By Daniel Casciato
Carnegie, PA-based BI Consulting is a subsidiary of physician-owned and operated Pediatric Alliance, a practice with nine divisions, 12 locations and 47 providers throughout the region. As an early adopter of the NextGen EHR/EPM system, Pediatric Alliance formed BI Consulting a year ago to leverage its IT resources and capabilities, making them available to other NextGen product users throughout the country.
Today, BI Consulting and its 7-member firm offers a unique understanding of how NextGen products are successfully deployed across multiple practices and specialties, including: Pediatrics, Endocrinology, Gynecology and women’s health services, and FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Centers). The firm partners with numerous health care practices that can benefit from its years of managing and supporting physicians groups and implementation experience.
BI Consulting offers full cycle implementation and support, project management, workflow analysis and support. It helps its customers build applications and templates, support upgrades and software releases, as well as upgrade support.
Western Pennsylvania Hospital News recently sat down with the chief executive of BI Consulting, James Troup, to learn more about the company and its plans for the future.
What was the driving force behind the formation of BI Consulting? BI consulting was born out of Pediatric Alliance, about four years after its purchase of the NextGen EHR/EPM system. During that time, Pediatric Alliance invested heavily in its IT infrastructure, especially around staffing and became an expert in the application. As a result, NextGen begin using Pediatric Alliance as a support site and as a reference. At that time, I thought that since we have these NextGen experts in-house, we should leverage that expertise in the community and form a subsidiary. Since Pediatric Alliance had been successfully supporting all 12 of our locations and 47 providers, why couldn’t we do that for other groups?
Who would you say are your most valuable customers? Any group using any NextGen application or product in any industry. We can be an add-on for large companies as well as healthcare providers with a robust IT department. Or we can be the NextGen support for a small group that wants to outsource the work completely.
What would your best customers say are the main reasons they conduct business with you? One is that we are providers as well as consultants. We work with our providers daily. Because we’re also a provider organization, we understand that aspect of the business and we are able to apply that knowledge to how we do our consulting. We are also able to have an efficient system supported by our IT consultants. Additionally, when Pediatric Alliance began using NextGen, we learned how to customize the reporting aspects for ourselves to meet our specific physician’s needs. So, now we can also offer customized reports and templates that don’t come out of the box for our customers.
How would you describe the biggest challenges facing your customers and how can BI Consulting help provide solutions? With meaningful use—the HITECH Act—the deployment of an EHR needs to be well-thought out and planned from the infrastructure design, the architecture of the platform, as well as the training of staff. We have been able to help those organizations that didn’t plan well, or those who feel the urgency to do it now because of the HITECH Act.
What is the organization’s top priorities for the next 12-18 months? New customer acquisition as well as learning about our customers and their additional needs. We are supporting six groups right now, and learning more about how else we can help and prepare them. The big push now are the HITECH months and getting everyone to meaningful use.
As you think about the future of BI Consulting, what are you most excited about? How technology is changing the way we practice medicine, the way providers practice medicine, and how technology can be aligned with the physicians and have a positive outcome. We have seen it from the provider side and consulting side—it’s exciting to see those things come into play.
What do you like best about working for Pediatric Alliance/Bi Consulting? We have a very team-based approach. We have different experts on our team from an EMR training expert to a cross-report developer to a variety of different project managers. Everyone is working towards the same goal. We want to make sure our customers are moving forward with their technology deployment and to begin to get a return on investment on that EMR technology that they purchased.
For more information, visit www.biconsultingpa.com.