Infusion Center focused on patient experience discovers the ultimate comfort of managing referrals with LeadingReach

“If you are a referral based medical business, LeadingReach is a critical tool for being able to keep a finger on the pulse of your business, and manage your patient flow while also having a stronger and stickier relationship with your referring providers.”

Charles Schadewald, CEO

  • 5 Locations
  • Serving Utah since 2010
  • Only IV Therapy exclusively using private suites
About Wasatch Infusion

Wasatch Infusion provides IV therapy for an array of medical conditions. They infuse specialty medications, antibiotics, and also provide wellness infusions. In addition to IV therapy, Wasatch Infusion also provides other infusion-related services like PICC line insertion, therapeutic phlebotomy, and IV line care.

Needles, not known as harbingers of comfort, are the common element of every “spa-like” treatment at Wasatch Infusion, a physician-based outpatient infusion center with five locations across Utah.

Because the mere thought of a needle makes many squeamish, Wasatch Infusion invests in every detail of the patient’s experience to maximize their comfort and elevate their experience to minimize anxiety and pain.

Private suites, luxury recliners, high-speed wifi, TVs with Netflix, free snacks and drinks—it’s all to help patients feel as much at home as possible.

“We want to treat them [our patients] like it’s Nordstrom, Starbucks or Disneyland. Go above
and beyond to ensure that patients have a phenomenal service experience at our facility.” Charlie Schadewald, Wasatch’s CEO, said. “With our one poke philosophy, we hire specialists, our clinicians, nurses and technicians are experts at IV therapy. We’ve kind of made needle phobia go away. Most of the time you don’t even feel it anymore. The products and tools we use are so efficient and effective for accessing the vein making it more comfortable for the patient.”

A fast growing provider, in one of the fastest growing verticals in healthcare, Wasatch Infusion discovered that while they had invested heavily in their in-person patient experience, they needed their pre-appointment and referral process to match their high standard.

“When you’re 100-percent referral based, having a tool like LeadingReach can really optimize and make us more efficient, which has been a big value for us,” Schadewald said. “When you are navigating a new space that doesn’t have software designed for it, you have to cobble together the best tools possible to keep your people efficient, keep your errors down to keep your efficiency high.”

The Challenge

Over the last 8 years Schadewald has guided his team through many growing pains, especially when it comes to managing the flurry of incoming referrals.

“We started with a giant whiteboard, a six foot by four foot marker board on the wall, and we would literally write them down as the faxes came in. Obviously we wouldn’t be able to manage the volume we have today in this way,” Schadewald said. “At one point one team member ordered really thin black tape and sat on the floor and created a giant spreadsheet on this board, and that’s how we would do it. When the fax came in we would write the patient, the drug, the date it came in, and have three separate columns for each step in their status.”

At some point the whiteboard became a digital, collaborative spreadsheet in Google Docs, but Wasatch still found the experience lacking.

“The biggest problem was just the lack of data, not being able to run a report,” Schadewald said. “There is no nice logic tree or software integration in something that lacks a database. You can’t see what is happening or not happening.”

“The biggest problem was just the lack of data, not being able to run a report.”

The Solution

Introduced by a LeadingReach referral from a local physician, Schadewald clicked away from his spreadsheet and knew he’d just been gifted more than just a new patient. Signed up and set up soon after, the team began to input their faxed referrals to test drive LeadingReach as a potential solution.

“It wasn’t until we took every order we were receiving from our traditional fax methods and started to managed with LeadingReach, that we really saw the value of putting everything in one dashboard and starting to track referring physicians and patient adherence, the data and reporting came to life from work we were already doing” Schadewald said.

Now Schadewald had instant access to live reports of how many referrals each location was receiving, and his team had an easier way to update patients statuses and get more patients scheduled.

“The first wow was seeing how our referring provider could send us an order without having to fax us in the traditional way and having instant communication and chat features. When we put that a patient had been scheduled or called, that they saw on their end immediately saw that we had grabbed their order and put it through a process. That was a wow moment,” Schadewald said.

Now instead of guessing what was keeping patients from coming in to receive the treatment they had been referred to, Wasatch uses customized workflow management features from LeadingReach to track every patient’s unique referral journey.

“We use tons of custom statuses and tags. We are really trying to capture our patient adherence—what are the specific reasons for patients not making it through,” Schadewald said. “We are getting down to the nitty-gritty and find the exact reasons why a patient never got in that chair.”

With guess work replaced with cold, hard and easy to digest data, Wasatch has scaled up their high-touch business to new locations across Utah.

“I pull it up weekly and just look at how many referrals are we getting. That’s one of the ways I keep my finger on the pulse of the business. Is it a busy week because we are getting a lot of faxes, or is it a slow week because we are not getting a lot put through,” Schadewald said.

“We are getting down to the nitty-gritty and find the exact reasons why a patient never got in that chair.”

The Results

Now with instant access to the lifeblood of his company, and complete transparency into each step of every referral’s journey, Schadewald is equipped to investigate with data where he can improve their business.

“At one point we believed that 40-percent of incoming referrals were going nowhere. Forty- percent of people diagnosed with something like Crohn’s disease were not making it into the infusion chair. We‘re trying to figure out why someone would go through the process of getting diagnosed with a complex disease state and then never come in for their infusion,” Schadewald said. “Everyone wants to know it, we do, the doctors, the manufacturer [of the drug], the payers want to know it, we are trying to figure it out and LeadingReach is a tool that can help us figure it out.”

Trusting LeadingReach to handle their entire patient pipeline, Wasatch is better equipped to improve their service for even more patients.

“We’ve got a referral. We called them, but they didn’t call us back. Why didn’t they call us back? Are they afraid of needles? Can they not afford it? Did they move out of state? Do they not believe their doctor? What is preventing the patient from going through the entire process that they badly need to maintain their health and why are they not making it in the chair,” Schadewald said. “LeadingReach helps us track all this patient adherence and at the same time helping us manage our physician relationships.”

With their process streamlined, their data tracked and Wasatch is now able to measure their all- important referral to appointment ratio, and use their detailed, customized statuses and tags to discover new ideas and experiments to improve it.

“We wouldn’t be able to track it without LeadingReach,” Schadewald said. “Being able to look at dashboard metrics or be able to run reports and being able to see incoming referrals and manage that process is super valuable and we couldn’t do it without LeadingReach. To be able to pull up and see the heartbeat of the company, that has been very nice for me. I love LeadingReach as a tool, it is now a mainstay for us. ”

And though LeadingReach transformed how they track their faxed referrals, for Wasatch Infusion the true transformation is converting providers to LeadingReach collaborators.

“When we have an electronic relationship with a provider through LeadingReach, it is 10 times better than the way we manage referrals that come in via fax. And that’s because of that back- and-forth messaging tool. It works really, really well. Our team loves it. The relationships we have in LR portal are really strong ones because we can communicate more effectively, get orders more efficiently and faster,” Schadewald said. “My team has all come to me and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I wish every single one of our referring providers was using LeadingReach,’ so that is going to be a big focus of this year.”

Having tailored LeadingReach to meet their specific needs, Wasatch Infusion has discovered a pre-appointment process that is comfortable for every party involved.

“If you are a referral based medical business, LeadingReach is a critical tool for being able to keep a finger on the pulse of your business, and manage your patient flow while also having a stronger and stickier relationship with your referring providers,” Schadewald said.

“Being able to look at dashboard metrics or be able to run reports and being able to see incoming referrals and manage that process is super valuable and we couldn’t do it without LeadingReach.”