Leading Eye Care provider needed to improve EHR/EPM uptime and data security.
• Increased uptime
• Improved consistency
• Greater efficiency
• Stronger data security
Since opening its first clinic in 1992, the Filutowski Eye Institute (Filutowski) has grown to be one of Central Florida’s most recognized names in eye care. Today it operates three clinics and two ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) offering a full range of refractive surgery and eye care services including LASIK, vision correction and cataract procedures.
Gerrit Koester joined Filutowski 19 years ago. As the organization’s Technology & Facilities Manager, he focuses on finding new ways to increase agility, innovation, and efficiency. To accomplish this, he looks holistically at how each part of the business works together in support of its overarching goals.
Filutowski was an early adopter of healthcare technology, implementing scheduling and practice management (PM) software in the 1990s. The practice installed its first electronic health records (EHR) solution in 2000. In 2013 Filutowski moved to Nextgen EHR/EPM to replace its aging system and keep up with expanding Meaningful Use requirements.
Greater Success with NextGen
Gerrit first met ITelagen in 2013 at an industry trade show in Orlando. ITelagen shared ways for Filutowski to succeed with its new NextGen solutions including best practices for implementation, hosting options and ROI strategies. For the next few years, Gerrit continued to talk with ITelagen staff at NextGen user group meetings and other events. He was impressed with ITelagen’s depth of knowledge, saying, “While we didn’t have a business relationship, I stayed in contact over the years because I thought we might need them someday.”
In 2017, Filutowski investigated new hosting options to improve system uptime and data security. Because of their interactions over the past five years, ITelagen was at the top of Gerrit’s list of potential partners. He looked at several companies and selected ITelagen for their professionalism, NextGen expertise, and secure cloud-based hosting approach.
“When it was time to make the change, it was easy to do because ITelagen already knew our priorities and objectives,” says Gerrit. “Nothing compared to ITelagen’s offering. We quickly put together a package that everyone understood and agreed on.”
ITelagen now hosts Filutowski’s full NextGen EHR/EPM stack in its HIPAA-compliant data centers, and Filutowski is pleased with the results. “ITelagen’s expertise and best practices with the NextGen environment have significantly improved our system performance,” states Gerrit. “If we have an issue, ITelagen works diligently with us and NextGen to find and eliminate the root cause and follows up to ensure things are running smoothly. They can handle basic issues to very complex problems.”
Secure Cloud Infrastructure
Gerrit appreciates that ITelagen’s cloud infrastructure is designed with each client’s security in mind. “Any problem that arises in one part of ITelagen’s hosting environment will not impact any other client besides the one that is compromised,” he notes. “With ITelagen’s approach, each client’s NextGen stack is compartmentalized to protect it from the others and vice-versa.”
Gerrit adds that medical records are the lifeblood of his business and they must always be available. He has a high level of confidence knowing that ITelagen’s infrastructure is built to contain any potential security issue before it can spread and affect other clients. “This level of security is especially important when you see how data breaches impact other providers, often because of inadvertent data loss,” he says. “In healthcare, it’s unacceptable to have a HIPAA violation. You need partners with the same goals and approach. That’s why working with ITelagen is great for us.”
In addition to providing technology solutions, ITelagen has worked to build a strong relationship with Filutowski. “I don’t ever feel like we’re just another name on the customer list,” says Gerrit. “We have a dedicated ITelagen team that invested time to learn about us and the nuances of our business. When I ask for something, ITelagen knows exactly what I’m looking for and they make it happen the first time around. They are easy to work with. Those types of things really matter in a complicated industry like healthcare.”
Gerrit believes this close rapport, cultivated over several years even before there was a formal business relationship, is a key to their mutual success. “Every person at ITelagen – from support staff to sales reps all the way up to the CEO – knows how to manage customer relationships,” states Gerrit. “Everybody is friendly, genuinely cares about our success, and does whatever it takes to make things work.”
Quality, Uptime, and Consistency
After just one year working together, ITelagen improved Filutowski’s system quality, uptime, and consistency. They are continually finding new ways to increase efficiency and enhance patient care. “ITelagen offers deep expertise, manpower, and the benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS),” says Gerrit. “They are our system administrator, database administrator, help desk, and general IT support all in one package. Plus, they host the servers and storage and everything else that we need to run smoothly. They know how to take care of their business ¬¬- and that means they take care of our business.”
In an increasingly complex healthcare environment, with multiple hosting options to choose from, Gerrit advises practices to look carefully at what each potential partner offers before signing a contract. “The devil is in the details, and many hosting companies leave you to resolve problems on your own,” he says. “With ITelagen, I never feel alone if there is an issue or a question. They focus on keeping our top-tier applications running, which allows us to provide the level of care that our patients need. Knowing all the features and benefits that ITelagen offers, I can’t imagine why a practice would consider anyone else.”