Case Study

Valley Neurosurgery

Valley Neurosurgery

Client Info:

Customer Since: 2012

Location: Florence, AL

Specialty: Neurosurgery

Valley Neurosurgery is a five physician practice located in Florence, AL supported by a staff of twelve employees. Being the only neurosurgery practice in the greater Shoals area, their already significant patient base was consistently increasing leading to new challenges. Practice Manager Laurita Nesmith knew that the key to moving forward in today’s healthcare landscape would mean leaving the paper-based charting model and implementing an EHR that was capable of improving workflow as well as acting as a vehicle for attestation for the Medicare Meaningful Use incentive.


Challenges That Needed Solutions: Replacing an Existing EHR

Before learning of FlexMedical, the practice chose another vendor's EHR. Unfortunately, issues arose during the implementation and remained unresolved afterward, causing the practice to be less efficient than they were prior to going digital. This ultimately led the practice to make the tough decision to abandon their investment in the first EHR and search for an alternative to satisfy their needs.


Issues with the First EHR

Laurita mentioned several problems that surfaced after incorporating their first EHR. She felt the biggest disappointment was the vendor not delivering on what they had promised during the sales process, particularly in the following areas:


  • Template customization: "We were told that templates for our specialty could be created by their company based on what we needed. A year into our implementation and after multiple requests to the vendor, we still didn’t have all of the templates we needed to make going paperless a success."

  • Lack of attentive support: "After going live, it was not uncommon to take days to get a call back after we left a message reporting a problem. Even after talking with the vendor, issues would be pushed to the backburner and go unresolved."

  • Suboptimal training: "Looking back, the amount of training time recommended, based on the size and complexity of our practice, wasn’t ideal. In addition, what training we did receive really wasn’t that thorough, and much of the clinical staff felt lost."


Searching for a New EHR Solution

Laurita and the physicians decided that it was counterproductive to continue halfway using, and paying support for, an EHR system that wasn’t giving them the boost in productivity they needed or the level of quality end user support they felt like they deserved. The decision was made to begin the search for another system. Through her local MGMA chapter, Laurita learned of another practice in the Shoals area that was using FlexMedical. After a couple of thorough demonstrations, and a visit to a client site, Valley Neurosurgery decided to transition to FlexMedical.


Transitioning to FlexMedical

The FlexMedical staff understood the grievances that Valley Neurosurgery experienced with their previous vendor. They knew that by working closely with the practice and incorporating the comprehensive FlexMedical implementation strategy, Valley Neurosurgery could attain the efficiency and incentives they were looking for from the start.


  • Preparation: Before any training on the system began, FlexMedical worked with the physicians and other clinical staff members to make sure that the bulk of the physicians’ templates met their expectations. FlexMedical also took additional time to work with the physicians’ clinical support staff to ensure that all of the paperwork they had to previously complete by hand was incorporated electronically. Completing this prep work ahead of time made it easier for the staff to make the transition.

  • Caring, responsive support: FlexMedical understood that it was important for the staff at Valley Neurosurgery to be able to have their questions answered in a timely manner by their EHR vendor, regardless of the nature of the problem.

  • Comprehensive training: An implementation specialist worked with Laurita ahead of time to ensure the practice scheduled enough training time based on the size of the practice and its complexity. It was agreed that having a dedicated trainer onsite for the initial training, as well as the go-live, was ideal. In addition, FlexMedical worked with the practice to schedule follow-up training dates after the go-live to address any questions that may have arisen subsequently.


Of the transition process, Laurita says, "FlexMedical made the conversion from our previous EHR virtually effortless. Following the plan their staff laid out for us resulted in a successful transition. I kept waiting for a problem, but everything went great with no complaints. Whether we have an issue on our part or theirs, complicated or even something as minor as a template change, their response time is almost immediate. Moving to FlexMedical was the best decision our practice has ever made! Record keeping is seamless and each of my doctors and employees are pleased."