North Texas’ Largest Independent Cardiovascular Group Leverages LeadingReach’s Patient Pipeline Management Referral Solution to Optimize Referral-to-Appointment Conversion Rates

“The organization, innovation and ease of workflow that LeadingReach contributes to changing our culture has been exceptional.”

Holly Searcy, Director of Operations

  • 60 Providers
  • 30 Locations
  • Founded in 1967
About HeartPlace

Founded in 1967, HeartPlace is the largest independent cardiovascular group in North Texas. Comprised of 60 providers across 30 locations, HeartPlace has been an innovator in cardiovascular care delivery and on the cutting edge in cardiac advancements.

In the dynamic landscape of modern cardiovascular healthcare, clinics have embarked on a transformative journey to adopt efficient referral management processes with a shared goal of improving patient outcomes. This is especially true for HeartPlace, a leading 30-location, 60-provider cardiovascular specialty group with a sprawling footprint across North Texas. “Our goal is to take as much work out of the clinic that isn’t patient facing so that our physicians can focus on providing the best quality care,” says Holly Searcy, Director of Operations. 

Finding themselves squarely at the intersection of emerging technology, innovation, and providing high-quality patient care, HeartPlace prides themselves on being the largest independent cardiovascular group in North Texas. 

By redefining the process when patients are referred from local, value based PCP organizations to HeartPlace’s specialized cardiologists, its clinics and team members are focused on not only streamlining operations, but elevating quality of care.

With as many individual clinics that HeartPlace operates, having an effective, efficient and centralized referral management workflow is critical in ensuring patients are being scheduled—and retained. “Attrition rates remain a focal point of our operations,” according to Lauren Rogers, Project Manager, “as building and maintaining patient relationships are paramount to our success.” In the context of cardiovascular care and successful referral management, HeartPlace credits the importance of LeadingReach and the ability to cultivate strong relationships as a cornerstone element to embodying a collaborative approach to patient care. 

In the midst of a sweeping culture change, including its commitment to standardizing workflow processes and becoming more data-driven, HeartPlace knew the positive impact building a scalable referral management solution could do for all of its clinics. With their eyes set on instituting positive change, the team enlisted LeadingReach for referral management and healthcare analytics.

The Challenge

Even with 30 locations, HeartPlace only has two referral coordinators to manage all aspects of its referral management process. And when factoring in the multiple channels referrals come through on, including email and fax, it quickly became evident how the lack of standardized referral processes were impacting patient care.

“We’ve been doing referral management the same way for decades,” says Holly. “It’s really been difficult trying to implement change when the process hasn’t evolved or grown with the rest of the business.” 

Struggling with understanding where their patients are in their care journey, Lauren adds “[our process] has proven to be wildly inefficient because when it’s time to do our follow ups, there’s no mention of any calls that have already been made, nor is there visibility into any patient scheduling updates.” 

With a loss of valuable time and resources stemming from inefficient processes, HeartPlace understood their current workflow was impacting its mission of providing high-quality care for patients in need.

Another challenge for HeartPlace is centered around certain nuanced requirements of their providers, specifically in the context that not all ask for the same clinical documentation. Holly says, “what one physician at one clinic needs may not be what another physician at a different clinic needs.”

This lack of standardization and visibility was ultimately the catalyst for HeartPlace leveraging LeadingReach’s Patient Pipeline Management and LeadingReach Analytics solutions to help redefine its referral management workflows that could support all their locations.

“We’ve been doing referral management the same way for decades. It’s really been difficult trying to implement change when the process hasn’t evolved or grown with the rest of the business.” 

The Solution

Introduced to LeadingReach’s robust referral management and analytics tools, HeartPlace knew adopting these solutions would be instrumental in changing the culture for the better. Holly explains, “We knew the power of LeadingReach and LeadingReach Analytics…it was just a matter of time to get [everybody] on board.” 

Since injecting LeadingReach into the core of its operations, Holly credits the system’s ease-of-use, capabilities, and data as a competitive advantage. “The organization, innovation and ease of workflow that LeadingReach contributes to changing our culture has been exceptional.” 

