'A glove that just fits' — Why GI Partners of Illinois pivoted to gMed® mid-EHR implementation

There was plenty on the line for Edward Jurkovic, DO, and Libertyville, Ill.-based GI Partners of Illinois, as they weighed their EHR options. After months of examining EHR solutions, leadership at GI Partners of Illinois planned to implement a network wide solution to standardize technology platforms across all of the locations in the organization. The group had opted for a general EHR and implemented it at four of its centers already, but just as Dr. Jurkovic's practice, Digestive Disease Consultants and a subsidiary of GI Partner of Illinois, was scheduled to go live, he called an audible at the 11th hour.

This content is sponsored by gMed, A Modernizing Medicine Company.

"We knew it was the wrong decision," Dr. Jurkovic said. His practice in Bourbonnais, Ill. had been operating on gGastro™ from gMed, a Modernizing Medicine® company, for several years before the practice joined GI Partners of Illinois. He knew it would be a better fit for the other practices that were also subsidiaries of GI Partners of Illinois.

gGastro was created for gastroenterologists specifically and the Endoscopy Report Writer, a documentation software, is designed to streamline the interfacing of clinical notes and images directly into the EHR to meet meaningful use requirements. gGastro features both server and cloud-based storage options and uses automation to computerize billing, collections and scheduling. The EHR is interoperable between locations, thereby increasing workflow efficiencies and data gathering for quality reporting.

Instead of implementing the general EHR, Dr. Jurkovic and his partners asked the other physicians to consider gGastro and its multiple features; the partners agreed it was a better fit for them.

It was a big risk, but in the end GI Partners of Illinois deviated from its original plan and charted a new course to implement gGastro at all locations after meeting with Dr. Jurkovic and gMed representatives.

"[gGastro had] the capabilities that were paramount to what we see on daily basis and they were built into the system," Dr. Jurkovic said. "The other system did not."

GI Partners of Illinois held monthly and occasionally weekly meetings with office staff, physicians, managers and billing departments to prepare for the switch. The group worked closely with gMed, and company representatives were onsite for the go-live date to ensure a smooth conversion.

Since then, the benefits have been immense. gGastro has several integrated templates tailored for common gastroenterology conditions which is unlike other EHR systems. "When the EHR you're using does not work for you, you're working for it," Dr. Jurkovic said.

The gGastro EHR was just the beginning. GI Partners of Illinois implemented gMed's full suite of products, including gInsights™, which allows practices to input clinical data and track quality measures. The group can now analyze data against a series of performance indicators to better position a practice for value-based initiatives. Dr. Jurkovic mentioned GI Partners of Illinois also utilized gAdvisor™, which connects practices to gMed certified advisors who look at a practice's outcomes and offer strategies for improvement. Dr. Jurkovic said the advisors analyzed what his practice was already doing, saw a sound value-based foundation and helped the practice elevate it to another level.

GI Partners of Illinois now uses the platform to benchmark itself against local, regional and national centers in near real time. The practice administrators can take a deeper dive into the data through a detailed digital report to gain insights on the practice's operations and revenue. gInsights also provides advanced analytical data pertaining to patient population management and clinical intelligence as well as billing and financial information with just a few clicks.

The technology is particularly effective for gastroenterologists working out of multiple locations. Digestive Disease Consultants comprises a gastroenterology practice site and a separate endoscopy center. Through the system's interoperability, patients seen at either location share one EHR that can be accessed from the practice, hospital or endoscopy center. "Anything I do at the office automatically flows into the endoscopy center and vice versa," Dr. Jurkovic said.

gGastro also has unique, HIPAA-compliant mobile capabilities through its suite of apps. Apple iOS and Android users will be able to download the app to allow a provider to search a patient's name, regardless of where they're seeing them and gain access to a lighter version of their chart — featuring components like medications, pharmacies and diagnoses. After seeing a patient or while in the midst of rounds, a physician can instantly add notes to the main record. Finally, the app automatically stores treated patients in an outbound area of the app. Once there, if a physician sees the patient another day, they can click the patient's name and the record easily appears. Physicians can also import their schedule from gGastro into the app for 24/7 access.

"What this does is cut down on potentially forgotten patients, or patients you didn't charge for because of the fact you didn't pick up a face sheet, or you left it in a car or you didn't check them off on a list. [With the app] You don't have to write things down or use face sheets. You don't have to remember if you saw this certain patient and what you saw them for. … It's a really nice tool that helps you," Dr. Jurkovic said.

gGastro has also significantly improved the practice's billing processes. Before switching to gGastro, Digestive Disease Consultants was using a billing company that Dr. Jurkovic explained, "occasionally made mistakes, creating cash flow and billing issues." Since gGastro took over, the group has seen a steady stream of cash flow coming in, and it has had an easier time filing claims.

"The charges are automatically created, and it's all streamlined so there is no hitch," Dr. Jurkovic noted.

On Aug. 28, the main implementation was a success. Dr. Jurkovic said, "Those that have converted have enjoyed the fact that first all their data is present in the chart when they see the patient at their endoscopy center, with no duplication of charts. And second once they get done and they finish the actual report, it gets faxed to the primary care doctor automatically and the charges are already created and go right to the billing department without them having to enter them anywhere."

The entire group has also benefited from improved efficiency. From the simplified billing process, to the automated follow-up reminders gGastro queues and issues on the appropriate date, the EHR has improved work life balance and workflow considerably, while ensuring no patient is left behind.

Those follow-up reminders shine because of gGastro's automation. After closing out post-consult notes, the system allows for advanced scheduling, and once that data approaches, gGastro automatically queues a series of reminders that after practice approval are sent out to patients.

Considering switching to gMed?
After realizing the many benefits of gMed's platforms, Dr. Jurkovic encourages any practice to connect with gMed and then talk with physicians or a practice that already uses it. "Go to their office if you can," Mr. Jurkovic said. "Maybe spend a couple hours with them doing either patient visits or doing endoscopy. See what the flow is like. See what the ease is."

For an example, look no further than Dr. Jurkovic's average day.

"I did 11 scopes today, I started at 7 a.m. I was done by 12:30 p.m. with my notes complete. By the time I got done with my scope, I washed my hands and went to the computer and completed my notes, I'm done within two minutes. I'll finish the note and send it to the primary care physician."

Any additional elements like stickers for pathology specimens or pathology requisitions were already printed, discharge instructions were automatically sent to the relevant parties as well. "Everything is there," Dr. Jurkovic said.

He has created a workflow that could be beneficial for other practices and when sitting in on demonstrations with his colleagues, he has taken over the reins to show what gMed can do.

"They know the system really well, and they know the system better than me, but I know a workflow and the way that saves time and is efficient. So I'm going to show you what I do and you can tweak it from there," Dr. Jurkovic said.

Gastroenterologists can benefit from gGastro, whether via improvements to billing and claims, through the system's emphasis on quality reporting or by upgrading from a less specialty-specific EHR system. Dr. Jurkovic wants his experience and the experience of GI Partners of Illinois to serve as a firstperson testimony on the benefits of the platform.

"The team at gMed looked at the flow of a gastroenterologist's office so they know, they customized the EHR and worked it around to make it more user friendly based on input from gastroenterologists," Dr. Jurkovic said. "It really is like a glove that fits."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Podcast