Case Study: Saint Anthony’s Physician Group (SAPG)

Multi-physician Group Practice Utilizes Services of Transcription Unlimited to Meet Rapid Growth

Saint Anthony’s Physician Group (SAPG)

Organization

Saint Anthony’s Physician Group (SAPG)

Solution Delivered

High quality, end-to-end transcription services

Key Metrics

  • Located in Alton, Illinois
  • Comprised of more than 20 physicians
  • Represents over 30 specialties

Benefits

  • Quicker transcription turnaround time
  • Increased physician satisfaction
  • Improved transcription accuracy

Alton, Illinois was not only the hometown of jazz musician Miles Davis, it was the birthplace of Robert Pershing Wadlow. Wadlow is the tallest person in history for whom there is irrefutable evidence, reaching 8 ft. 11.1 inches at his death at age 22. The antique popular city is also the location for Saint Anthony’s Physician Group (SAPG), a multi-physician group practice with more than 20 physicians representing over 30 specialties including gastroenterology, endocrinology and surgery.

SAPG, part of the Saint Anthony’s Health Care system, has tripled the number of primary care physicians and specialists it employs in the past three years. The hospital is in the process of implementing an electronic medical records (EMR) system and still utilizes paper charts.

CHALLENGE

SAPG was enlisting the services of several local transcriptionists, a process which became increasingly difficult with the rapid increase in the number of physicians and dictation. Specialists and other medical professionals dealing with SAPG needed its primary care physician office notes to better focus on clinical observations, vital signs and previous diagnostic tests to eliminate redundant tests and offer insight into items necessary for further testing and specialist care. Also, more insurance companies were requiring additional justification to authorize referrals to specialists and approvals for certain medications, medical aids and testing procedures.

“Reducing the amount of time from the dictation of the office visit notes to actually receiving the transcription was our utmost concern,” explained Wingerter. “With the increasing amount of physicians and dictation, managing which transcriptionist was handling which physician’s dictation and whether there were delivery delays or missed dictation from the physicians became an enormous challenge.”

In addition to wanting a transcription service that provided more reliability in the timeliness of receiving completed transcriptions, SAPG wanted one that provided a high level of accuracy because the information included in them is a historical record that is often also shared with other medical professionals who are testing, diagnosing and treating their patients. Accurate transcription is also important because medical terminology, especially prescription names, changes often.

SOLUTION

To address these issues, SAPG selected the services of Transcription Unlimited (TUI), which improves workflow and reduces costs for hospitals and physician practices by helping them create, store and share clinical documentation in an electronic format. In addition to the company’s proven, high quality, end-to-end transcription services, they offer complete document management, speech recognition and EMR optimization services.

RESULTS

TUI provides SAPG with next-business-day transcription, so the organization is able to realize more quickly if one of its physicians missed recording a dictation. This allows SAPG to request a physician to provide that missed dictation while the office visit is fresh in his or her mind. Also, by receiving the completed transcriptions with such a quick turnaround, patients for whom time is critical in identifying and treating their illness and who require referrals for surgery, specialists or diagnostic testing don’t have to wait more than a day to receive their physician notes.

“The TUI process is straightforward and requires very few steps by our physicians, so the transition from our old system to theirs was very easy,” remarked Wingerter. “We are always seeking to simplify things for our physicians so they can maximize their efforts with their patients. In addition to the other great improvements TUI has provided for us, it is most helpful if anyone has a question about a patient’s dictation I can communicate with TUI staff and receive a timely answer. This is very important because so often today we get automated, menu-driven systems and are not sure whether or not our message or question is being addressed by someone on the other end.”

Saint Anthony’s Health Care’s information technology department set up an FTP capability to allow TUI staff to access patient lists and provide the transcriptions more quickly. This keeps information confidential and has made transcription delivery more expeditious.

According to Wingerter, “The TUI staff was great in helping to make this all happen, and the process is tremendously improved. They are always helpful when we seek to make the managing process more efficient, and working with them has improved the complete dictation to transcription process. If someone has a question about whether a transcription has been received or asks when I think the transcription will arrive, I receive smiles and ‘thank you’s’ because I can give them an answer that makes their job easier. I have only heard positive remarks when staff and management speak of the current transcription process. I have great respect for the TUI team and cannot say enough good things about working with them. I would absolutely recommend TUI to anyone seeking transcription services – they are the best!”