A chance meeting at a pediatrics conference 10 years ago resulted in a long-term business relationship between Denville Pediatrics and PCC that includes but also exceeds the company’s electronic health records (EHR) platform. The young partner of the practice remembers the meeting well.
“I met Chip Hart at a pediatric conference where he was giving a presentation on ‘poorly run practices,’ Dr. Krekamey Craig said, “And he was highlighting many of the things that we were doing in our practice. After his presentation, I approached him and said, ‘Hey, were you talking about us?’
“Since he had never met me, he said, ‘Who are you?’ After we chatted a little about my practice he said, ‘Yes, I was talking about you! We need to work with you!’
“He sat with me for an hour during the conference and showed me how the PCC platform might correct the issues of our practice.
“Initially, I was somewhat overwhelmed because there was so much that was wrong with our approach – from our coding to our collections to even our preventive care focus. Over time, with PCC’s help, I began correcting the obvious problems. I also started attending the PCC conferences and networking with their clients and PCC staff. For many months, I methodically went about the business of improving our practice. With the help of the EHR, we transformed our practice into a smoothly running, process-oriented business.”
A Real Success Story
The success of Denville Pediatrics, a practice with 5 physicians and support staff and located in suburban New Jersey, has been nothing short of remarkable. Led by Dr. Craig, who is now the managing partner, the practice has become a very successful enterprise. She attributes much of this success to the relationship with PCC.
“PCC’s EHR platform affects every aspect of our practice,” she said. “It impacts how we interact with the patients at the front, as they enter as well as well as how they go through triage, see the doctor, and finally as they continue to billing and check-out.”
“The software has enabled us to streamline our medical and business practices, but some of the most valuable services we’ve gotten from PCC have been in the area of ‘best practices.’ Due to its national client base, its customer service specialists and consultants bring a wealth of knowledge about the pediatric industry. We tapped into that experience when I was considering a change in our physician compensation.”
Dr. Krekamey Craig
Developing a Compensation Model That Leads to Physician Satisfaction
As is the case with most physicians, Dr. Craig entered the medical profession because she loved helping patients get well and stay healthy. She had little training in human resource management. However, as the managing partner, she supervised this function and just as she had done with the EHR, she set about doing research on what factors led to a better quality of life for her physician employees.
“I attended several lectures on physician job satisfaction, including a few from PCC, and learned that how many practices successfully incorporate some form of ‘pay-for-performance’ in their compensation plans,” Dr. Craig said. “The experts stressed that there was no particular performance compensation model that was superior to others but some form of recognition is important to doctors.
“Since PCC had helped us get our business running efficiently, I decided to call on Chip to help me come up with an equitable compensation model that would create greater job satisfaction.
“We had a partner retire, which freed up some capital and I decided to use this money for pay-for-performance incentives.
“With Chip’s help, I realized that these doctors were saving me money because they were committed to working more hours. There were many considerations including the length of time they had worked for us, their overall experience, and other factors like whether they were full or part-time.
“We decided to ignore their length of time in practice and time with us for their bonus. The doctor’s base salary reflected these factors. I wanted to develop a model that rewarded productivity while balancing against the actual clinical time scheduled in the practice. My objective was to incentivize the doctors to work full-time rather than part-time.
“With PCC’s help, we developed a system that meets the needs of my practice – both fair and generous to our physicians while keeping the practice healthy overall. How many EHR vendors combine pediatric-focused HR consulting with software expertise?
“These employees are working hard and they deserve extra compensation. PCC helped me tailor a model that helps them stay excited about coming to work every day as well as incorporating my priority of encouraging doctors to work full-time.”
What Part an EHR Plays in the Quality of Life for Pediatricians
Dr. Craig’s focus on her employees’ quality of life extends to the tools they use in the practice.
“There was a time when we were considering a buy-out from a large hospital chain,” she said. “And one of the big carve-outs we insisted on was that we had to keep working with PCC because of their pediatric-focused platform. It was a big sticking point. The hospital chain said that they had never met anyone so attached to their EHR as we were!
“We had good reasons to insist on this. We had watched other pediatricians who were employees of large hospitals become very unhappy in their job because of the poor quality EHRs. Most of these general medicine EHRs are not user-friendly and they are not designed to allow doctors to communicate the clinical information in an efficient way.
“In many cases, pediatricians with poorly designed EHRs have to add another two hours to their day (after seeing 30 patients!), just to get their notes into the system. After a while, this wears them down mentally and physically and it cuts into the doctor’s personal life. Because of its intuitive design, the PCC platform really enhances the quality of life of our physicians.
“PCC is known for its excellent EHR and customer support and this enables our practice to run like a successful business. However, that customer support extends beyond the software. Their consulting services which are based on pediatric experience and a national customer base, from which they can draw best practices, is an extremely valuable resource!”