George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates: Stephen Badger, CEO

by HCE Exchange on January 20, 2011

The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates is a large academic multi-specialty group practice with more than 550 physicians. The group trains more than 400 residents and fellows and more than 700 medical students. The practice serves an average of 4600 outpatients every day. Unlike a hospital, The GW Medical Faculty Associates is a high-volume, low-margin environment, and efficiency and process are keys to success.

“Our values are hard work, tenacity and attention to detail,” said CEO Stephen Badger. “We try to do things right the first time. If we have problems or issues, we try to identify root cause and correct processes. “

Streamlining care by going paperless

Part of streamlining processes has come from a large investment in technology. The group has implemented an electronic health record in all settings except psychiatry and plastic surgery. So far, Badger says going paperless has yielded a significant return on investment not just in overhead costs for staff and paper records storage, but also in streamlined workflows and patient care.

“We have connectivity with our lab vendors, as well as with The George Washington University Hospital, so we get X-ray reports, labs and other data to integrate with the health record,” Badger said. “A physician now sees a complete list of allergies, medications, all labs and diagnostic data in one repository.”

“This has transformed our practice from being reactionary to proactive. For example, if there’s a drug recall, we send a notice to our physicians with patients under active medications so that the physicians can reach out to them, rather than patients hearing about it on the news.”

“When a lab comes in, we no longer have to have support staff pull the medical record, route it to the physician manually, and hope they file it correctly every time,” Badger said. “When you’re dealing with high volumes of paper, you run into problems. Technology allows you to manage it dramatically better.”

Another investment that has saved time and money on support costs has been a new palm scanner kiosk at check-in. This allows patients to update their own information and bypass lines at the registration desk.

“We’ve found that the quality of data is better when people take ownership of their own information,” Badger said. ”The quality of registration goes down when you have long lines.” This helps improve the quality of check-in and reduce staff needed at the desk.

Putting the savings to work

With revenue rising faster than overhead costs, The GW Medical Faculty Associates has been able to make improvements to patient care areas and expand its services. Those dollars are redeployed to grow and expand the practice; overhead has not grown nearly as dramatically. Badger said the practice has also been able to use the increased revenue to incentivize physicians and remain a competitive employer.

One recent investment in the facility has been the opening of a new infusion area in the Katzen Cancer Center which was built in space which used to hold the old records room. The infusion space was created with patient comfort at the forefront. Badger said the facility is a “spa-like” environment. When patients check in, there are two water features, music playing and televisions on the wall. The practice also provides laptops for patients receiving chemotherapy to browse the Internet or watch movies.

“The cancer center is a friendlier environment and more soothing than the old environment,” Badger said. “All the heated-chemotherapy chairs are designed for comfort and we have laptops with Wifi-access and a library of movie CDs we offer patients during their chemo visits We have really given the cancer program here a facelift.”

Looking forward

The GW Medical Faculty Associates is continuing to look forward at ways to best utilize technology in patient care and research. As an academic facility, the practice also has a strong focus on research, and Badger said that is one area where the technology is currently underutilized.

“We have all the ingredients in place, but still need champions to drive quality initiatives and clinical research,” Badger said. “I think this is an area of opportunity for us – to approach research in a more unified way across the organization.”

Badger champions electronic health records and technology as ways to improve patient care as well as a group’s bottom-line revenue. He notes that approaching change as a team has helped the implementation. “We have worked at getting everybody to see and understand our direction, embrace change – recognizing it’s going to be a significant investment and an asset,” he said. “All of our investments so far have yielded high returns.”

-by Patricia Chaney

The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates is a large academic multi-specialty group practice with more than 550 physicians. The group trains more than 400 residents and fellows and more than 700 medical students. The practice serves an average of 4600 outpatients every day. Unlike a hospital, The GW Medical Faculty Associates is a high-volume, low-margin environment, and efficiency and process are keys to success.

“Our values are hard work, tenacity and attention to detail,” said CEO Stephen Badger. “We try to do things right the first time. If we have problems or issues, we try to identify root cause and correct processes. “

Streamlining care by going paperless

Part of streamlining processes has come from a large investment in technology. The group has implemented an electronic health record in all settings except psychiatry and plastic[kkm1] surgery. So far, Badger says going paperless has yielded a significant return on investment not just in overhead costs for staff and paper records storage, but also in streamlined workflows and patient care.

“We have connectivity with our lab vendors, as well as with The George Washington University Hospital, so we get X-ray reports, labs and other data to integrate with the health record,” Badger said. “A physician now sees a complete list of allergies, medications, all labs and diagnostic data in one repository.”

“This has transformed our practice from being reactionary to proactive. For example, if there’s a drug recall, we send a notice to our physicians with patients under active medications so that the physicians can reach out to them, rather than patients hearing about it on the news.”

“When a lab comes in, we no longer have to have support staff pull the medical record, route it to the physician manually, and hope they file it correctly every time,” Badger said. “When you’re dealing with high volumes of paper, you run into problems. Technology allows you to manage it dramatically better.”

Another investment that has saved time and money on support costs has been a new palm scanner kiosk at check-in. This allows patients to update their own information and bypass lines at the registration desk.

“We’ve found that the quality of data is better when people take ownership of their own information,” Badger said. ”The quality of registration goes down when you have long lines.” This helps improve the quality of check-in and reduce staff needed at the desk.

Putting the savings to work

With revenue rising faster than overhead costs, The GW Medical Faculty Associates has been able to make improvements to patient care areas and expand its services. Those dollars are redeployed to grow and expand the practice; overhead has not grown nearly as dramatically. Badger said the practice has also been able to use the increased revenue to incentivize physicians and remain a competitive employer.

One recent investment in the facility has been the opening of a new infusion area in the Katzen Cancer Center which was built in space which used to hold the old records room. The infusion space was created with patient comfort at the forefront. Badger said the facility is a “spa-like” environment. When patients check in, there are two water features, music playing and televisions on the wall. The practice also provides laptops for patients receiving chemotherapy to browse the Internet or watch movies.

“The cancer center is a friendlier environment and more soothing than the old environment,” Badger said. “All the heated-chemotherapy chairs are designed for comfort and we have laptops with Wifi-access and a library of movie CDs we offer patients during their chemo visits We have really given the cancer program here a facelift.”

Looking forward

The GW Medical Faculty Associates is continuing to look forward at ways to best utilize technology in patient care and research. As an academic facility, the practice also has a strong focus on research, and Badger said that is one area where the technology is currently underutilized.

“We have all the ingredients in place, but still need champions to drive quality initiatives and clinical research,” Badger said. “I think this is an area of opportunity for us – to approach research in a more unified way across the organization.”

Badger champions electronic health records and technology as ways to improve patient care as well as a group’s bottom-line revenue. He notes that approaching change as a team has helped the implementation. “We have worked at getting everybody to see and understand our direction, embrace change – recognizing it’s going to be a significant investment and an asset,” he said. “All of our investments so far have yielded high returns.”


[kkm1]Cosmetic Surgery [they are different.]

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaime January 21, 2014 at 7:49 am

Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d
like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your
blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over
time.

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webadmin January 30, 2014 at 3:20 am

Hello Jaime,

Please feel free to send an email to editor@hcemag.com
Thanks for your comment.
regards

Pete

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