Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving Welcomes New OB/GYN Specialist Beltran

Frans Beltran, MD, joins Irving clinic and rounds out clinic’s specialties with OB/GYN services.

The Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving has served the Irving, TX area for decades now, and the team of medical professionals constantly strives to deliver a wide range of services to meet the needs of the community. As part of this commitment to the community’s health, the Irving clinic is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Frans Beltran to the team of medical providers. Dr. Beltran will serve as the clinic’s obstetrician and gynecologist (OB/GYN).

Dr. Beltran is currently scheduling patients and will begin seeing patients on September 5, 2017. To schedule an appointment with Irving’s newest OB/GYN, patients can call her directly at (972) 253-2530. Her office is located at 2021 N. MacArthur Blvd. Suite 300, Irving, TX 75061.

Dr. Beltran received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University and then received her doctor of medicine from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her OB/GYN training from Pennsylvania State University at the Hershey Medical Center. While attending university, she was named on the Dean’s Honor List for all four years and was a Howard Hughes Fellow. She also received a special grant for her research while she trained to be an obstetrician and gynecologist.

While Irving might be quite a distance from Hershey, Pennsylvania, Dr. Beltran is excited to be a part of the North Texas community. As MSCI’s OB/GYN, Dr. Beltran will help women of all ages enjoy better health. To help better connect with patients, Dr. Beltran is fluent in Spanish.

“We are excited to offer the residents of Irving and the surrounding area an excellent choice for their OB/GYN needs,” said Roy Rochon, president of the Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving.

Healthcare Associates of Texas to Use BioFire – A Revolutionary Molecular Diagnostic Technology

Healthcare Associates adopts BioFire’s Film Array System to quickly diagnosis and treat disease states among patients.

Healthcare Associates of Texas has recently implemented an updated, molecular laboratory instrument to diagnose certain dangerous diseases faster.  The FilmArray system, is able to detect multiple organisms that cause infections such as gastrointestinal disease, respiratory disease, bloodstream infections, and sepsis in a single test.  HCAT now has the ability to get results in about an hour to diagnose and treat disease states as quickly as possible.  Current testing methods in most hospitals could take days to get results.  Healthcare Associates of Texas is the first outpatient primary care clinic in the southern United States to have this technology which was previously available in only a few advanced hospitals.

“The FilmArray System allows our lab professionals to manage all aspects of the testing process onsite, from sample preparation and DNA extraction to amplification and detection,” says Dr. Charles Powell, Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations.  “This technology will enable our clinicians to treat disease states much earlier than ever before—giving us results in about one hour, versus one to three days for samples sent to reference labs.”

Healthcare Associates of Texas will be using the FilmArray System to rapidly detect the DNA of pathogens of life-threatening disease states that continue to plague the U.S. healthcare system.  One FilmArray test available is the GI panel that identifies 22 disease targets for bacterial, viral and parasitic gastroenteritis infections contracted through eating, swimming or other exposure routes. Another is the RP panel that identifies 20 viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens including Pertussis.

Testing for disease state pathogens allows for early treatment, as well as proactively protects its spread among patients and in the community.

“Healthcare Associates of Texas is committed to adopting the most effective practices to prevent the spread of infection through comprehensive testing to diagnosis of disease states earlier and improve patient care,” says Dr. Powell.  “Having accurate and comprehensive test results in one hour enables physicians to immediately prescribe treatment protocols that target the specific infections, rather than administering a wide-spectrum antibiotic which may not be necessary.  We treat our patients like family.  Who wouldn’t want the most specific, appropriate, and timely care for their family?”

 

What Are Patients Saying About You And Does It Matter?

A patient walks into a doctor’s office . . . While that may sound like the beginning of a comedy routine, it’s actually when patient first impressions are created.  Patients expect a great experience overall so the front desk, the nursing staff, the doctor, the facility, the billing department, even the parking lot – all contribute to a patient’s perspective of a practice.  But why does that matter?

More and more, patients are sharing their first impressions through online reviews.  With a few words and the choice of a number or star, those thoughts are multiplied and spread exponentially on the internet.  Whether right or wrong, human nature is persuaded by others, even if there is no supporting evidence.

Online patient reviews are growing in popularity and impact.  Not only are more patients going online to post about their experiences, but they are also using online feedback to inform their decisions about who will win their healthcare business.

In a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, two-thirds of Americans surveyed knew health reviews were available to them online.  About 25% of them used these sites for research. Of those who used the sites, 35% chose a doctor because of a rating.  The reverse was also true as 37% didn’t choose a doctor because of a bad rating.  And in some situations, patients will even choose an out-of-network doctor if that review is better than an in-network doctor’s.

