Lutheran Services for the Aging (LSA) operates five nursing homes, two retirement communities and one adult day care center in North Carolina. LSA has always outsourced their IT support desk services. Several years ago, the organization started working with a small, local company, but felt they were just “getting by.”
LSA made a strategic decision to move towards Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and shopped around for a strategic IT partner. It came down to VCPI and another company. After researching all available options, including bringing it in-house, VCPI was selected by a collaborative team that included Ted Goins Jr., LSA President. The organization thought VCPI was “more long-term care and customer service oriented.”
Another reason LSA chose to work with VCPI was due to their disaster recovery services. They asked their former vendor several times if the organization could be restored in the event of an emergency; they never received a response that made them feel comfortable. VCPI is currently working with LSA on a robust solution for disaster recovery.
VCPI hosts all LSA’s applications, manages their networks, and provides IT support desk services. Goins saw the relationship with VCPI as a strategic partnership.
For EMR, LSA needed hardware and a plat-form in place, and by having VCPI host their systems the organization is now achieving their goals for EMR. Goins believes an added benefit is the fact that “customer service is essential and VCPI does it well.”
During the onboarding process, the company knew they would need to work through a few expected bumps. One of the benefits of working with VCPI though, Goins explains, is that the company is able to receive face-to-face help with their IT issues from a local company. This partnership allows LSA to work together with VCPI. Goins is pleased to re-port, “nothing major unexpected happened during onboarding; in fact, the transition was quite smooth.”
An unexpected benefit of working with VCPI is the involvement and peer networking LSA receives as part of VCPI’s Client Advisory Board. After attending the first meeting, Goins was “blown away” because he was able to see the latest and greatest in technology. “We want to be known as cutting edge,” states Goins. “I love to see how others are doing IT and handling connectivity challenges.”
More specifically, Goins was able to see Decision Point in action and LSA is implementing it now. What caught his attention was the idea of having data in one place. “Our data is out there, but it’s not easy to use,” explains Goins. “Getting it in one place is a huge help to our organization. I don’t have to hunt in different systems for payroll or profitability. Decision Point should prove to be a big time saver.”
LSA Director of Special Projects, Kesha Smith, states that after the company’s fourth year with VCPI, the partnership is still going well. VCPI continually grows with LSA and strives to meet their changing needs. “The network team is great and I love having an Account Manager,” says Smith. “VCPI is doing a better job of listening to our needs and it makes calls shorter.”
VCPI has proven themselves very helpful with the process of transitioning to EMR because “with EMR, you cannot have down-time,” explains Smith. “They use T1s with backup satellites to stay connected.” LSA has 100% of the chart electronically. VCPI worked with LSA to establish critical backup Internet service as well as help with trouble-shooting latency issues. Smith went on to say that even state surveyors use electronic charts. “Surveyors use laptops to access data, and LSA is now paperless – it’s how we do business.”
Most recently, VCPI is assisting LSA in researching Voice over IP phones (VoIP) options and services. This benefit will allow the organization to improve service for staff as well as offer phone service to residents, a previously limited availability service.
LSA is now building several new facilities and VCPI is a proven partner that guarantees to grow with the expanding organization. When asked if she would ever imagine going in-house with IT, Kesha states “that would be a big change because we likely could not get the same IT staff expertise for the money.”
Kesha and Goins agree that the main benefits LSA experiences in their partnership with VCPI are the 24×7 support, highly specialized engineers, and most importantly, VCPI is long-term care focused. According to Goins, “they know our business.”
Lutheran Services for the Aging Case Study: https://bit.ly/b74AiI
Posted by Hope Frank, Sales and Marketing Intern, VCPI