“I learned you can’t cut corners. It leads to disaster.” Ron Payne, CEO of Southwest LTC, speaks about the merits of outsourcing.

Southwest Long Term Care (SWLTC) operates 19 skilled nursing facilities in Texas. A client of VCPI since 2005, SWLTC’s first and foremost mission is patient care and VCPI allows them to do just that. VCPI assists the organization with providing top-notch resident care by getting leaders together in the industry and sharing client successes and best practices.

According to Ron Payne, SWLTC’s CEO, prior to 2005, the company struggled for 12-months with a clinical and financial software package as well as a computer technician who did not understand the program. “They never got it right,” explained Payne. “I learned you can’t cut corners. It leads to disaster.” Payne went on to say, in 2005 SWLTC made a strategic decision to implement American HealthTech (AHT) which lead the company to VCPI. “Implementing with AHT and VCPI went so much smoother,” said Payne. “AHT had a great team who transferred data and did a fine job with training.” VCPI’s ability to host and support AHT as a complete hosted system made sense to SWLTC. The company did not want to develop the expertise themselves. They knew they would get up to speed faster by using experts who had already been there, done that.

As a member of VCPI’s Client Advisory Board, Payne enjoys the benefits of partnering with VCPI. “I don’t want to be sold to, but I do want to hear about best practices of my peers, what’s working, and how I can make my business more efficient. It’s how I learned about Decision Point™.” Southwest Long Term Care does not have the budget to be ahead of the cutting edge, but Payne believes the company can learn from larger peers who are doing innovative things.

The organization is currently rolling out the Decision Point(TM) dashboard, which according to the CEO is “a racehorse! Everyone in the industry should have it.” Decision Point provides a great benefit for companies who manually compile the same information over and over. For time and attendance alone, Decision Point combines five programs into one view and also provides support with staffing. The state of Texas has a wage enhancement program which requires certain staffing levels. The data SWLTC was using to monitor and manage staffing levels was out of date and compliance was always a question. Now, the organization has staffing information in real time, which allows them to address issues within 24 hours. “Regarding census, I used to get 19 emails from my facilities each morning and then I’d have to compile data manually,” says Payne. “Now I can see census information in one-click.”

SWLTC is not one of the biggest organizations in the industry so Payne likes to hear what larger companies, those at the forefront of technology, are doing to improve operations and financial performance. “At SWLTC we wait, watch, and see what works. Then we implement,” said Payne. “It’s nice to learn from the pioneers.” For example, VCPI’s largest customer is Extendicare. It is a big advantage for SWLTC to leverage what is working for Extendicare’s 180 facilities. “We don’t have the money to hire that kind of talent, grow a platform, and create a service team. But Extendicare does, and we benefit from their resources,” stated Payne.

When SWLTC looks to the future, they see VCPI offering them the tools they need to continue to provide great patient care. “The aging population is increasingly becoming wired – they want to stay connected to their grandchildren,” explains Payne. “Our buildings must be wireless and ready to provide them with great Internet-based services.” The company’s short-term clients are showing up with laptops and expecting connectivity. So as a result, technology must become be part of how SWLTC does business. Payne also believes that in the future, families will want more and more information about their loved ones and what is going on in their communities. VCPI is helping SWLTC figure out efficient ways to support those needs.

In addition, Payne is pleased that VCPI provides a convenience for SWLTC. “I don’t want an IT staff. They hunt for and fix bugs in the software, keep my licenses and software up to date; and proactively maintain mission critical systems.” Plus, SWLTC has benefitted from their cutting edge services and support. He went on to say that “I get the latest and greatest stuff. VCPI has guys who enjoy this stuff. I don’t. I don’t know the first thing about it, and they stay on top of it for me.” VCPI also offers access to experts. Payne feels it would cost the organization a fortune to do this themselves. VCPI spreads the cost across many customers. “It’s a great model,” said Payne. “I’d highly recommend VCPI.”