I sat down with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Casillas to discuss how he uses Mobius Clinic at his medical practice in San Antonio. This is the final of three posts that tell the story of how a suite of software applications helped one physician make their practice more successful, efficient and fulfilling.
“You can’t put a dollar sign on everything,” Dr. Casillas tells me. That’s the simple take-away behind the success of a popular orthopedic surgery practice in San Antonio, Texas. When we talk about efficiency in healthcare, Dr. Casillas is thinking about more than the number of patients he sees in an hour.
Healthcare is increasingly competitive and this tough environment puts pressure on providers to increase volume and spend less time with each patient. But as Dr. Casillas says, “Mobius Clinic is a solution that allows me to spend more time with patients and to really defy the economic laws that are pulling me away from the patient.”
Mobius Clinic is an mHealth software suite that allows clinical providers to be more efficient with documentation, task management and patient care. For example, Mobius’ automated vitals collection saves one pediatrician 400 minutes each week while eliminating transcription errors.
But Mobius also creates value that isn’t as easy to quantify. Efficient task management helps staff feel organized and accomplished. Better documentation speeds reimbursements. Patients see that their doctor has embraced technology to their benefit. These are the hard-to-measure values of using Mobius Clinic.
1. Higher rates of reimbursement
“As I look for ways to make my business more profitable,” Dr. Casillas explains, “it’s important to consider how often we get reimbursed for the actual patient visit. Mobius allows me to have better documentation and higher rates of reimbursement.”
For a small independent surgery practice, there’s no easy metric to quantify this value. But Dr. Casillas can tell that recording patient data in the EMR neatly and in a way that’s easily retrieved increases how often insurance companies authorize the procedures he orders.
Take the example of images stored in the EMR using Mobius Capture, which Dr. Casillas regularly uses to enhance clinical documentation. “If someone has a crooked leg in a picture, it’s pretty obvious that they’re going to need it straightened,” Dr. Casillas explains. “If I’m working for an insurance company authorizing procedures, I’m going to approve that. An image speaks a thousand words.”
Improving reimbursement rates isn’t just important for a provider’s bottom line, it also frees up employee time wasted on back-and-forth exchanges with insurance companies. “If we’re getting better authorizations for procedures I’m going to be reimbursed for, that reduces the amount of time my employees are doing things that are only about getting authorizations.” As Dr. Casillas sees it, this benefits his patients, staff and insurance companies. “My staff can spend more time answering the phone, bringing in new patients, and providing service in other ways that are more tangible and important to the patients.”
2. Instilling an esprit de corps in the medical team
Dr. Casillas’ team loves Mobius Clinic, especially for its ability to manage tasks by coordinating a practice-wide to-do list for each patient. “All my employees have a common need to feel like they’ve accomplished something,” Dr. Casillas explains. “When they can go and check something off a task list, they feel like things are organized and getting done.”
But a simple to-do list does a lot more than just get things done. As Dr. Casillas sees it, “Mobius Clinic creates a sense of fairness because we can easily track who’s doing what. No one wants to the the person who’s pulling all the weight or not doing enough, and everyone knows what tasks need to be done. So we can accomplish things with a sense of teamwork and esprit de corps. This is part of the social fabric of a Mobius Clinic.”
The “esprit de corps” Dr. Casillas has built among his staff leads to less drama and more employee satisfaction, which in turn create measurable value. “Team culture is important for the bottom line of any business because it reduces turnover and absenteeism, and employees have a bigger smile on their face,” Dr. Casillas explains. “Again, you can’t put a dollar sign on it, but that’s part of this culture change when you introduce this powerful software package into a practice.”
“Team culture is important for the bottom line of any business because it reduces turnover and absenteeism, and employees have a bigger smile on their face.”
3. Building patient trust
Smartphones powered by Mobius Clinic are valuable clinical tools at Dr. Casillas’ practice. Imagine watching your physician dictate medical notes in real time or explain your injury by pulling up a scan of your X-ray film on their iPad. Consider a doctor who sends follow-up medical literature to your email while you’re still in the exam room.
“We produce a lot of value by conveying to patients that this is a practice that has embraced technology to their benefit,” Dr. Casillas explains. “They can tell we are maximizing their time, respecting their privacy and that we care about what they say. Those things are hard to quantify.”
Mobius Clinic isn’t about wowing patients with gimmicky tech solutions. For Dr. Casillas, it’s a display of the values that drive his ambition to create a successful and respected practice – one that people travel to from all over South Texas.
“Innovative excellent care,” Dr. Casillas says referring to his slogan, “I take that to heart.” As he tells the story of growing his popular orthopedic surgery practice, it’s clear that Mobius Clinic has played an important role. “We operate an innovative and excellent practice and we provide great care and that is part of how I market myself,” Dr. Casillas explains. “Mobius is the first thing I think of when I think of innovation.”
Want to know more about how physicians use Mobius Clinic in practice? Check out our previous posts – Building and efficient medical practice with Mobius Clinic and Mobius Capture: The value of clinical documentation with images.