Case Study: Triangle Orthopaedics Surgery Center

A case study of how Raleigh, North Carolina surgical center streamlined their provider credentialing to save time and money.

February 26, 2021

Problem

When Chris Washick, RN, CASC started as the administrator of Triangle Orthopaedics Surgery Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, the centerā€™s important documents were scattered between four different locations.

Triangle kept binders full of paper policies and other essential files. They also had multiple electronic copies housed on a local shared drive and a separate storage system for contracts through their management company. Staff education lived on a service called HealthStream.

Triangleā€™s 30 staff members and 75 credentialed providers perform between 2,300 and 2,500 outpatient surgery cases each year in the centerā€™s two operating rooms. The paperwork behind all of these procedures was difficult for administrators to maintain. Failure to do so put providersā€™ licenses at risk. Credentialing alone was time-consuming and expensive; Triangle would typically hire additional administrative staff or outsource to another company to manage the process.

Washick joined Triangle shortly before the centerā€™s latest AAAHC re-accreditation survey, and she found that several of Triangleā€™s time-sensitive documents were outdated. Washick found that while updated policies made it into the paper manual, the shared drive versions of those same policies often werenā€™t up to date. AAAHC standards require that all policies and procedures be reviewed and updated annually, but since Triangleā€™s policies lived in several different locations, it was hard to track which policies had been reviewed and approved by the board of directors and governing board. And though Triangle administrators did their best to distribute updated policies, there was also no way to prove that staff and providers had read the policies, or that theyā€™d seen the newest version. North Carolina requires health care facilities to maintain accreditation to be licensed in the state. This lack of paper
trail can put facilitiesā€™ accreditation and state licensure at risk.

As Washick and Triangleā€™s management team prepared for the AAAHC survey, they spent weeks going over the standards, updating policies and trying to organize paperwork. They determined there had to be a more efficient and proactive way to manage Triangleā€™s policies and give staff and providers access to the information and forms they needed.

ā€œLeadership and administrators [at ASCā€™s] wear so many different hatsā€”they do so many different things. PowerDMS is like a personal assistant. I would not even consider taking a position in another center if they didnā€™t agree to get PowerDMS. Itā€™s seriously life-changing from an administrator standpoint.ā€

Chris Washick, RN, CASC - ADMINISTRATOR, TRIANGLE ORTHOPAEDICS SURGERY CENTER, RALEIGH, NC

Solution

Triangle Orthopaedics now manages all its important documents in PowerDMS.

PowerDMS is single, unified repository for all of the centerā€™s contracts, business associatesā€™ agreements, policies, forms, credentialing documentation and preference cards. Triangle also plans to move their online staff training and courses for PowerDMS in the near future.

This centralized location makes it easier for Washick to keep all of Triangleā€™s documents up to date, cutting the time she spends on credentialing and policy updates. She can even set automatic renewal reminders on time-sensitive documents to ensure that critical documentation is reviewed and updated annually, or as needed.

PowerDMS ensures that every Triangle staff member and provider sees the correct and most current version of each policy. Instead of updating policies in two different locations, Washick and the rest of the management team, can quickly revise a policy in PowerDMS and send it to the board of directors for approval. Once approved, employees automatically receive an email notifying them to log into PowerDMS to review and electronically sign the newest version of the policy. They can collect a record of those signatures to prove that every employee read and acknowledged the documents. Since everything in the center is protocol-driven, this gives the management team peace of mind that the staff has the information they need to do their jobs well.

PowerDMSā€™s AAAHC assessment tool also makes the accreditation process much smoother, letting Washick and the Director of Nursing easily cross-walk Triangleā€™s policies and compliance documentation with AAAHC standards. PowerDMS also provides a complete audit trail for each document, which allows Washick to prove Triangle has met AAAHCā€™s requirement to review each policy annually.

ROI

Along with making the accreditation process much smoother, keeping all of Triangleā€™s important documents in PowerDMS saves Washick and the management team significant administrative time and energy.

Washick used to spend 10 or 12 hours each month managing the credentialing and recredentialing process for the centerā€™s 75 providers. With PowerDMS, it takes her approximately two hours per month. Prior to joining Triangle, Washick had to outsource credentialing at her last two centers. Because Triangle had PowerDMS, Washick didnā€™t need to look at outsourcing credentialing. The cost to credential a new provider totals roughly $450, while re-credentialing would cost between $150 and $200 per provider every-other year. PowerDMS eliminates the need to outsource, saving the center $11,250 every two years just on re-credentialing.

Problem

times-circle-solid Confusion caused by four different locations for critical content
times-circle-solid Time-consuming, expensive credentialing process
times-circle-solid High risk of non-compliance by having potentially outdated licenses and policies
times-circle-solid Lack of accountability for policy updates and staff sign-offs
times-circle-solid Inefficient AAAHC survey preparation process

Solution

check-2x One centralized location for document management
check-2x Easier process for credentialing
check-2x Review reminders for time-sensitive documents
check-2x Complete document history and electronic signature capture
check-2x Simplified AAAHC survey preparation

ROI

check-2x Ten administrative hours a month saved on managing provider credentialing
check-2x No need to outsource credentialing, saving the center $11,250
check-2x Ability to re-allocate funds for staff education

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