Delivering accountability for patients who need it the most.

“With LeadingReach we can track and relay information to and from providers so that all the pertinent details of that patient are available which saves time, ensures accountability and gets everyone on the same page.”

Letitia Echeverri, Practice Manager

  • 13 clinicians
  • Using LeadingReach since 2016
  • Services most NICU babies in Bexar County
About San Antonio Pediatric Developmental Services

The goal at San Antonio Pediatric Developmental Services Clinic is to provide guidance and support for parents and caregivers to create the most effective, individualized care plan designed to help a child reach his or her fullest potential in life. SAPDS is committed to the goal of providing care consistent with best clinical practices and supportive of each child’s medical home. They serve as advocates for children who either have or may be at risk of developmental delays, through education and collaboration with other members of the community.

The Challenge

San Antonio Pediatric Developmental Services works with a large percentage of NICU babies born in the greater San Antonio area. As one can imagine, having a young child with developmental challenges that often requires a very detailed care plan can be very daunting and stressful for everyone involved. Multiple appointments, care transitions, and the need to stay educated on what comes next can naturally lead to some important information being misinterpreted, lost or even worse, forgotten.

Compounding the problem with a smaller-sized staff that was still relying on paper charts and fax based referrals, San Antonio Pediatric Developmental Services was struggling to keep up with connecting all the vital communication for providers as well as their young patients caretakers. “Prior to using LeadingReach, we were receiving upwards of 200 referrals a day with a staff of only four in the front office and didn’t have a solid grasp on overall  process, workflow or even clearly defined job roles and responsibilities,” said Letitia Echeverri, Practice Manager for San Antonio Pediatric Developmental Services. “If staff members were out sick, on leave or busy with other duties in the office, it was often difficult for someone else to assess the status of a referral, leaving that valuable information to be quite literally lost in translation.”

Outbound referrals were also a major challenge to manage because the only confirmation of receipt was a fax transaction saying the referral was successfully “transmitted.” This proved to be frequently inaccurate and fueled confusion, as well as a lack of accountability between the receiving office, the referring office and the patient. Most times,,the receiving office would claim they never received the referral, or the patients themselves would come back for a follow up and say they never saw the provider they were intended to see – the true definition of the ‘“blame game” that is all too common in healthcare.

“The lack of accountability was producing double or triple the amount of work for our employees,” said Echeverri. “After submitting the referral, they’d  have to chase down the status or result from the receiving clinic and sometimes – ensure the patient got to the appointment in the first place let alone being seen in a timely manner.”

“Prior to using LeadingReach, we were receiving upwards of 200 referrals a day with a staff of only four in the front office and didn’t have a solid grasp on overall process, workflow or even clearly defined job roles and responsibilities”

The Solution

Following conversations with other providers in the area, SAPDS was introduced to LeadingReach as a potential solution to their challenges. After first engaging with LeadingReach, Echeverri and the team were impressed by the company’s hands-on approach.

“We didn’t really have a strong, structured  process for referrals, so as we began to implement LeadingReach the team there was very helpful with giving us a lot of suggestions on what may work for us.” Echeverri said. “After using certain status and tags that were suggested we started to customize them to meet our needs which gave us something that fit our workflow perfectly.

Once a proper workflow was established they were now able to stay on top of where they were in the process of scheduling a patient and more importantly they finally had a system of record to track all communication and care coordination between providers. The team quickly realized the best path to success was getting complete buy-in from their staff as well as referring offices to manage all their care coordination through LeadingReach. They started to require that all referrals be sent digitally and no longer by fax. Since every transition of care was now done in LeadingReach, SAPDS had more accountability than ever before allowing staff to pinpoint where a breakdown in communication happened and quickly rectify the situation to ensure no patient fell through the cracks.

The LeadingReach platform also helped the staff to communicate with the patient’s parents or guardians easier through text and email. They began utilizing the patient engagement features such as sending appointment reminders, pre-appointment forms, and educational materials which led to far fewer missed appointments and more informed visits. The patient’s care plan became much clearer with the information more readily available and easier to digest.

“After using certain status and tags that were suggested we started to customize them to meet our needs which gave us something that fit our workflow perfectly.”

The Results

As a result, SAPDS has created a connected network of close to 300 pediatrician, subspeciality, and ancillary service provider offices on LeadingReach with over 30,000 referrals and counting being managed and tracked within the Network. LeadingReach has allowed Letitia and the team to be more efficient in processing the volume of referrals they once struggled to handle. Defining a customized process means all of their steps in the care coordination process are clear and measurable. Referrals are no longer slipping through the cracks from not knowing who is working on scheduling an appointment. Staff productivity and morale is at an all time high, and there are now metrics in place to prevent any delays in getting patients the care they need.

Tightening up the process through which they send and receive referrals has introduced a new level of accountability for SAPDS staff, providers and even the patients ’parents or guardians. Communication between all parties has improved drastically which has led to better adherence to care plans and patient outcomes.

When asked what impact LeadingReach has had on their practice Echeverri said: “LeadingReach has drastically improved our ability to demand accountability from all parties involved in our young patients care to ensure they get the support and care they need to reach their fullest potential in life.”

“LeadingReach has drastically improved our ability to demand accountability from all parties involved in our young patients care to ensure they get the support and care they need to reach their fullest potential in life.”