Hawaii Pacific Health/Straub Medical Center with Elisa Chong, PA-C
Net Health’s expert coaches helped Straub Occ Health master workflows, manage protocols, and unify patient service representatives (PSR).
Hawaii Pacific Health/Straub Medical Center, in Honolulu, went live on Agility, but due to very relatable reasons (leadership changes, staff turn over, process reviews, and more), they never fully launched its use.
Knowing they still had a lot of room to increase software utilization, they engaged Eddie Stahl and Net Health’s 360 Professional Services for Workflow Analysis, Optimization, and expert coaching.
Hear the story from Elisa Chong, PA-C, who’s one of three providers at her facility. She’ll explain the red flags/pain points that made them realize they needed help and then take you through to the process to share their results. The team at Straub Occupational Health is fully engaged with processes that they all buy into, thanks to this experience.
[Eddie] Before we have our one of our guest speakers on the client side speak to you, I want to talk to you a little bit about Professional Services. The short answer to why we started offering 360 Professional Services to our Agility clients is that we’ve had customers and prospects asking for something like it.
When speaking with existing clients, we would hear something to the effect of, you know, we’ve been using the software for several years and have had a little turnover,and some, a lot of turnover. We don’t need training or refresher. Rather, we’d like to know how to better optimize what we currently have based on best practices. In other words, this isn’t just about usage, but more about process and recommendations on how we can improve productivity. And then for any potential or new customers that we were gonna bring on, we heard, you know, we are a health system considering Agility for Occ Med and our employee health. We’d like a service not only to help us utilize the software according to best practices, but also offer assistance in determining specific key performance indicators or KPIs in this business. We’d like to have them track for us on a regular basis and then provide some recommendations. In other words, we want someone tied to us during the entire term of the contract who is an industry expert and can measure, and make recommendations on the true needle movers in this business to ensure our mutual success.
Now, because of these conversations, using what I learned in my many years in healthcare, we decided to extend Professional Services to our Agility clients, and that’s what brings us to you here today. Now, you may not need the majority of these services, but the benefit of PS 360 is that it provides a customized agenda based on your specific needs. All you may need is a workload assessment and a chart audit. We can accomplish that with 360 Services.
After all that’s been said, if you’re still wondering if you could benefit from 360 Services, I have a client with us today to describe what the service provided to her organization looked like. So I have the opportunity to conduct a customized health check for one of our clients, Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, on two separate occasions. So during those two site visits, I had the distinct pleasure of working with one of their providers, Elisa Chong. So Elisa Chong is a Physician’s Assistant at Straub Medical Center, Hawaii Pacific Health. Elisa joined Straub in 1991 and is certified in Occupational Health and Environmental Sciences from Duke University. Her special interests include occupational medicine surveillance, drug testing, travel medicine, and immunizations. She does on site medical evaluations such as respirator surveillances, blood tests, drug screens, and immunizations. Elisa received her Physician Assistant degree from Baylor College of Medicine at Texas Medical Center. She is certified in spirometry, respiratory surveillance, breath alcohol testing, drug screens, advanced cardiac life support, and pediatric advanced life support. So I want to say thank you for joining us today, Elisa, and we’ll let you talk a little bit about Straub.
[Elisa] Thank you so much for having me join your webinar with Agility. I really appreciated Eddie’s service coming out to Hawaii and working with us to establish Agility. What originally started was Agility was purchased, and we were supposed to go live back in 2016. However, due to staffing issues, the people that learned the system had all left and what we had left here were people that hadn’t been trained in the system.
I can tell you for my background, I have actually been a PA for over 36 years, I have done internal medicine and emergency medicine before joining Straub Occupational Health. We originally used to do worker’s compensation, motor vehicle accidents, occupational health section, as well as working with employee health. But as time went on, Doctor Kusaka and I decided to concentrate our efforts on the occupational health working with companies, and just doing the exams, and we let our workers compensation section go. And employee health separated out and went through with human resources. So in our team right now, we actually have Doctor Kusaka and I. Doctor Kusaka is an internal medicine, and preventative medicine, and occupational medicine physician. We are supported by four patient service reps which actually do two in the front desk and two in the back desk, which take care of all our paperwork that we send out to the company. We have one billing coordinator. We have one staff to help all five of them. And we actually have five medical assistants to run through all the testing, which is why we can see anywhere between 50 and 80 visits a day, and that includes the drug screens and immunizations.
