematic interfaces
Gastroenterology software helps 7-physician group reach their operational and clinical goals.
“We actually looked at quite a few systems, but when I saw my first demo of the gGastro product, I knew it was a no brainer. All of the content my GI physicians needed was already built in, so I knew we wouldn’t have to spend time on customization. Plus, it was an all-in-one system, so we would not have to deal with multiple interfaces.”
‒ LESLIE E. W. COSNER, CMOM, RN, BSHA, BSHIS, MBA, PRACTICE MANAGER
Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates, founded in 1982 by Dr. Byrd S. Leavell and Dr. Michael J. Oblinger, has grown into a leading gastroenterology practice in the Charlottesville, VA area. With six physicians and five APPs dedicated to their mission of providing quality, patient-centered medical care for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, the busy practice reflects state-of-the-art medical expertise and an integrated team approach to healthcare delivery.
CURRENT EHR: NOT MEETING OUR NEEDS
While our practice was a relatively early adopter of an EHR, years after our initial implementation we were struggling with a system that just didn’t measure up to the demands of our busy practice.
We had to keep buying servers as we grew—to the point where we were managing 11 servers onsite. Not only was this costly, but staff were also spending weekends babysitting upgrades.
And despite the costly infrastructure, we were still struggling to meet Meaningful Use. In fact, we were forced to bring in staff to manually input data. Plus, the support we were getting was just not cutting it. It would take months to get things done, and we rarely talked to a live person.
Other frustrations were piling up, too—reminders were not meeting patients’ needs, the system did not have an endowriter and the kiosk was not integrated as fully as needed. At that point, I knew we absolutely had to evaluate some alternative options.
gGASTRO: A “NO-BRAINER”
We looked at several systems, but when I saw my first demo of the gGastro product, I knew it was a no-brainer. All of the content my GI physicians needed was already built in, so I knew we wouldn’t have to spend time on customization. Plus, it was an all-in-one system, so we would not have to deal with multiple interfaces.
And because it was cloud-based, we wouldn’t have to keep buying servers and spending our weekends on upgrades. The more we looked at it, we realized that our old solution was not only costing us money as we had to keep buying servers, but the third-party IT costs that we were paying were also adding up. We realized that we could eliminate the cost of servers and dramatically impact our third-party cost. The choice for us was clear—gGastro.
TIPS FOR TRANSITION
Make no mistake, a conversion is a big decision, but we developed a careful plan to make our move from our old EHR to gGastro as smooth as possible. And I would suggest four tips for any practice that is looking to upgrade to gGastro.
1. Go big: We waited and phased a few elements of our golive. For example, we didn’t immediately go live with connected vitals and machines. That’s what our anesthesiologist first wanted, but after we finally moved over, they said, “Why didn’t we do this from the start? It’s so much easier!
2. Use it all: I strongly suggest that other practices, like ours, use the whole system—kiosk, endowriter, portal, everything. It’s all designed as a system that works together, so using it in that way will ensure your best results.
3. Don’t convert garbage: There were a few things that I would have done differently. For example, we converted all of our medications over and, in retrospect it would have just been easier to not bring these over and just update them in gGastro. Plus, it would have saved time and money.
4. Invest in training: We actually had one of our physicians go to training with me and this was invaluable. Don’t let physicians or vital staff members skip gGastro University. It’s too valuable. And after go-live, we actually had someone come back six months later from the gGastro team to make sure we were using everything to the fullest capability. We continue to have a trainer come onsite to do annual training and maintenance once a year to ensure we get the best use of our system and use it in the most efficient manner.
A COMMITMENT TO CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
Now that we’ve invested in the right platform for our practice and for our growth, we plan to continue to invest in the right people and to invest in ongoing learning. I think about it like car maintenance. You need to make sure you change your oil and have regular checkups to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
The same is true of any technology. Go to conferences. Send your people to training. Find out how other offices do things. The gGastro platform is powerful, but so too is the knowledge of the collective gGastro community.
Leslie E. W. Cosner, CMOM, RN, BSHA, BSHIS, MBA