Many surveys support these findings, reiterating that, now more than ever, patient reviews are increasingly impacting where patients go for care.  The shared feedback can be online through patient review sites like Google, Yelp, Vitals and Healthgrades.  Patients will also share their experience via word of mouth or on their personal social media in a recommendation.  No matter the method, it is in a doctor’s best interest to provide the best patient experience possible at all levels.

In addition, search engine optimization (SEO) experts agree that user-generated content like patient online reviews is heavily weighted by search engines.  In other words, reviews provide a first impression online when someone types a doctor’s name into the search field in Google or another search engine.

While positive online reviews can drive business, negative reviews can be tricky.  An occasional bad review is not a death sentence.  It can reveal human error or a possible bad day.  In fact, having a less than stellar review on occasion shows the doctor isn’t too good to be true and provides legitimacy to all reviews, even the good ones.

An unexpected bonus of a bad review can be an opportunity, at no charge, to learn about possible areas of improvement.  Sometimes improvement is as simple as a difference in perception – what a doctor thinks a patient is experiencing versus what the patient is actually experiencing.  With a few tweaks, problems can be solved and eventually averted, but this can’t happen unless the feedback is heard.

Furthermore, how a doctor reacts to a bad review is critical.  A prompt, calm, friendly response, respecting HIPAA privacy protocol, can make all the difference.  The majority of patients do not expect provider perfection, but provider honesty, transparency and interest in making things right.  In fact, most respondents feel it’s important for doctors to respond in some way to the bad review.  Silence can be viewed as possible wrongdoing or not caring.

Like never before, the success of a practice is at stake with patient reviews, good and bad, and how they are shared.  Every component of a doctor’s office should shine, inspiring a patient to post the best review and highest rating possible.  And while patient satisfaction is good for the bottom line, this should not be the only gauge for evaluating healthcare quality.  Patient satisfaction is just one component, but critical to the success of a practice.  Recognizing the importance of online patient reviews is the first step in creating a positive patient experience.  The next step is managing those reviews and finding the tools to do that.  Stay tuned for our follow up post addressing this.

Is Your Staff’s “Off” Day Costing You Money?

Being nice to people is SO easy.  It takes the same amount of time as being mean or indifferent.  Smiles are free.  Welcoming word choice is free.  Calming tone of voice is free.  So, why isn’t everyone nice to their customers?   The excuse we usually hear is that they were just having an “off” day.  Those “off” days are expensive!

Patients have choices.  If they don’t like you or your staff or your billing company, they will move on.  And, that’s the best case scenario…that they simply move on.  Oftentimes, they leave their mark…on Google, Yelp, and Facebook.  Bad reviews are hard to overcome.  Not to mention that prospective patients look at them!  According to one survey, a whopping 84% of patients consult a review website to view or post comments and ratings of healthcare staff.  Don’t let your “off” day end up on the internet….and not having it is the only way to guarantee that.

For us, here’s what it boils down to:  It is CHEAPER to keep your existing patients happy than spending the money to market to new patients.  Do you need to market sometimes?  Sure.  We wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t.  But, before marketing, look inward at your practice first.  There is no reason to spend time and money marketing only to have patients have a bad experience.  Get your practice to a place where you have spectacular customer service.  Then, market!

Let’s start with the first impressions of the practice.

First Impression

How does your team answer the phone?  This is usually the first interaction patients have with your office.  Your receptionist should be the “Director of First Impressions.”  Phones should be answered by a friendly, helpful person.  Don’t stick someone on phones that hates people or needs to polish their people skills.  Also, avoid automated answering systems when possible.  Here’s a detailed post on the topic: How Does Your Staff Answer the Phone?

When a patient, vendor, or anyone walks in the door of the practice, the person at the front window sets the tone for their experience.  They need to be friendly, make eye contact, and most importantly…SMILE!  It’s vital that they look at the patient/vendor, rather than at their computer screen.  If they are on a call when someone walks up, make eye contact, smile, and mouth, “I’ll be right with you.”  It’s not hard.  Yet, about 90% of front office staff we encounter leave a lot of room for improvement.

If working the front office is challenging for staff, rotate them through it.  Figure out why your staff isn’t being friendly and try to remove things you can control. Many times it starts at the top.  They will treat your patients the way you allow them to and will mimic how you treat patients.  So, if your staff isn’t nice to patients, consider if you may need to step up your customer service.

Keep the “window” open and please use restraint with signage at the windows, particularly ones that say “don’t tap on window.”  You would be surprised how many of these signs we see.  They can set the tone as well.  If you are having issues with cancellations, payments or labs, address it, but don’t put it all over your walls for every patient to see.  Figure out what you MUST say in writing, create discreet tasteful signage, or include it in the patient forms.

