5 clinic locations
Opened in 1983
100 staff members
10 management staff
200 patients per day per clinic
First Med Urgent Care is a one-state, privately-owned urgent care servicing patients in the metro Oklahoma City area. Serving patient demographics from pediatrics to adults, First Med has walk-in, after-hours care for those needing immediate injury or illness treatment. Scheduled occupational medicine visits and workers’ compensation services for employers are also available.
First Med has five clinic locations in the Oklahoma City suburbs and serves 200 patients per day across all locations.
First Med Urgent Care wanted to improve billing practices, but suffered from an inadequate PM, along with limited reporting options. Their move to DocuTAP—furthered by a creative training incentive program—has resulted in coding improvements, capturing of missed charges, and viewing of real-time financial and operational data for management.
After being on their former software for several years, First Med knew the system deficiencies in billing reporting and visibility were hurting revenue—and overall clinic performance. Time-consuming workarounds were happening for workers’ comp and occupational medicine visits, since the software was not urgent care specific.
In addition, First Med was frustrated with “awful and non-existent” technical support, citing responses to support issues on their former software occurring four months after submission. All these disappointing factors spurred First Med to look for a better software option for their clinics.
After reviewing several software options, First Med chose to convert to DocuTAP. The top reasons for their choice included a robust Practice Manager, smooth EMR integration, urgent care-specific workflow, and most of all—vastly improved reporting tools to track revenue needs.
“DocuTAP was a better fit for us. [DocuTAP] had a stronger PM and Analytics tool, and was more along what we were looking for,” says Brandon Penick, Chief Operating Officer at First Med. In addition, the staff’s interactions with DocuTAP’s sales team convinced them of the friendliness of the company versus the other EMR vendor options.
“I know for a fact we were missing charges before. Providers are documenting better, and reaching the correct E/M office
— Brandon Penick, Chief Operating Officer
After a vastly successful implementation experience, First Med is already seeing results from a billing perspective. “I know for a fact we were missing charges before. Providers are documenting better, and reaching the correct E/M office visit code,” explains Penick. First Med is now enjoying faster days to bill, cleaner claims, better coded claims—along with a user-friendly, urgent care-specific EMR and PM for clinical staff.
First Med launched five clinics over a five week period, in a phased approach of one clinic going live on DocuTAP per week. Before this, First Med worked hard to ensure a successful go-live by creating a unique training incentive program. “I knew we’d have trouble with staff doing training, and I wanted staff to have hands-on knowledge by go-live,” said Todd Kee, Director of Clinical Operations.
First Med encouraged training with an incentive program that included the following tasks and corresponding rewards:
First Med knew training would take time, so it furthered learning by offering the following options:
First Med was supported by DocuTAP in their training efforts during implementation in the following ways:
Penick has been through four or five EMR conversions in his career, and says First Med’s conversion to DocuTAP “is the best conversion” he has seen in his tenure—with the fewest number of errors. Todd Kee, Director of Clinical Operations, adds that 50% of providers were comfortable on the system in the first two weeks, with the majority running at full speed after the second month.
Here are a few areas where First Med has seen improvements since the implementation of DocuTAP:
“We can pull end of the month stats that the accountants need in the format they need. It’s much simpler. It’s great. It takes no time, after you have it set up, you can email it or just refresh it. DocuTAP Analytics is very powerful,” adds Penick. Reports that took days or hours to pull before, now take minutes to generate.
“DocuTAP Analytics is very powerful.”
— Brandon Penick, Chief Operating Officer
The Enterprise Dashboard lets management see a snapshot of time with patient visit numbers and wait times by location. Penick adds that the Coding Made Easy (CME) tool takes a lot of work off the billing team—and automates time-consuming manual tasks like selecting modifiers and tying diagnosis pointers to procedures. The CME makes claims processing “a million times” better, reducing tasks that took days before down to hours, notes Penick.
Penick states that First Med’s average days to bill is now around four days, and in reality is one to two days—if occ med visits weren’t considered. First Med is also taking advantage of in-limbo reporting tools within DocuTAP that help scrub claims cleaner than before. Happily, First Med’s E/M codes are now more in-line with industry standards and more charges are being captured for services that were previously lost. Penick says claims are more accurate due to the completeness of documentation required using DocuTAP’s EMR.
“There are tons of ways to make [DocuTAP] your own, make it what you want it to be. It’s easy to use for clinics, and I would recommend it.”
— Todd Kee, Director of Clinical Operations
Real-time insurance verification within the PM “is pretty slick” continues Penick. He noted it was hard on their previous system to double check patient insurance, if the patient had already left the office. This step now takes seconds for the front-desk to complete and has “helped tremendously.”
First Med has also noticed that using an urgent care-specific EMR is improving their workflow and making documentation more efficient. Penick touts that customizable occ med and workers’ comp protocols in DocuTAP software are “light years more efficient” than on First Med’s previous system. Explaining the low dollar amounts for these type of visits, Penick says the higher efficiency in documentation now makes these visit types more affordable to perform.
While First Med is still in the early months of using DocuTAP, even with training on the new system, Penick reports door-to-door times holding steady at 45 minutes per visit.
He expects those numbers to improve, as does Kee, who says that after providers have created their individual templates, it’s smooth sailing. Kee also appreciates the customization ability of DocuTAP, saying it’s his favorite feature of the software. “There are tons of ways to make [DocuTAP] your own, make it what you want it to be. It’s easy to use for clinics, and I would recommend it,” furthers Kee. Significant time has also been cut with both ePrescibing and online check-in, now taking seconds and clicks—rather than minutes—per visit.
Because of First Med’s training incentive program, the clinical staff are already adopting software more quickly. A proactive, forward-thinking DocuTAP client, First Med notes that training has equaled not only better implementation—but higher staff satisfaction and clinic workflow performance.
Kee notes that 95% of his providers that have taken the initiative to set up templates are enjoying faster charting. “Once they learn the new screens and get into their routine of questions, they are comfortable,” Kee adds. Another plus for both Kee and Penick is the attentiveness of technical support. Support has been good and are very responsive, both men echo.