Our team recently sat down with VERG, a Brooklyn-based 24-hour emergency and specialty center with 164 staff, including 63 doctors. Brett Levitzke, chief medical officer, and Michael Levitzke, practice manager, shared how they switched to Instinct for more intuitive reporting and cloud-based management, saving hours and recouping missed charges to the amount of nearly 14% of added revenue per month.
The following article was created from the transcript of our interview with Brett and Michael. Any asides from the Instinct team are identified with italics. Unless otherwise specified, Brett is the primary speaker.
Before Instinct: Impossible Reporting and Cumbersome Medical Records
None of our previous PIMS were cloud-based, reporting was not simple or intuitive from the business side, and our whiteboard was a major hassle. If we wanted to make any changes, it was difficult to visualize the workflow for any given patient. Not to mention, there was no charge capture.
We started looking into Instinct after a couple doctors from AMC—where they had been using Instinct—joined the VERG team and mentioned being very pleased with the whiteboard experience and its seamless integration in Instinct.
Setting Goals for the Switch to Instinct
Switching to new practice management software can be a complex process, so it’s crucial to set specific goals to help measure whether the change has been a success. Brett and the VERG team had very clear expectations.
I’m wearing two hats. One as an ER doctor and the other as the chief medical officer from an ER perspective. Between those, I wanted three things from this switch:
#1 A way for our practice management software and the whiteboard to communicate more seamlessly.
#2 For our medical records to be less time consuming, especially for some of the areas that can be repetitive.
For instance, the snippets in Instinct really are life-changing because you can tailor them to whatever information you want. So I see 100 vomiting, diarrhea dogs a week. I can make a little snippet or a template right in Instinct and just populate that information in easily.
#3 We wanted to easily generate trustworthy business data that helps us make decisions. From a practice management side, I can't stress enough how counterintuitive our old reports were.
Calibrating with Instinct EMR
When it came time to transition the team to Instinct, Brett was primed for a different response than the one he actually received from his team. He told us the VERG staff was able to see the value of Instinct in the first few days—not even weeks, just the first few days.
Years ago when we were transitioning between legacy PIMs, I always joked that I was walking around the hospital for those first two or three months with my head on a swivel, thinking someone was going to jump me because the transition was so miserable.
But with Instinct, people were actually excited about the change, which only grew once they actually worked with Instinct.
We had minimal downtime during the transition from our old PIMS. Training and implementation was fantastic across our hospital departments, and learning curves were quite short. In the week that Instinct trained us, we had enough knowledge to just get everyone going.
With our old PIMs, people just got used to doing everything in such a roundabout way. Switching to a more modern system takes some getting used to, but once our staff did, it was a light bulb over their heads and then they said, ‘Ah, this is how it should be.’ At the end of the day, our staff has seen Instinct as a huge net positive for the hospital.
Radically Enhancing Productivity and Efficiency Without Increased Time Commitment
Our emergency doctors have seen more cases per shift after transitioning to Instinct. Features like snippets or the ease of generating templates—whether it's their own initial SOAP note template that they pre-populate to having pre-populated discharges in there—makes a huge difference.
Each ER doctor has this enhanced efficiency, and when we multiply it by our entire ER team, you get a whole organization that can clear cases so much faster. The same goes for surgery. When they're writing their surgery reports, they pre-populate, and then they can just tailor the surgery report for that particular patient.
In the same amount of time, our whole staff can do more and better work.
We’ve estimated that our staff is saving about 138 hours per month with Instinct, based on our workflows shaving 10 minutes off each inpatient visit! This is allowing our whole staff to do more and better work.
Solving Software and Workflow Questions Quickly
With our prior PIMS, when we ran into problems, we would have to get our third party IT involved in a time-consuming back and forth that interrupted our workflows.
With Instinct, we can get any questions solved in five minutes with the quick turnaround time on the chat feature. Whether it's in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning or mid-afternoon, it's the same level of quick response.
This is game-changing support, on a platform with minimal downtime. I thank Instinct for making me look like the hero all the time when in reality, it’s much of your team having our backs.
Advancing by Light Years in Medical Safety and Financial Health
Medically, we feel safer than ever.
Since Instinct came on, we have a simple rule: No verbal orders. If something isn’t on a treatment sheet, it’s not getting charged, therefore it must be logged. If I want an injection of UNASYN given, it has to be on Instinct. Therefore, it eliminates medical errors because the dosing will be 30 or 300 milligrams. On treatment sheets, if our team inserts a number outside the acceptable range, Instinct flags it.
For technicians, it’s such a simplified process where they complete the treatment and then it's seamlessly on the invoice. This platform has taken us light years from where we were before.
Financially, we’ve seen a variety of positive impacts like improved charge capture, minimized medical errors, and reduced time for financial services to capture charges.
Before implementing Instinct, our financial services team faced significant challenges in delving into medical records to capture charges. However, Instinct REALLY makes sure that every single charge is identified and put on the invoice.
Since implementing Instinct in our practice, we've observed a consistent improvement in charge capture for both outpatient treatments and recurring inpatient charges, averaging an increase of 10-14% monthly.
Looking Ahead: Continued Growth with Instinct
We know that Instinct is growing tremendously from your updates, and we’re especially excited for what’s to come in reporting and integrations.
We’ll be creating some cross-hospital reporting with analytics comparisons in the coming months, and looking forward to having our PAC, controlled drugs, and entire labs be seamless from here.
It’s been really exciting to use Instinct to access different ways of looking at the practice and assess where we are healthy, and which areas could be improved upon.
A huge thanks to the VERG team for taking the time to share their experiences with Instinct. We hope their insights help you take the next step toward a better software solution for your team!
And of course, if you’re curious whether Instinct Treatment Plan or our complete EMR platform would be that better solution for you and your team, reach out and request a demo.