The front office needs to make all visitors feel welcome.  Checking them in, collecting payments, and all of their other duties should come second to this.  This isn’t exclusive to patients.  They should treat everyone that walks through your doors with kindness.

Clinical Staff

First Impressions don’t end with the front office.  Usually a medical assistant or nurse and maybe even a PA or NP sees the patient prior to the doctor.  This is another opportunity to make a good impression.  Listening, asking questions, and showing genuine interest in a patient’s concerns can make a big difference for that patient and make him or her feel like they are really matter.

It’s important that the staff look at the patient and not just at their computer.  Consider setting up the computer in a position where the staffer can sit beside the patient or even show the patient what they are entering.  Your clinical staff should not turn their back on the patient during their interaction.

If patients have a bad experience with staff, before ever seeing the doctor, they are already starting from a bad place.  Patients should feel like VIPs after their interactions with all staff.

Oftentimes “lab” is not part of your staff.  They should look and act like an extension of your practice.  Anyone working in your office is part of your team and has the ability to make an impression on your patients, good or bad.

How to Avoid “Off” Days

It starts with the physician setting the tone for the practice.  Lay out your expectations, live by them, and hold your team accountable to following them.

Don’t hire people that aren’t warm and fuzzy during the interview.  If you have team members that aren’t people people, find a non-patient interaction spot for them to work or help them find their next job.  Doctors work too hard to let one staff person ruin the patient experience.

Compliment and reward your staff.  Reinforce good behavior and praise them for it.  Tie a component of their compensation to patient satisfaction.  Make it a reasonable goal, as you can’t make all patients happy.  But, make it a stretch to get there.  That’s why it’s a goal and not a given.

Read your patient reviews online.  Consider those patients as unpaid consultants.  Some of their reviews are not valid but some are.  Look for recurring themes and FIX those things.

Listen to feedback from patients.  Address issues when you can and remove sources of patient frustration.  Do everything in your power to make patients comfortable in your practice.  And, don’t be afraid to dismiss disruptive patients.

Have your practice secret shopped.  You can hire someone like us to do it.  Or, simply use your family and friends to secret shop the practice.  Once you have the results, make an action plan and implement it.  The action plan should include staff training, maybe scripting, maybe role-playing, and most likely changing some processes in your practice.  We can help with any of these.  But, it’s best if it comes from inside the practice.  Let the staff brainstorm ways to fix the issues; this increases their ownership of the process.

Look at your attrition rates.  Do patients “ghost” you?  It’s going to happen sometimes for a normal reason – moves, insurance changes, etc.  But, if it’s happening a lot, is there something more to it?  Engaged patients don’t just bounce.  They tell you they are moving and will need records.

We’ll leave you with this.  It’s cheaper and easier to keep your existing patients happy than it is to get new patients.  Having “off” days not only stinks for the patient, but it kills your bottom line.  Go big or start small, but start making your practice patient-friendly TODAY.

Healthcare Associates of Texas Announces Two New Providers in McKinney

Healthcare Associates of Texas announced today that N. Christopher Lawrence, MD and Angela Jorrey, PA-C are joining the practice March 1, 2017 at their new location at 8080 State Highway 121, Suite 210, McKinney, Texas 75070.

“Dr. Lawrence adds to our already strong base of primary care providers, complemented by extensive experience in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Angela amazes me with her hard-working dedication to the care of our patients,” said colleague Edwin Taylor, MD.  “We look forward to helping bring that level of care to the Healthcare Associates organization and all of our patients.”

Christopher Lawrence, MD has been in family practice in McKinney for the past 18 years. He practices traditional family medicine, caring for babies to elderly patients. His practice style includes an emphasis on wellness and disease prevention through hormone management and supplementation.  He received his Doctor of Medicine from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and then completed a Family Practice Residency at Cedar Rapids Medical Education Foundation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Dr. Lawrence is a Diplomat of the American Board of Family Medicine. He has won numerous awards including Living Magazine’s Best Family Practice Doctor/Group and Best Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Center and D Magazine’s Best Doctors in Collin County.

Dr. Lawrence has been married to his high school sweetheart for nearly 27 years.  They have a 22-year-old daughter finishing her senior year at Texas Tech and a 20-year-old son attending Collin College. Both attended McKinney ISD schools from kindergarten through graduation. Dr. Lawrence has also been involved in many community, cultural, and volunteer experiences in McKinney.  He is dedicated to his faith and family and hopes to bring this commitment to his new life experience of joining Healthcare Associates of Texas.

