Raghu Reddy, MBA, says his peers do not realize how much time and money they are wasting sticking to paper processes. He calls it a missed opportunity.
Reddy is the Chief Administrative Officer at SurgCenter of Western Maryland, where he is responsible for the overall strategic direction and operational management of the multi-specialty Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC).
As the only surgery center in all of Allegheny County, they stay fairly busy with 4,000 cases per year and plans for growth.
Below Reddy offers insight into his strategies for growth and the importance of healthcare technology.
Q&A on ASC Technology With Raghu Reddy
What are you focused on as an ASC leader?
Keeping our patients safe, keeping surgeons happy, and growing the surgery center.
I’m very driven every day to engage the hospital surgeons in how we can grow and what new specialties we can bring in, but I’m a pretty hands-on guy putting out a lot of fires or fixing equipment regularly.
When did you first realize the impact of healthcare technology?
One year, all employee training was recorded on paper in a physical binder. A compliance inspector came by, and the binder was nowhere to be found, leaving us with no proof that training was done all year.
The first time I heard about MedTrainer, I asked to see it, and not long after that, we started using it.
People do not realize how much time and money they’re wasting by sticking to paper. It’s not just compliance technology; it is all ASC healthcare technology from electronic health record (EHR) systems to advancing medical equipment technology.
In order for ASCs to remain competitive and viable in the future, we must adopt and retain technology.
What are the benefits you’re seeing with technology?
I couldn’t emphasize enough the amount of cost savings and efficiencies we have created by implementing ASC healthcare technology.
Staff now have time to focus on high-value projects, overall employee satisfaction is increasing with our use of automation, we are eliminating human errors, and increasing the overall speed of transactions that occur.
I’ll use mandatory compliance training as an example. When we delegate training to a doctor, they’re extremely notorious for not doing it. They’ll say they’ve done it, but they’ve only done one out of four courses. With MedTrainer, it’s very easy to do, and I would say it saves at least an hour a week for the clinic manager who is constantly following up to ensure compliance.
The ultimate bottom line is that technology will cut costs and allow facilities to provide better care.
How have your staff adapted to the new technology?
I’m blessed with very good staff members. We are an awesome team, a lot of them are very driven and very passionate about what they do, and they see the value in using technology.
My clinic manager absolutely loves MedTrainer because it streamlines all the education for the staff, providers, and vendors.
I really think the industry is behind in adopting and implementing ASC healthcare technology because of the risk of moving to a new software. But especially in the ASC world, the more technology you use, the more time you save, and time is money.
The emphasis on technology should always be at the same level as a typical policy in your company because there is a quantification in terms of time saved and efficiencies that translate into money.
You said you’re focused on keeping patients safe, surgeons happy, and growing the business. How has healthcare technology helped you do that?
We are very focused on patient satisfaction and that means our staff is compliant and ready for re-accreditation. Training audits with MedTrainer are one click. You generate the report, take a glance, and in two seconds, you know who has completed each course (see the process). Before that, the clinic director had to go through every paper for every course and enter it into spreadsheets. It was a lot more laborious.
My providers and staff – they want to be efficient and go home on time and they can do that knowing they can sit and complete training or charts from home.
I’m always looking at new specialties and we are planning to add up to 500 procedures in the coming year. Efficiencies and cost savings from ASC healthcare technology are what can help make this happen.