How Seattle Reproductive Medicine saves hours of clinical time per patient and personalizes care
What would you do if your clinic staff had more hours in the day? For Seattle Reproductive Medicine (SRM), the answer is clear: provide a better, more personalized care experience and increase access to care.
The goal: keep a patient focus while increasing capacity to meet record-high volumes
Since opening its doors in 2004, SRM has grown to a 24-provider practice with six locations in the Pacific Northwest. They perform more than 4,600 cycles per year, and their patients have given birth to more than 12,600 babies.
As both their patient volumes and staff have grown, SRM has kept the experience of their patients as a focal value. In a recent conversation with Lindsay Nicholas, the Clinical Director and Sarah Matthies, Programs & Education Manager, both highlighted the clinic’s patient-first approach. “It feels like we’re treating the whole patient, and not just focused solely on fertility,” Sarah said.
This dedication to personalization becomes ever-harder in a time of record-high patient volumes across the country, and SRM is not immune. “Our patient volumes are off the charts,” Lindsay said. “That’s our priority. We need to figure out how to take care of all of these patients that have this need in the community without burning out our staff, while still providing excellent personalized care.”
“It was a game-changer. I fell in love with EngagedMD right away.”
How SRM uses efficiencies gained with EngagedMD to see more patients and personalize care
Before 2016, SRM’s approach to both consenting and education was very manual. At that time, all new patients had a 30-minute informed consent treatment plan visit, which involved sitting down with patients to review consent forms page by page and witness their signatures, as well as physician time dedicated to patient education.
In late 2016, SRM adopted the EngagedMD platform, with goals of providing consents that could be completed digitally and remotely, and streamlining the patient education process. The educational modules they now provide to their patients range from introductory content like Fertility 101, Wellness, and Genetic Carrier Screening, through treatment content on IVF, Frozen Embryo Transfer, and education for egg donors. Lindsay said, “it was a game-changer. I fell in love with EngagedMD right away.”
With EngagedMD, SRM has been able to:
- Save time for nurses and physicians by providing initial patient education before or directly after their first consult and reduce questions to nurses about treatment information. In the past, appointments often ran long, but they are now far more likely to complete on time.
- See more patients with the time saved from on-site training sessions.
- Personalize time spent with patients as they start their fertility journeys, and allow them to learn the basics online at home, so time in office can be focused on the specifics of each patient's care plan
- Digitize consent forms, allowing patients and their partners to complete them on their own time, without an office visit.
- Augment nurse training for those new to the fertility field, bringing them up to speed faster.
Sarah said, “we can rely on EngagedMD for initial patient education and not feel like we’re shorting our patients. It’s not that we’re not still having those personal touch points, it’s that those personal touch points are able to be more advanced and answer specific personalized questions.”
“I don’t think we could have practiced at the volume we’re practicing without EngagedMD.”
Evolving education together
After all these changes, there was still a remaining pain point in injection training: SRM nurses would repeat the same injection training instructions ten or more times per day. Hearing this need from clinics like SRM, EngagedMD and SMP Pharmacy partnered in 2021 to create MedReady injection training. SRM adopted it right away. Now, staff can send patients injection training videos personalized to their protocols with the click of a button. This has allowed SRM to completely eliminate their on-site injection training program, giving time back to medical assistants, clinical assistants, and nurses. Sarah said, “I asked our busiest IVF nurse how many injection training questions she gets from patients now, and she said: none.”
The patient difference
The time-saving benefits to SRM’s staff are clear. But is EngagedMD well-received by their patients?
The resounding answer: yes.
Lindsay said, “my patients had nothing but positive things to say. They loved how they could go back and rewatch, or have their partner watch it, or they’d watch it together. I never received any negative feedback at all—all positive.” The team also noted that SRM has received an uptick in compliments about the clinic’s communication with patients, even as more appointments move to virtual.
Surveys of SRM’s patients who have completed EngagedMD modules found that:
- 95% of patients agreed or strongly agreed that after completing modules on EngagedMD, they knew what to expect before, during, and after treatment
- 85% said the modules answered questions they would otherwise have called or emailed their medical team about
- 97% said the videos were a helpful addition to their consultations with their medical team
- 85% agreed or strongly agreed that learning about their procedure from the EngagedMD made them more satisfied with their care
Additionally, SRM patients have completed nearly 100,000 forms through EngagedMD.
Added together, the time saved and increased patient satisfaction are making a difference in the success of the practice. Sarah said, “I don’t think we could have practiced at the volume we’re practicing without EngagedMD.”