Angela M. Jorrey, MPAS, PAC graduated from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program in Midland, Texas in 2005.  Following graduation, Angela worked in the allergy and asthma field for two years and has spent the last nine years in family medicine. Angela enjoys all aspects of family practice, but especially preventive care. She has special interests in the field of diabetes and women’s healthcare. Angela has been working with Dr. Lawrence to specialize in wellness and disease prevention through hormone management and supplementation. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants.

Angela has been married to her husband for six years and has two sons ages two and five. They live in McKinney and enjoy bike rides, time outdoors, and family vacations. She is strongly involved in her church community at St. Gabriel’s. Angela looks forward to serving the patients of Healthcare Associates of Texas and helping them with all their healthcare needs.

Healthcare Associates of Texas welcomes Dr. Lawrence and Angela, along with their patients.

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About Healthcare Associates of Texas

Healthcare Associates of Texas LLC was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas. The company currently has three North Texas locations. In addition to offering primary care and family medicine services, the company provides patients with a number of ancillary services, including imaging, diagnostics, physical medicine and an in-house pharmacy. They have become one of the most technologically advanced family medicine practices in North Texas. Their board-certified physicians, complemented by certified physician assistants and nurse practitioners, are dedicated to providing families with quality medical care in an environment that promotes trust and comfort.

Dr. David W. Candelario Joins Healthcare Associates of Texas at McKinney Office

Healthcare Associates of Texas announced the addition of Dr. David W. Candelario to their McKinney team.  In practice since 2014, he brings extensive experience and will be practicing alongside Dr. Edwin Taylor, Dr. Wallace Sarver, and Dr. N. Christopher Lawrence.  “Dr. David Candelario joins us after having worked at our Irving location for the past year. He is a McKinney, Texas native who has his roots in the community and is eager to start providing care to our local residents,” said colleague Edwin Taylor, MD.

David W. Candelario, DO earned a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology at DeVry Institute of Technology in Irving, Texas. Dr. Candelario then worked for 17 years as a software engineer at various local telecommunications firms including DSC Communications, Nortel Networks and INET Technologies. During the 2002 downturn in the technology industry, he left telecommunications and entered the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth where he earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree.  Dr. Candelario completed his Family Medicine residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.  He is board certified in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine and is a member of the Texas Medical Association.

“McKinney has been my home since 1988 – my wife and I have raised our children here and it is a unique and special place.  I’m really looking forward to serving the community and helping people enjoy healthy and longer lives,” says David Candelario, DO.

Dr. Candelario provides outpatient primary care to all age groups, including pediatrics for children ages 5 and up through geriatrics.  His patient care consists of diagnosis and treatment of both acute and chronic complaints, along with preventive health measures for all ages.  Dr. Candelario is offering same day sick appointments, when available.

Healthcare Associates of Texas offers care for the whole family – well visits, sick visits, school physicals, vaccinations, and even on-site x-ray and lab services.  They manage a broad range of needs in the McKinney office ranging from treating a sore throat or acne to managing diabetes to performing skin biopsies.  They also focus on preventive care such as pap smears, immunizations, stress management, exercise, and educating you about your health. They care for the whole family from newborns to senior citizens. Healthcare Associates of Texas accepts all major insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance, Cigna, Humana, Medicare, Secure Horizons, and United Healthcare.

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About Healthcare Associates of Texas Healthcare Associates of Texas, LLC was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas. The company currently has three North Texas locations. In addition to offering primary care and family medicine services, the company provides patients with a number of ancillary services, including imaging, diagnostics, physical medicine and an in-house pharmacy. They have become one of the most technologically advanced family medicine practices in North Texas. Their board-certified physicians, complemented by certified physician assistants and nurse practitioners, are dedicated to providing families with quality medical care in an environment that promotes trust and comfort.

Boardwalk Physical Medicine to Emphasize Vestibular Rehabilitation Training

Healthcare Associates of Texas is pleased to announce that Boardwalk Physical Medicine will be putting a larger focus on vestibular rehabilitation training to improve quality of life for patients suffering from vertigo, dizziness, visual disturbance, and imbalance from vestibular disorders.

Vestibular disorders cause a range of frustrating inter-related symptoms including dizziness, imbalance, vertigo, nausea, and migraines. These can result in serious injury including falls and reduce quality of life.

Stability and gait training, also known as vestibular rehabilitation training, can offer relief from these daunting symptoms by using specialized exercises that stimulate and re-train the vestibular system. These exercises usually involve head movement, stretching, walking exercises, and ergonomic training that all help the body re-learn proper symmetry, appropriate reflexes, and improved control. This results in improved balance, reduced risk of falls, reduced dizziness, improved stability, better posture, increased body strength, and improved coordination.

