At Houston ENT & Allergy, CEO Chuck Leider is committed to using technology to improve the experience for both patients and staff. Using Luma integrated with their NextGen EHR, Chuck and his staff get more patients in the door, provide a white-glove experience, and automate manual tasks – all creating revenue savings of $1.2 million in filled appointments, $1.8 million annually in prevented no-shows, and $575,000 in scheduled referrals.
At a Luma community summit for NextGen EHR users, Chuck shared insights that help Houston ENT & Allergy create success for patients, staff, and the system. Here are 3 things he’s focused on:
Solving for Patients’ Pain Points and Feedback
The digital patient experience journey at Houston ENT & Allergy began, fittingly, with patients’ insights.
After years of manual phone calls to remind patients about their appointments, then an automated voice reminder system, Chuck and his colleagues wondered why no-shows weren’t going down. Revenue was majorly impacted by no-shows, and providers were frustrated that they weren’t seeing as many patients as they could be.
To get to the bottom of the issue, Houston ENT & Allergy interviewed 65 patients about their experiences.
“We thought our system was highly effective. But patients were telling us that the calls came through and they didn’t pick them up. Sometimes, they didn’t recognize the number – we have a number of clinics, and they often didn’t realize we were calling about their appointments. At other times, they couldn’t take a phone call because they were in a meeting, for example.”
Houston ENT and Allergy also has a large geriatric population that reported issues hearing the message in an automated call.
With patients’ feedback, Chuck and his team realized they needed a solution that would meet the specific needs their patients pointed out. After moving to text-first appointment reminders with Luma, Chuck calculated that a 9% reduction in no-show rates saves Houston ENT & Allergy $1.8 million in annual revenue.
“Looking at the reasons our patients are having trouble getting to us, and making things simpler for them, has created huge value for our patients. Hearing from them directly has paid off,” said Chuck
Streamlining the Solutions Staff Need to Learn and Maintain
As Houston ENT & Allergy has grown, their tech stack has, too. Now, Chuck is focused on eliminating redundant systems to make staff’s days simpler.
“With several different platforms, it gets very hard to train people. They’re having to master the EHR and multiple other technologies, and it’s challenging,” Chuck said. “Especially if the staff are patient-facing, navigating these systems can interfere with the white-glove experience we want to provide.”
Looking for ways to pare down systems where possible – especially when the system performs a single function – has made Houston ENT & Allergy’s day-to-day operations more efficient, and helps avoid training and re-training on many different systems.
Eliminating unnecessary technology has the additional benefit of saving money, Chuck pointed out.
“We chose to layer in Luma to request feedback after appointments, instead of using a separate system. And just getting rid of that additional system saves us $2,500 a month. With budget constraints, containing those costs makes a difference.”
Automating a Great Experience and Removing Manual Tasks
Like other healthcare organizations, Houston ENT & Allergy is struggling with staff shortages but committed to providing a great experience that keeps patients coming back. According to Chuck, self-scheduling and customizing automated reminders are key to this balance.
“It is harder for us to compete for limited staff, so we look at technology to take on manual tasks,” he said.
Instead of staff “constantly monitoring the phones or on the computer personalizing each message,” reminders integrated with NextGen are automatically personalized based on each patient’s personal information, provider, appointment, and more. From scheduling referrals alone, Houston ENT & Allergy has gained $575,000 in scheduled referrals.
An automated waitlist has provided some of the biggest value to Houston ENT & Allergy. Now, instead of staff answering calls from patients who need to cancel, then reaching out manually to patients who might be able to take the appointment slot, both the cancellations and the waitlist offers are automated.
“We’ve saved over 1.2 million because of Luma’s Smart Waitlist,” Chuck said.
Finally, Chuck encourages other organizations to offer self-scheduling online. It helps reduce phone calls and follow-up, but even more importantly gives patients better access to Houston ENT & Allergy.
“We get great feedback from patients that come in and say how easy it was to get in with self-scheduling. Maybe their kid had an earache in the night, and they can find us online and book an appointment for nine o’clock the next day,” he said.
“Our website is open 24/7. Over the holidays, I saw so many patients booking appointments.”
Interested in using Luma + NextGen to see value like Houston ENT & Allergy? Contact us to learn more.