Gonzaba Medical

With RingCentral, San Antonio’s #1-rated medical practice finds numerous ways to improve its patient experience
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With our old PBX, agents in our Patient Access Center had difficulty reaching our clinical staff on the first try. The abandon rates on those calls were about 45%. With RingCentral, we got that rate down to single digits. That’s just one way RingCentral has helped us improve our operations and the patient experience.

Darryl Flores

Director of Gonzaba’s Patient Access Center

Voted San Antonio’s “Best General Practice Doctor”

For generations of families throughout San Antonio, Texas, Gonzaba Medical Group has been synonymous with high-quality healthcare and outstanding patient service. From its humble origins as a one-room clinic opened in 1960 by Dr. William Gonzaba, the organization has become one of the city’s largest medical groups, treating thousands of patients each year.
Gonzaba has earned numerous awards for its radiology and imaging services, urgent-care facilities, and physician practices. The organization has also earned the Gold Seal from The Joint Commission, the most prestigious independent evaluator of healthcare practices in the US. And in 2021, Gonzaba added a new accolade when readers of The San Antonio Express-News voted it the city’s #1 Best General Practice Doctor.
These achievements are even more impressive considering the telephony solution that Gonzaba’s clinical and support staff were using until recently.
Medical practice
San Antonio, TX

A PBX unable to meet the organization’s standards for patient service

Darryl Flores, Director of Gonzaba Medical Group’s Patient Access Center, explains that over the past few years, Gonzaba has grown substantially to meet increasing patient demand—adding new clinics and increasing its employee count by more than 30%, from a staff of 600 to roughly 800.
But as Darryl points out, Gonzaba’s on-prem telephony system was creating operational challenges, and the organization’s growth only added to them. “Maintaining our employee directory was an ongoing challenge because the system was so cumbersome. Also, employees’ extensions didn’t coincide with our phone numbers. If my number ended in 2131, my extension might be 4698. That made it difficult for coworkers to reach each other.”

The compliance deal-breaker that narrowed Gonzaba’s search

As he looked for a more flexible and scalable phone solution for Gonzaba, Darryl notes, the unique regulatory demands of the medical industry forced him to narrow his search of cloud communication vendors to those that had achieved a specific compliance milestone.
“RingCentral had a lot going for it in terms of functionality and industry reputation,” Darryl says. “But the big differentiator for us was that RingCentral had earned HITRUST certification. For healthcare organizations, that’s the gold standard because it demonstrates the platform meets the requirements of several data-privacy regulations, most importantly HIPAA.”
What’s great about RingCentral being HITRUST-certified is that our staff can communicate anywhere, on any device, by phone, chat, or video, and I know those communications will be secure and HIPAA compliant. That peace of mind is invaluable.

Darryl Flores

Director of Gonzaba’s Patient Access Center

Improving the patient experience with RingCentral’s cloud phone solution

After Darryl’s team rolled out RingEX to all 800 employees—a process that took only 60 days—they began investigating how the unified-communications solution could help improve Gonzaba’s operations. As he explains, they found many.
“The first big major improvement we found was with call queues,” Darryl says. “At our medical centers and clinics, we have small teams called pods consisting of a doctor, nurse, and medical assistant. RingCentral lets me create call queues for each pod. When a Patient Access Center agent calls that number, it rings all members simultaneously. This has brought our connection rates up substantially, meaning our agents can get more immediate help for patients calling in.”
Darryl adds that he and his team have the data demonstrating that these call queues are helping to increase the success rate of connecting patients on the first try with a provider in the appropriate pod. The Patient Access Center team leverages RingCentral’s call data and reporting capabilities to monitor these rates on a regular basis and track trends across the organization. As Darryl notes, his team has quantified the improvements.
“We pull and analyze reports and every week from the RingCentral dashboard for key metrics, such as answer rates, abandon rates, and average handle time. Reviewing our data over a six-month period, I found that since we implemented the simultaneously ringing call queues for all members of a pod, our Patient Access Center brought our patient transfer rates up from maybe only 50% up to more than 90%. That wouldn’t have happened without RingCentral.”

Enhancing internal communications with RingCentral messaging

Gonzaba is also leveraging RingCentral’s messaging platform to help prioritize communications between the Patient Access Center and the clinical staff. “Having a communications platform with both phone and chat options lets us indicate the level of priority based in part on which format we use,” Darryl explains.
“If our agents have a noncritical question or request for a clinical team, they’ll send it as a RingCentral team message. But if those clinicians see a phone call coming through from an agent, that likely indicates a patient has an acute symptom or needs help urgently.”

Leveraging RingCentral Video to continue care during the lockdowns

Perhaps the most significant operational improvement, Darryl points out, was Gonzaba’s rollout of RingCentral Video, which proved invaluable during the pandemic.
“During the several-month period that we had to conduct patient appointments remotely, using RingCentral Video helped us both make sure those visits were secure and compliant, as well as allow us to stay connected with patients who couldn’t otherwise see their physicians,” says Darryl.
“We were even able to use RingCentral Video to continue offering our educational presentations to patients. An important part of our patient-centric approach is being proactive in helping our patients stay healthy, rather than waiting until after they’ve gotten sick. Holding these seminars for our patients has always been key to that proactive approach to health. And thanks to RingCentral, even the pandemic didn’t force us to pause those valuable sessions.”
A key component of serving our Medicare Advantage patients is the annual Review of Medical History, which regulators require to be either in-person or by video. We can now send a medical assistant to a patient’s home and, using a tablet loaded with RingCentral Video, connect that patient to a physician for a complete, Medicare-approved review. That gives us flexibility we’ve never had before.

Darryl Flores

Director of Gonzaba’s Patient Access Center

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