One of the difficulties we had when we originally found out about Agility, because those of us that were left hadn’t been trained in it or were not experienced with it, was that we, our parent company, which is Hawaii Pacific Health uses Epic. And after various efforts to try to get Epic to suit our needs, we decided that we would need to go with Agility. For those of you who have been in occupational medicine for a long time, our system was Stolis. And as you know, Stolis has not been around for several years, but our staff has used them for years.
Now if you did the math, you know I am more on the older side, and our staff here are all have been with us for over 20 to 30 years. So having a brand new system was very nervous for them. Several of them were saying they’re ready to retire. So with that, and having to use only selected parts of Agility, our director made the wise decision of having Agility come out, and having Eddie work with us so we could reassure our PSRs, our coders, our billing coordinators in doing their work.
So the problem was having so many companies, we have over 120 companies, and some of them have over 10 protocols. So if you do the math, that’s almost 1000 protocols that each of us would have to know. And we had to have print-outs of what the medical assistants would have to do so we would all be on the same page.
Part of the problem that we had also in our delay in getting our system going was we found out that Agility also has an interface which would work with Epic. So we had to go through and get the permission from administration to link that on, and it really has saved a lot of time because before with Stolis and Epic, all our PSRs would have to double input the information into Epic and into Stolis. And now with this wonderful Epic interface, they just input the information once and it carries over.
The hardest thing, as you know, or the people that will be starting, is setting up the system. And Eddie has done a wonderful job working with the work flows and getting our work flows going.
[Eddie] What made you realize that something was wrong or what were the pain points that cause you to reach out to Agility? I know that you covered some, but what were some of the other things that you guys realized?
[Elisa] One of the problems we had was having our PSRs know what our patients needed for each company because they’re not officially medically trained. They’re just used to because they had worked with the system for so long and worked with these companies for so long. But whenever we had new staff, it was hard for them to realize what needed to be ordered for each different company. There were parts to the Agility system that we didn’t need to use because we were not using the occupational medicine or the employee health section. So that was a big help because Eddie helped us clear up our work flows. And when he came out, he could look at our process and had multiple suggestions on how we could improve our process, and things could run a lot smoother with that.
[Eddie] Okay, great. And what did the initial work look like with 360? Again, I know you mentioned work flows. What are the things that looked like?
[Elisa] Actually, what happened was when Eddie got involved with our 360 and we decided to hire him, I was not on the original team that was working with Agility. We had our director, our team lead, our IT, and our business coordinator. And then Eddie started asking several questions about protocols, which they couldn’t answer. So they would come back and ask me and I told them I can’t tell from outside of the box what he’s asking. So then I ended up joining the team about six months before we’d go live. And that was a big change, which is how I got so involved in Agility. And having Eddie here to reassure our people for our PSRs was a big benefit because they were so nervous about moving out of an old system and moving into a new system.
[Eddie] Great. And what, Elisa, what improvements have you seen since my visits with you?
[Elisa] One of our biggest improvements has been our billing section. We were able to bill out on a monthly basis, and that means payments for our clients would come back a month and a half sometimes after services. Now, our billing coordinator is able to bill out and have invoices sent out weekly, which the companies really enjoy because they know we have provided that service, and have given the results, and payment is very quick.
The other thing too is that the speed of our registration has improved because of the interface that we have with Epic, and they don’t have to double input the information. So our process improvement has increased a lot and we have been able to add on more clients, and still maintain keeping our wait time to less than 20 minutes, even on a busy day.
[Eddie] Okay. Anything else that you want to add on there Elisa before we kind of wrap up this webinar?
[Elisa] Having Eddie here face to face was very reassuring for a lot of our staff. We feel a very personal contact with Agility. We have a face that we can identify with Agility. As in any field, when he came out, we had instant fixes for a lot of problems and we learned what was our problem with the input and what was a glitch that may have occurred with how we set up the account on the first go live date. The first two days when we had go live was having everybody trained and feeling secure that they could do the work without panic and Eddie was very reassuring
As you know, with any electronic system, we do have occasional glitches that no one wants to take claim for. And we always just say, “Eddie must be fooling around with our system!” And then nobody has to take the blame. And we appreciate that because he is always there for us.
[Eddie] Thank you so much, Elisa. And thank you so much for joining the webinar. I know we are right at time. If you have questions, I know we have some questions already that have been posted, we will get back to you on those questions through an email. Someone from Net Health will. So if you have any questions, go ahead and post those now. But I do want to say thank you everyone for taking the time out of your day whether it’s lunch or breakfast depending where you are. I know for Elisa, it is breakfast in Hawaii. So again, thank you all for attending and we look forward to speaking with you or working with you in the future.