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NEMG's Practice Optimization Team helps onboard new practice


Staff of NEMG Pulmonary and Internal Medicine – Trumbull meet with the Practice Optimization Team for training

As part of the onboarding process at NEMG, the Practice Optimization Team ensures that clinicians and staff are trained in best practice workflows and can use Epic in the most efficient way. On Feb. 15, the team met with staff from NEMG Pulmonary and Internal Medicine - Trumbull to provide on-site go-live support. Michael Connolly, MD, assisted the clinicians; and Nataly Fedorova, operations manager, and Claudia Sammartano, senior practice optimization specialist, worked with the practice’s multidisciplinary team to successfully transition them to both NEMG and Epic. After two weeks of on-site support, the staff and clinicians were able to see patients with relative ease.  

The Practice Optimization team has become more involved with new practice onboards, assisting with the workflow analysis, regular meetings throughout implementation, NEMG workflow training and personalization and customization sessions in Epic, all prior to the Epic go-live. During the go-live period, the team provides on-site support to all staff and clinicians in the office, as well as the supervisor.

Sammartano led the team’s involvement in the Trumbull project. An initial meeting took place with the new practice supervisor, Leah Brady, as well as with Fedorova. Brady was encouraged to recommend a strong staff member lead (SME) in each work area. These leads would attend weekly meetings and provide input into current workflows throughout the process. The goal was to create open communication, set reasonable expectations and have a consistent SME from the office staff to rely on.   

Practice Optimization established a timeline of modules, over a 90-day period, broken down into manageable tasks. This took place on a weekly basis starting with the front desk and working through to clinician workflows. Each week, members of the Optimization Team were onsite watching current workflow for that week’s topic. Optimization would observe staff, ask questions and report back their findings and recommendations. The on-site visit was followed by a weekly meeting, led by Sammartano, at which the designated team leads and multidisciplinary team members reviewed current workflow, discussed how it translates to Epic, what might change and recommended any Epic build, if necessary, to accommodate NEMG workflow. Open communication was maintained between Brady, Operations and the Optimization Team throughout this process. 

Once everyone in the office had attended the required Epic training, Optimization created a schedule to provide additional NEMG workflow training in advance of the go-live date. This included front desk, MA and nurse sessions, as well as on-site assistance with appointment conversion. 

An additional mandatory, in-person training session, led by Teresa Kelly, practice optimization specialist, was previously held at Hawley Lane on Feb. 14, with all the clinicians, their partnered medical assistants, the nurse, and respiratory therapist. The goal was to have the users log into their Epic profile and the Optimization team provide optimization and personalization prior to the Go-Live on the following day. 

“All of the team members were good teachers,” said Adil Salam, MD. “They listened well to staff needs and worked with us to get us ready for go-live. Please convey our thanks to all your team members. We appreciate the work that went behind scenes to help take care of our patients.”

“The team was the best,” said John-Paul Ayala, MD. “I felt comfortable using Epic by the end of the week.”

“The team was beyond helpful,” said Lisa Otero, PAA.

“The support was amazing,” said Lucianna Bailey, MA. “For as many questions and concerns we had, they had answers and a way to ease our worries.”