With as large of a footprint that HeartPlace has in North Texas, having a system like LeadingReach in place has been a pivotal piece to the puzzle of success. “With LeadingReach and its robust tracking system, the referral process has become a lot smoother and more efficient,” Holly explains. “I’m now able to look at everything holistically, full circle, and from different places.”

LeadingReach’s native dashboards and reporting have also proved to be a game-changer, especially when paired with LeadingReach Analytics. “I love LeadingReach Analytics and the visualization of my referral sources,” Holly says. “It allows me to have quick tabs on what will help with executing our strategy of becoming more data-driven.” 

By leveraging data, HeartPlace has developed a more collaborative, unified organization where silos and fragmented processes don’t exist anymore. Through referral pattern analysis and using the Specialty Provider Scorecard from LeadingReach Analytics, this information not only helps make better, more informed business decisions, but similarly aids in resource allocation and proactive strategy.

“With LeadingReach, we’re able to see who the champions are,” Lauren explains. “We’re able to see what they’re doing correctly which helps us make data-backed, informed decisions.” 

Armed with measurable KPIs, LeadingReach has given HeartPlace the ability to update referral statuses, track referral sources, and most importantly, let sending providers know their patients have been scheduled—all while capturing more patients and revenue for the practice.

“Making the status known at each step of the referral process is vital,” said Holly. “Instead of guessing the first or second call outcomes, or being unable to reach a patient, or if we scheduled the patient and they were no-shows, now all of this information is visible to the referring provider. The hope is that this will alleviate some of the calls to the clinic because [historically], all they see is ‘referral received’. If I’m a referring provider, I don’t know anything that’s happened in the middle.”

Having a new line of sight to perfectly coordinated care is of utmost importance to HeartPlace. As Lauren said, “it’s relationship building more than anything; it’s transparency to our sending partners and letting them know we’re on it.”

“With LeadingReach, we’re able to see who the champions are. We’re able to see what they’re doing correctly which helps us make data-backed, informed decisions.” 

The Results

Equipped with data and standardized referral workflows, LeadingReach has enforced the power of communication and the positive impact of building long lasting relationships. 

For the providers who are doing their individual outreach, having a tangible asset to track performance (as evidenced by the Specialty Provider Scorecard) has given their sending providers critical insights that were unknown previously. As Holly hypothetically described, “if our patients are getting seen in a timely fashion and everything is tracked, why don’t we send more patients their way?”

In the context of referral management and referral analytics, prior to adopting LeadingReach, HeartPlace operated in a reactive manner. Where before, as Lauren said, “we got accustomed to putting out fires as opposed to addressing the whole situation.” Now, though, LeadingReach has allowed HeartPlace to become much more proactive, allowing them to “…ask the right questions by looking at the data, enabling us to further understand where challenges lie and how to address them accordingly”, Holly added.

Through their adoption of LeadingReach best practices, HeartPlace has quickly become excellent stewards of the LeadingReach Network. By using text messages more efficiently, standardizing their processes, and building a culture built around preserving data integrity, HeartPlace has seen tremendous success since implementing LeadingReach. 

What used to take an average of 67 hours to respond to a referral, HeartPlace cut this time down to just 16 hours, an incredible 130% decrease. Not only that, but the team has also reduced their Average Days to Scheduled and Average Days to Appointment metrics by 67% and 54% respectively, an incredible testament to the power of LeadingReach. Collectively, these have contributed to a strong Referral-to-Appointment ratio of 86%.

By implementing consistent and well-defined protocols for handling their referrals, HeartPlace has witnessed a surge in patient satisfaction and subsequently, a framework to boost revenue. When patients are met with clear communication, well-coordinated appointments, and an overall smooth transition, the thing most valuable to HeartPlace—high-quality care—LeadingReach has been its ally in creating positive change and contributing to a thriving referral network.

“Through LeadingReach, we’re able to ask the right questions by looking at the data, enabling us to further understand where challenges lie and how to address them accordingly.”