Growing Clinic Saves Big by Streamlining Front Office Workflows
Allegro Family Clinic, a subsidiary of Dutch Health Services, Inc., was founded in 2013 to meet the growing need that families have for convenient, high-quality primary medical care. The family practice with a pediatric specialty has grown from one location with a single provider to five clinics with three providers and 10 nurse practitioners serving the communities of Columbus and Lowndes County, Miss. As the practice grew, however, Executive Director Amy Bogue realized that front office mistakes were threatening back office efficiencies and the clinic’s overall success. She turned to Epion to help automate patient intake to reduce errors and get paid faster.
When it comes to paperwork, small mistakes have significant and lasting impacts on the success of a practice. Handwritten forms can be difficult for staff to read, interpret and key into the EHR. One wrong digit in a patient’s social security number carries over to the claim, which then leads to denials and delays in billing. Bogue says the single greatest impact that Epion’s solution has had on the practice is virtually eliminating manual errors by virtue of having patients enter their own information and verify that it’s correct. In addition, all that information is automatically uploaded into the EHR, saving even more time and resources.
Epion has saved us so much time and energy and paper and toner. You can see more patients and your nurses can triage quicker.
– Amy Bogue, Executive Director
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Hello, my name is Amy Bogue, I’m with Allegro Family Clinic. I actually helped found the clinic in 2013. We started one clinic, one nurse practitioner. We have since grown into five clinics with 3 doctors and 10 nurse practitioners. We are a family practice and pediatric specialty, uh, walk-in/appointment type clinic. And, uh, we are very pleased with Epion as our intake form provider and we’re very excited to talk about it.
Epion has impacted our practice by really enhancing our flow. There’s many reasons I am an Epion fan. First of all, I think it’s very progressive and I keep– The way I sold it to my staff was I truly believe in about– I-I’m shooting for five years, it may be less than that. I do not think there will be paper intake anymore. It’s kind of old school and a waste of time and paper and resources.
So the way that I pitched it to my staff to pitch it to our patients is, this is the way that healthcare is going. There’s several reasons, there’s less room for air, uh, a lot of people’s threes might look like a nine and you’re writing– you’re taking what the patient and wrote down, then you’re trusting your receptionist to interpret what they wrote down and then there might be one more error for them keying into there. This eliminates all of that.
Uh, when you have the iPad, the onus goes back on the patient. They’re responsible for entering the correct address, correct phone number, and there’s no excuses. There’s no way to blame anybody for the wrong information. Uh, so room for error is-is a big deal to me.
Uh, it also is a time saver as far as, once they hit ‘Okay’ and it-it all syncs with your EMR. So, there’s no more wasting the patient’s time or clinician’s time to input all that stuff, especially for a new patient. And then them have to, uh, the nurse has to wait on all that til she can triage. As soon as the patient hits done and check in, we’re ready to go.
There’s also big benefits because we put a lot of questions on the iPad that the nurses were spending time to ask, and now the patient is answering them in the lobby. So when they are completely done, it syncs with the EMR and now it just saves that many more steps for the nurse. So you’re saving toner, you’re saving paper, you’re saving time for both receptionist and nurse. To me, it’s a win-win, no brainer. I just truly believe that everyone will go to a, uh, iPad type check in in the future.
Sure. I– with anything, anytime you come into any situation and make a change, there’s always going to be resistance. So if you’re considering Epion, you need to learn the product yourself and then really pitch it to your staff and then let your staff explain to the patients what a positive thing this is.
So I believe our staff has adopted Epion very well. It took a lot of steps out of their day to day process and so– Uh, for instance, one of my favorite features is the selfie. And I often walk into the different clinics and my favorite position is seeing, you know, all the selfies and the young people do the dog face, and the older people looking down like, “I don’t know how to push it.” It really is my favorite feature to be honest. I love that the-the pictures automatically import into the system; everything’s there.
Once our staff learned how to use it, they love it. And they do not want to skip the iPad because it saves them so many steps and time and paper and resources. So they, once they got used to the change, they adapted to it very well.
Epion training process is really easy. We implemented ours with our EMR implementation. I think that was the correct thing to do if you’re considering changing, and if you’re not, it’s not a big deal. We had, uh, phone calls and did it remotely. We just had our receptionists get together and make a phone call with the awesome Jim Wallace, who walked them through how to do it. It’s– everybody almost has some sort of a phone device.
If you can work your cell phone, then you can learn Epion and-and implement it into your office. It is just as simple, uh, as your iPhone or Samsung, whatever phone that you have. So implementation is super easy. We did it all remote, which is very cost effective for both parties and we were able to get them trained. And it- there were really not many issues considering we, uh, went live with five clinics.
Okay. The single most impact that Epion’s had on us is the reduction in clerical errors. Uh, it’s just hard to interpret a patient’s handwriting for– and you’re having lots of different people try to interpret what they wrote down. When you’ve got the iPad, there is so much less room for error because the patient is entering in their own information and verifying that it is correct. So this, um, really has reduced a lot of our errors.
And it-it starts from the moment that the patient inputs, all the way to the end of the claim. So if you have one wrong digit on their social security number, because a receptionist thought it was a nine and it was a three, it goes all the way to the claim, gets denied, and you get delayed billing. So, that is so important in a practice, that initial intake is probably one of the most important parts of the patient’s visit.
Epion helped us with the adoption of our new EMR system. They went hand in hand and because of their interface, it syncs and it’s seamless. As soon as the patient enters their information, it syncs in with the EMR. There’s– it’s almost dummy proof. Uh, as long as the patient puts the information in correctly and hands it back to the receptionist, they make a click and everything interfaces.
It has saved us so much time and energy and paper and toner. You can see more patients. Your nurses can triage quicker because a lot of the questions are being answered. Uh, and I-I meant to touch on this, but Medicare wellness is a big initiative around the country and we’re on our way– as soon as the receptionist knows that it’s a Medicare wellness, then those questions auto-populate into that iPad and it is saving our staff so much time to have those patients answer those questions in the lobby. Everything is done and it makes it those seamless on the back-end. Hands down, you need Epion.
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