“Boardwalk Physical Medicine has been an amazing part of Healthcare Associates of Texas’ delivery of full service primary care. With the combination of chiropractic and physical therapy, we can treat a wide scope of musculoskeletal complaints and other issues in ways few clinics can,” says Charles L Powell, MD, Director of Clinical Services for Healthcare Associates of Texas.

Boardwalk Physical Medicine is staffed by an exceptional team of physical therapists, exercise physiologists, and physical therapy assistants led by Jeremy Liesveld, DC, FNP who is both a Chiropractor and a Nurse Practitioner. They customize a unique vestibular rehabilitation training program for each patient to address their specific needs.

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About Healthcare Associates of Texas & Boardwalk Physical Medicine
Healthcare Associates of Texas has been caring for families throughout the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area for more than a quarter of a century and their patients have become their family. Boardwalk Physical Medicine is an extension of this family offering physical therapy and chiropractic care for patients with a variety of services including therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, ultrasound, decompression, kinesiotaping, and neuromuscular re-education. With full on-site diagnostic and laboratory capabilities, a pharmacy, and Boardwalk Physical Medicine, Healthcare Associates of Texas provides high quality care in a convenient and cost-effective manner.

Healthcare Associates of McKinney Has Moved! Same family-centered care in a new location.

Healthcare Associates of McKinney announced today that they have moved one block south to The Medical Center at Craig Ranch building at 8080 State Highway 121, Suite 210, McKinney, Texas 75070.  It is in the heart of the Craig Ranch Medical District with easy access to Highway 121.

As the practice has grown, the need for more space has been paramount.  This beautiful new location offers more space to care for patients in the same family-centered manner with several additional ancillary services.  With a bigger office, Healthcare Associates of McKinney will be able to add two additional providers, Christopher Lawrence, MD and Angela Jorrey, PA.

“We are so pleased to be able to have a larger office space to offer care to more patients.  And, the timing couldn’t be better with adding Dr. Lawrence and Angela to our practice”, said Edwin Taylor, MD.  “These two things combined allow us to offer even better and faster care to the Frisco and McKinney communities we serve.”

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About Healthcare Associates of McKinney

Conveniently located on the border of Frisco and McKinney, near Craig Ranch, the office is open from 7:30am to 5:30pm. Healthcare Associates of McKinney offers same-day appointments, when available, and accepts all major insurance plans. Onsite services include preventative health measures and a broad range of medical needs such as allergy shots/testing, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, nerve conduction, outpatient minor surgeries for dermatologic conditions and joint injections for select orthopedic complaints. For an appointment or more information about Healthcare Associates of McKinney, please call the office today at (972) 268-9383 or visit www.HealthcareAssociates.com/McKinney.

Steve Schierling, MD, FACS joins Surgical Group of North Texas

Surgical Group of North Texas is excited to announce the addition of Steve Schierling, MD, FACS to their group.  Dr. Schierling, a General Surgeon, has been in practice since 2009, with special expertise in minimally invasive vein treatment, laparoscopic and robotic surgery, including single site robotic surgeries, endocrine surgery, hernia surgery, and exposure for spine surgery.

“Dr. Schierling is a great addition to our group because of his unwavering commitment to surgical quality and safety. His surgical expertise adds to our repertoire of surgical techniques that will provide more options for our patients,” says Dr. Sina Matin, one of the founders of the Surgical Group of North Texas.

Dr. Schierling is Board Certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is an Aggie through and through, undertaking undergraduate, medical school, and General Surgery residency at Texas A&M University, with clinical training at Scott & White Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Schierling is excited to continue his practice in Las Colinas. “I joined the Surgical Group of North Texas because of our shared value of delivering high quality, patient-centered, safe and effective surgical care,” stated Steve Schierling, MD, FACS.  “Working with surgeons with a focus on surgical quality is paramount to me.”

Dr. Schierling also offers a new service to the patients of Surgical Group of North Texas – comprehensive in-office treatment for varicose veins and spider veins. He uses Radiofrequency Ablation, Ambulatory Phlebectomy and Sclerotherapy in the office to treat physical and emotional discomfort caused by these unsightly veins.

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About Surgical Group of North Texas

The Surgical Group of North Texas is an independent general surgery practice with eight surgeons who have provided high quality surgical care since 1991. They specialize in advanced hernia repair, bariatric surgery, breast cancer, incisionless reflux surgery, oncologic surgery, vein surgery, and minimally invasive advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery. They practice at multiple locations, including hospitals affiliated with Baylor Scott & White Health, Texas Health Resources, HCA, Methodist, and other local hospitals.