Controlling the chaos by implementing an automated and repeatable process easy for everyone to follow.

“Most organizations don’t have an endless supply of funds so you need to look for optimization through efficiencies driven by technology that automates some manual processes and LeadingReach gives us that.”

Anthony Sanchez, Director of Business Development and Informatics

  • Founded in 1980
  • 16 gastroenterologists
  • 11 locations
About San Antonio Gastro

San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates began more than 35 years ago when three physicians had the vision to transform gastrointestinal care and the patient experience. In 1980, the founding physicians of SAGA built the first freestanding endoscopy center in downtown San Antonio in hopes of delivering the highest quality digestive care to each and every patient.

Today, SAGA is renowned in San Antonio for excellent digestive health care with 16 industry-leading gastroenterologists, eight physician offices and three endoscopy centers spread throughout the metro area. SAGA continues to pave new roads while breaking barriers in both research and quality of care in the GI field.

The Challenge

San Antonio Gastro was growing rapidly and without a solid process in place the growth was both a gift and a curse. Problems quickly arose when having to manage so many paper based referrals at many different offices, often leading to duplication of work.

“At the core a patient or PCP would call one of our many locations and would ask if their faxed referral had been received and that referral could be sitting at one of 11 different offices. It was very difficult to track down these paper referrals that way.” Says Anthony Sanchez, Director of Business Development and Informatics. “Our answer was to have them refax it but that could lead to duplication where two different offices would look to schedule the same patient.”

Additionally morale was getting dangerously low amongst schedulers because there seemed to be an endless amount of paper based referrals to have to go through only for that to fill up the next day with a new stack. With no standard process in place each scheduler was maintaining their own follow up process leading to a lot of confusion on what stages referrals were at.

“We realized quickly that we were not capable of staying on top of things without a solid process in place that helped us become more efficient. I came to know about LeadingReach and we decided to give it a shot. From the start it allowed us to implement some major process changes which helped us stay on top of the referral volume and give my schedulers something easy to follow.” says Sanchez.

“We realized quickly that we were not capable of staying on top of things without a solid process in place that helped us become more efficient.”

The Solution

Once the team at SA Gastro got their hands on LeadingReach PPM Anthony and the team instantly saw a better way to accept their incoming referrals through connecting their providers on the LeadingReach Network.

“Building out your digital referral Network is the real power of LeadingReach” Says Sanchez. “We still have to log paper referrals in to LeadingReach on occasion but having the ability to invite our PCPs and have them send electronically have allowed us to physically remove several file cabinets full of paper records. LeadingReach was even willing to assist us with building out our network by educating and training our referring providers on why to join the network and how to use it to gain more insight on what’s happening with their referred patients. That was something immensely valuable to both us and the referring provider.”

Schedulers found many other important and time saving features of LeadingReach PPM: “We use the SMS messaging feature not for appointment reminders but for real time secure messaging to our patients. Patients can contact us and if it’s something time sensitive like a prescription question and we can’t call them back right away we’ll text them through LeadingReach. “ Says Sanchez.

The team also couldn’t believe the time saved by having referrals come through LeadingReach as a complete file they can add to their EMR in a snap: “When a referral comes through LeadingReach it also includes all the additional documentation like lab results in a pdf format which is invaluable because we can just attach that to our medical record in our EMR” Sanchez said. “Without that we’d have to send it our medical records department to scan it which adds unnecessary delays and creates additional work for our team.”

“Building out your digital referral Network is the real power of LeadingReach”

The Results

Bringing LeadingReach on board showed the team at SA Gastro how easy it was to implement repeatable process that everyone could follow.

“Being able to customize tags has allowed us to standardize a process across all our offices. We have our regular follow up tags for the beginning, middle and end of the process and I can track what the outcomes were with all the referred patients and report back to the sender those statuses. We also created ones to identify things like spanish speakers, insurance taken, and other preferences.” Says Sanchez.

Realizing the power of real-time data to help eliminate communication breakdowns was another huge plus for SA Gastro.

“LeadingReach’s executive dashboard provides me oversight on the overall health of the practice by examining how our users are following each step of the process and where there may be status bottlenecks” Sanchez said. “I also use the metrics within the product to help us address any issues that arise with patient referrals from a sending office. Having that data in real-time can solve a lot of our communication breakdowns between practices.”

Sanchez also pointed out “Most organizations don’t have an endless supply of funds so you need to look for optimization through efficiencies driven by technology that automates some manual processes and LeadingReach provides that and then some.”

“LeadingReach’s executive dashboard provides me oversight on the overall health of the practice by examining how our users are following each step of the process and where there may be status bottlenecks”